Tupperware, Cucumber, graduates and what could you do in 2 minutes?

Firstly, its great to be back and I would like to really thank all those involved in the titanic struggle to get Single View and Mobile banking into PPE. This must be the last time we attempt to deploy code to production using this process, it clearly doesn’t work.
Tupperware? Why do some people build up large collections of the stuff covering every food and beverage storage eventually? I have no idea but I know a man who does. Have a chat with Mark Plumer, every time I get a lift with him he seems to have a car full of the stuff. Looking at him he doesn’t look that sensible does he? Once you have got past the tupperware chit chat I would recommend you have a conversation with him about his plans to create development and deployment environments for the team. And whilst you are at it I would have a chat with Mike Ritchie about his plans to deploy the components in the digital estate to these environments.  
Cucumber, agile development tool or vegetable? Both. The guys on the Wallet scrum have just spent some quality time over the last two weeks putting in Cucumber. They are using this to enable them to develop using BDD, essentially all the business test criteria, written in clear English,  are linked to the actual code that executes them and the status of code completion and test coverage is provided. I would suggest you look at the following link as there is a very good video on what BDD is why you should care about BDD. You may also want know that their code test coverage is over 98%, which is industry best practice. 
Yes the graduates start on Monday. Mike took you through the plan we have for them at the team meeting so you will know what they are doing. All I ask is that you support them over the coming weeks. I am sure you all will. You may want to warn them that anything they do, particularly if I can get cheap laugh out of it, may be referenced in this blog. 
2 minutes. Not a long time. No sniggering at the back please. However, it was long enough for a Google outage to wipe out 40% of global internet traffic.
Amazing but what I find more amazing is that they don’t have more of these outages especially when you consider that they are integrating $3BN of hardware a year. They are also powering ahead in the mobile ad space; globally they have a 38% share of net ad revenue. I did wonder a few years ago whether their audacious gamble with Android would pay off, looks like it has. 
We have had some new starters when I was away. Jim Meechan and Ivan Ryan both started on the 19th August. Jim is a Scrum Master and is working with the Android team whilst Ivan is a Dev with a real interest in testing, both have a lot of agile and XP experience so I suggest you have a coffee chat with them at some point. 
I have had a request to provide some more information in my blog on long term plans and progress to date. I will endeavour to do this over the coming weeks especially as we get more clarity on next years plans. The 2014 budget requests go in next week and we should start to get more clarity on the budget allocations and their impact on the digital team at the end of next week. I will also complete and issue the agile maturity model as soon as I can. 
A couple of interesting links. The first a review of Bill Buxton’s book on sketching user experiences which has a visual of Lasaeu’s funnel – have a look at it as I think it is a really good way of thinking about the progression of ideas during the design process.  The second has a good video about requirements management in Agile. 
I leave you with a great quote. One well worth thinking about. Any fool can make something complex and difficult to explain, it takes a clever person to design and deliver simple elegant solutions. 
“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” Albert Einstein  
BTW why do woman, when gathered in a gaggle known as hen party, make an insane racket and think it ok to sexually harass any man who happens to walk past? I only ask as I write this with a large Hen party sat behind me on the train. What have I done to deserve this?

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