Methodology, Tools

The Brackets Team… using Trello

In my optics (and obviously when wearing my coders goggles) Brackets is the most exciting news to come out of San Jose this year… not only is the team targeting to build an entirely new code IDE for web projects, but they have decided to do it in a new way… a way that may prove both to be more challenging as a traditional product development approach as well as more rewarding as members of the community starts joining the development effort by adding both core features as well as extensions (an extension API is on its way) even from the very beginning of its lifetime…

Anyways, what I wanted to share was that the Brackets team is using Trello as their SCRUM board.. being a happy Trello user myself, this is off course both interesting and exciting…

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The Brackets Team obviously practices Scrum. They have decided to work iteratively and produce stable builds every 2.5 weeks (12 coding days to be exact). A rather unusual number, however it works for the Adobe Brackets team… Development started in January 2012 so it’s still in the very early stages of the project.

The project goes under the parole: Code Free ! So I suggest you do exactly that, join the project, contribute a feature or two, learn a lot and then take this approach and apply to your development efforts in your own circles, being commercial or not, the approach is clever and when executed correctly, can empower to teams and the extended teams like no other approach…

Methodology

The Five Generic and Easy Milestones…

I have found that on most smaller projects, I end up with 5 generic milestones, depending on the execution of the project, the composition and distribution of effort will be adjusted, however it seems to never fail… its not exactly RUP, MSF or one of the many cool Agile process methodologies and process frameworks… however there are direct tracing to all of them…

  1. Tracer Bullet (5%)
    …decent writeup on the definition of the executable produced during this phase:
    http://www.lixo.org/archives/2009/08/25/the-tracer-bullet-application/
  2. Walking Skeleton (10%)
    …and a pretty decent writeup by none other than Crystal inventor: Alistair Cockburn:
    http://alistair.cockburn.us/Walking+skeleton
  3. Lions Share (70%)
    …the definition of this milestone is vaguely inspired to a certain degree of that of the UP Construction phase…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_Process
  4. Release Candidate (10%)
    …I suppose this is common to most process frameworks and methodologies in one form or the other:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_release_life_cycle
  5. Golden Master (5%)
    …along with the previous of stabilizing phases, it has many traits in common with the MSF Stabilization phase, I found a neat writeup on that here:
    http://developers.de/blogs/damir_dobric/archive/2006/05/06/257.aspx

Giving them not arbitrary names such as “Batman”, “Pavarotti” and other gimmicky naming schemes, seems to require less explanation of the use of named milestones for non-programmers… yet still using some easily identifiable names seems to make the understanding of an iterative and incremental development approach come more easy among business people… and choosing names that actually reflects the contents of the milestone seems to have a positive effect on the adoption of the named milestone approach… what are your thoughts and experiences ?