DAR – How to find a better option when you have multiple solution for a given problem?
 

“You must choose … but choose wisely”   Your decisions play a critical to make or break your future. The company you choose, the girl or guy you marry, the house you buy, the career option you choose. Isn’t it a great idea to have a tool or intelligent mechanism to make the life easy which would help you to choose the best possible decision based on some real facts rather than some random decision?

DAR

DAR is a process to make key decisions in your organization and even in personal life more objectively and wisely. Just to add more clarity, what do you do when you have multiple solutions for a given problem? How do you decide to pick one that most suited and obviously wise?

Human psychology plays an important role while using this technique. We have a lot of information which we don’t really process rather we just go by Halo effect which is nothing but taking a decision based on what you have in your mind at that moment instead of considering all the inputs

Let’s take some examples

Business Decisions

Should I outsource or not.

Is it a good idea to start an XYZ office in Pune or Mumbai?

Technical Decision – Which technology to choose – C++, Java or .NET

Which technology to choose – C++, Java or .NET

Architecture decisions.

Alright, seems boring. Let me get on to more personal stuff.

Which car do you want to buy?

The DAR – Decision analysis and resolution is an answer for above situations. It is one of the process area defined by CMMI but practically used everywhere. The reason DAR works most times

  • You think about every possible solution and list them out. Hence you consider everything before taking a decision over just thinking about limited core items.
  • You rank individual items based on comparison hence you have more clarity.
  • The template would give you amazing results.
  • You do consider Risk and constraints.

Essentially writing down everything and coming to conclusion. There is no guarantee that your solution would be perfect while you are increasing the chances of getting it right significantly.  It takes almost no time to use this process once you acquainted with it.

Please leverage attached DAR template. I have created it to have the better clarity.

Dar Template

Try few times and trust me you would fall in love with it.

Stand up: Why you should talk about your next actionable?
 

Lots of teams that I work with generally follow the best practices of a Scrum stand up meeting. However, as time goes by team tend to fall into the slippery slope of just reporting what they have accomplished the previous or the current day and completely ignore the next actionable & impediments. This happens more when the team/scrum master is not very strict about the process. In this article, we will see the reasons why this is important and the benefits of the same.

Life without goals

Before we delve deep into practices of Scrum method, we will talk about few general principles how our subconscious works. As per the basic behavioral psychology, there are three parts of the self-concept.

a) Self-Ideal – Goals, aspirations, dreams etc.

b) Self Image – impression about self-based on previous experiences.

c) Self Esteem – Emotional component of how much we like ourselves.

When someone sets goals and achieves them, the self-image corrects and the self-esteem improves. And they start setting bigger goals and continues to go on an upward spiral.

How Psychology relates to Scrum

Whenever a team member talks about “What they will do ” before the next meeting, they are indirectly setting a time-bound goal for themselves. When they come and report the achievement of the same the next day, the self-image and the self-esteem goes up. This will bring more success as the time goes by.

The Sprint is systematically designed methodology using the basic psychology of commit and achieve cycle.

Let’s do an experiment. If you are part of an Agile team, state your goal for the day loudly to your team during the stand-up meeting. You would have that in your back of your mind entire day. At the end the of day, if you accomplish what you stated, you will have an amazing sense of accomplishment.  Otherwise, you feel that you have not done enough. This comes to most members as long as they care about the company and their career. All you have to do is take that seriously and you would find yourself growing much faster than your peers.

I have personally asked this to many people and every time I had the same result. Isn’t it amazing? How simple it is to grow in an Agile team. Isn’t it?

So Next time you are in a stand-up meeting, would you talk about “what you are going to do “?

 

If you like this article, please share and provide comments.

 

 

The most basic Java Script Interview Questions
 

JavaScript developed by Netscape. JS is a client side as well as a server-side scripting language. It is interpreted programming language as well with object orientated capabilities.

1. How do you create a class in JavaScript?

Answer – There are multiple ways you can create a class in JS. For example

Method 1 – Using functions

// This is a class name

function Flat(aptName, location){

// You can define object properties

this.aptName = aptName;

this.location = location;

this.getLocation = getLocationInfo

}

// The method can be defined as

function getLocationInfo{

return “The location is “ + this.location;

}I

// You can even define function of a class like this

Flat.prototype.getFlatInfo = function() {

alert (“The apartment name is” +   this.aptName + “ and the location is “ + this.location = location);

// Instantiate new object of Flat class

var myFlat = new Flat(“Manjeera”, “Kukatpally”);

// Invoke methods like this

alert myFlat.getLocationInfo();

Method 2 – Using object literals

Var Flat = {

this.aptName = “manjeera”;

this.location = “kukatpally”;

this.getLocation = function() {

return “The location is “ + this.location;

}

}

Apart from using functions, and object literals, you can use object constructor as well to create JavaScript class.

2. What is the difference between ‘==’ and ‘===’?

Answer –       ‘==’ checks for equality only

‘===’ checks for equality and type

For example

false == 0 returns TRUE

false === 0 returns FALSE

3. What is isNan? Give example?

Answer – This would return true of the argument is not a number. For example

isNaN(23) returns false

isNaN(“2/3/2017”) returns true

4. What are the difference comments available in JavaScript?

Answer – There are two types of comments available in JavaScript

A. Single line comments

// This is a single line comment

B. Block comments

/*

This can be used

For block comments

..

*/

5. What are the types used by JavaScript?

Answer – There are six types used in Java Script

Boolean (True and False)

Null (null)

Undefined (undefined)

Number (Integers, floating etc.)

String

Object (Objects, Array, Functions etc.)

6. Is JavaScript a case sensitive?

Answer – Yes, JavaScript is case-sensitive.

7. How can you create an object in JavaScript

Answer – You can use object literal as shown below

var student  = {

name: “Sandeep”,

age: 36

};

Alternatively, you can use below (As explained in question number 1)

var myFlat = new Flat(“Manjeera”, “Kukatpally”);

8. Does JavaScript support exception handling?

Answer – Yes, it does support exception handling by means of try and catch. It supports try, catch, finally, throw etc. keywords to handle exceptions.

9. What is the difference between break and continue?

Answer – Break statement causes program control to exit from the loop.

The continue statement causes program control to continue with next statement.

10. What is the primary difference between ViewState and SessionState?

Answer – ViewState represents a page in session while SessionState is specific to user specific data which can be accessed all across in the web application.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The five dysfunctions of a team – Book Review
 

I got an opportunity to drive ‘team book reading’ with my highly competent team for one of the very critical facets of team building i.e. “What it takes to be successful as a Team”. The book name is “The five dysfunctions of a team – A leadership fable” which I personally found very interesting hence thought of sharing the summary with you all. Precisely the book talks about the five dysfunctions of a team which restricts the team to be successful. It is very important to understand and overcome them in order to be more effective as a team. The dysfunctions are

Absence of trust
Trust & respect are the foundation stones of any relationship be it a home or office. If the members of the team do not trust each other then they cannot be completely honest with each other.

Hence “Create Trust” by following but not limited to:

  • 360-degree feedback
  • Spend time together
  • Understand each other personal history
  • Believe in each other
  • Be honest

Fear of conflict – Without trust, team members will not have the healthy debates that are necessary to arrive at better thought through decisions.
It’s very important to have open lines of communication (so that everyone is clear & aligned). Always remember

  • Open discussions. Debate leads to a better solution
  • Focus on the issue, not the individual.

Hence “Value Conflict” (It has to be in a healthy way!) by following but not limited to:

  • Straight talk
  • Calling people on behavior traits that demonstrate fear of conflict
  • Identify how we respond
  • Leader leads in behavior

Lack of commitment – If the team has not aligned to a decision then the individual members who did not agree with the final decision will ultimately be less committed to that decision. It is important to know that the “Alignment” is more important than agreement

Hence “Encourage commitment” by following but not limited to:

  • Summaries decisions made in group discussions or meetings
  • Come to consensus — Any decision is better than no decision – Timeboxing decisions.
  • Clarify all scenarios including worst case ones.
  • Talk it loud, hear everyone’s opinion.

Avoidance of accountability – If they are not committed to the course of action, then they are less likely to feel accountable (or hold other people accountable). Lack of clarity of roles & responsibilities and not holding individuals accountable leads to “Avoidance of accountability”
Hence “Promote Accountability” by following but not limited to

  • Open disclosure of goals, standards, and metrics
  • Continuous progress reviews
  • Reward for a team not individual

Inattention to results – If the individuals are not accountable, they are less likely to care about the group results (Instead they would focus on achieving their individual goals).
Hence “Celebrate Results” by following but not limited to:

  • Group declaration of results
  • The reviews to be based on results.
  • The leader should lead in behavior.

Disclaimer “This is a just summary of the book we read – In order to have more details, you are required to read the complete book”.

 

Employee Ranking System (ERS) – Products and Technology
 

What is an employee ranking?

It’s an ordered list of employees from “most valuable” to “least valuable” derived out of the ERS (Employee-Ranking System)

What’s the purpose of an employee ranking?

It provides a logical and consistent framework for employee advancement, recognition, and rewards.  It can unearth and expose significant inequities.  If used on an on-going basis, it can provide valuable insight into employee performance and development trends.

How is “value” defined?

Different definitions make sense in different organizations.  We will consider three major dimensions – competence, the level of contribution, and value to the business.  In other words, how skilled the employees at what they do, how productive are they at what they do, and how irreplaceable are their specific skills or knowledge.  For each dimension, we will consider both “performance to date” as well as the “potential for the future”.  Since performance to date is less ambiguous than future potential, we will give it greater weight. Potentially this would help you to identify core members of your

What process will we use?

We’ll list all employees in a spreadsheet with some basic demographic information, their previous ladder evaluations, and the staff member they report to.  For each of your employees, you will rate them from 1-4 (4 being highest) in the three dimensions described above. You will leverage the details mentioned in this word document below in order to identify rating 1 to 4.  You’ll do that once for past performance and once for future potential for these three areas.  We will then total the numbers and ladder all engineering employees together, assigning a 70% weighting to demonstrated performance and a 30% weighting to future potential. You can download the spreadsheet by clicking on below link

ERS – Products and Technology Ladder

How should I calibrate my evaluations?

Keep in mind that the evaluations are independent of job level and experience.  The idea is to identify “most valuable” to “least valuable” That is, it is perfectly reasonable and generally expected for junior employees to get lower scores than more senior employees.  In fact, when that doesn’t happen, that’s a sign of either a high flying junior employee or an under-performing senior employee.  In addition, you can look at previous years’ rankings to get a sense of overall calibration.  Then, use the supplementary guidance in the sections below.

How precise will all this be?

Don’t worry too much about the precision of the numbers.  Our goal is to get relative ranking right.  The numbers give us a big head start in aligning our reference points and in creating a single merged list for the whole organization.  Once we have a consolidated list, the leadership team can ensure right people are in the right place.

Any other helpful instructions?

  • Please be careful not to break any of the formulas in the spreadsheet.
  • If you see errors in any cell, please highlight the cell and make the appropriate correction.
  • For the Rating column, enter your best estimate of the numeric performance rating (from 1-5) that the employee will receive this year or whatever your rating system is.
  • For the Promotion and the Performance Improvement Plan columns, enter a “Y” if you believe the employee should be on one of these tracks for the current year. Otherwise, you can leave the column blank.

The ranking would be derived from three core factors

  1. 1. Competence
  2. 2. Contribution
  3. 3. Value to business

Competence

Areas to consider:

  • – Breadth and depth of knowledge and skills
  • – Leadership and innovation, applied to people, processes, and projects
  • – Problem-solving ability
  • – Technical, business, communication, interpersonal skills

Rating 4:
Has mastered all required skills. Demonstrates strong leadership in one or more areas (e.g., technical, project management, process, etc.).  Consistently works to leverage skills for team and larger organization success.

Rating 3:    
Often operates above the norm, with advanced skills in some areas. Often expends extra effort to help meet goals. Has demonstrated leadership in one or more areas.

Rating 2:   
Has all basic skills for job category and uses them effectively to meet project goals.

Rating 1:   
Needs additional skills development to meet job requirements and to attain project goals. May demonstrate inconsistent achievement of task objectives and project goals.

Contribution

Areas to consider:

  • -Ability to meet commitments
  • – Overall productivity and volume of output
  • – Early communication of problems and contribution to workarounds that meets business goals
  • – Versatility – willingness and ability to adapt to new tasks
  • – Teamwork – willingness and ability to help others
  • – Leadership skills such as architecture, project management, change management, communication, and mentoring
  • – Ability to motivate others, manage self, and demonstrate initiative.

Rating 4:  
Someone who has a lot of initiative, is a  leader across the organization, and has outstanding productivity.

Rating 3:   
Someone who excels in 1 or 2 of these dimensions but not all 3.

Rating 2:   
Someone who delivers what is expected (i.e. does not take much initiative to do more), is a team player but not a leader, and has productivity as expected.

Rating 1:    
Someone who is below expectations in one or more of these dimensions.

Value to the Business

Areas to consider:

  • – Knowledge and skills as mapped to needs of the business
  • – Extra points here for unique skills we need

Rating 4:    
A critical person on a high profile project, creating a vision or blueprint for the project or accomplishing critical business objectives.  Without this person, current and future objectives would not be accomplished.

Rating 3:  
A core person on a high profile project.  Without this person, current and future objectives would be impaired.

Rating 2: 
Could be replaced without significant negative impact to the business.

Rating 1:     
The negative impact to the business. Drains resources and causes objectives not to be accomplished.

 

Bloated Domain Objects And CQRS (Command, Query Responsibility Segregation)
 

Problem of Bloated Domain objects

In business software applications, the domain objects (entities) are used to represent the business domain. As the application grows and adds more business logic, the service layer, mappers and other patterns gets applied. Often this leads to domain object becomes bloated and the related components become huge & un-maintainable.

CQRS solves the common problem of having a bloated Domain objects. The domain objects get bloated largely because of bounded context. The series of contexts which makes developers think that a single domain object is sufficient to handle all the related things. For example, a large Invoice object for handling Invoice, Shipment and handling change of address for customer . But in reality, these contexts (invoicing, shipment and change) need not be related to same Invoice entity.

What is Command, Query Responsibility segregation (CQRS)?

In order to simplify the Domain objects, CQRS proposes to have two types of domain entities.

  • those serving the command (ordering/assertion services)  – For example, SaveCustomer, CreateInvoice, ShipProduct etc
  • those serving a Query (request) – examples include GetCustomerAddress, SearchCustomer etc

With this separation, the complexity (number of fields, methods) of entities used becomes simplified. And hence the Data mapper layers & the service layers becomes more simplified.

Where can I use CQRS?

  • Largely complex system: Applying CQRS on a simple CRUD operation based system is a over kill. When there is a domain heavy system, like banking and financing systems, LOB applications where business logic, lots of boundary conditions are heavy. Where it makes DDD (Domain driven design) provides high value.
  • Situations where you will apply Microservices, Eventual consistency and Event Sourcing. When we have separation of concerns using CQRS, the microservices becomes much simpler to design and maintain. With Event sourcing we are focused on getting the data (query) from other related sources and is what CQRS propagates.

Final words

CQRS is a carefully thought out pattern for simplifying large and complex systems. And it should not be applied for simple green field applications. Do let me know what you think.

Top 100 Agile Blogging Websites in the world
 

Top 100 Agile Blogs websites

Below is the top 100 Agile websites list published by AgileChamps team. The process followed to identify top 100 sites is:-

  1. Identified few core keywords used for Agile.
  2. These keywords are used against the majority of top search engines.
  3. The websites coming on first few pages are identified.  Approx. 1200 plus websites are shortlisted.
  4. Identified Alexa Rank for all of them.
  5. All the websites under 15 million ranks are reviewed individually.
  6. The websites which are heavy centric on Agile are marked and rest are removed.
  7. At this point, top 200 websites are shortlisted for final review and research. The top 100 are picked after spending a good time with each and every website.

The list may not be 100% perfect but it should be close as there are chances that some of the good websites on Agile are missed. If you think, you have an Agile Blogging site which is not listed here, please do mention in the comment section with Alexa rank and we would include that in below list.

Rank Agile Blogging Site Alexa Rank Comments
1 http://softwaredevelopmenttoday.com/ 1030 Improving the world with software
2 http://agilescout.wpengine.com/ 3078 Agile Software Development News
3 http://agile.dzone.com/ 4167 Agile and Technology
4 http://www.infoworld.com/ 11991
5 http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jmeier/ 12181
6 http://martinfowler.com/ 29470
7 http://scrumalliance.org/ 36377
8 http://geekswithblogs.net/Default.aspx 36908 Agile and Technology
9 http://blog.scrum.org 62603
10 http://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/ 65325
11 http://www.versionone.com 106619
12 http://www.lean.org/ 143610
13 http://blog.xebia.com 157824
14 http://www.romanpichler.com/ 180494
15 http://www.allaboutagile.com/ 181443
16 http://agilewarrior.wordpress.com/ 257143
17 http://scrummethodology.com/ 269615
18 http://blog.crisp.se/henrikkniberg 279696
19 http://www.torbenrick.eu/blog/ 286285
20 http://www.scruminc.com/ 327659
21 http://www.shmula.com/ 345374
22 http://www.solutionsiq.com/ 359293
23 http://tynerblain.com/blog/ 392184
24 http://www.leadingagile.com/ 396993
25 http://management.curiouscatblog.net/ 420641
26 http://www.agileforall.com/ 451259
27 http://www.marcusoft.net/ 473266
28 http://alistair.cockburn.us/Agile+development 505811
29 http://www.agile42.com 529073
30 http://services.leankanban.com 540509
31 http://www.agileweboperations.com/ 563971
32 http://agilescout.com/ 574286
33 https://age-of-product.com 600556
34 http://www.jrothman.com/blogs/ 608049 Management and Agile
35 http://blog.retrium.com 681480
36 http://tastycupcakes.org/ 736304
37 http://www.netobjectives.com 767821
38 http://jamesshore.com/ 768661
39 http://ronjeffries.com/ 791006
40 http://www.klocwork.com 799097
41 http://www.personalkanban.com/ 806918
42 http://www.agileadvice.com/ 881368
43 http://benlinders.com 908226
44 http://www.scrumexpert.com/ 941122
45 http://brodzinski.com/ 950714
46 http://blogs.agilefaqs.com 979367
47 http://herdingcats.typepad.com 995606
48 http://scrumology.com/ 1105693
49 http://agilepainrelief.com/ 1210659
50 http://blog.3back.com/ 1300016
51 http://leadinganswers.typepad.com 1309169
52 http://www.implementingscrum.com/ 1340427
53 http://kenschwaber.wordpress.com/ 1454803
54 http://testobsessed.com/ 1567560
55 http://www.agilitrix.com/ 1590376
56 http://lithespeed.com/ 1674920
57 http://lisacrispin.com/ 1705271
58 http://guntherverheyen.com 1879037
59 http://www.betterprojects.net/ 1917210
60 http://agilesoftwaredevelopment.com/ 1917606
61 http://www.agile-ux.com/ 1948198
62 http://leansoftwareengineering.com/ 2054154
63 http://agilecoach.typepad.com 2064719
64 http://www.agilistapm.com/ 2302141
65 http://borisgloger.com/ 2332692
66 http://www.estherderby.com/ 2377232
67 http://www.makinggoodsoftware.com/ 2522442
68 http://www.growingagile.co.za 2552857
69 http://www.ontheagilepath.net 2578280
70 http://www.cindyalvarez.com/ 2585993
71 http://www.jbrains.ca 2606431
72 http://www.scrum-breakfast.com/ 2632324
73 http://www.dkrimmer.de 2667951
74 http://leanandkanban.wordpress.com/ 2726139
75 http://blog.agilegamedevelopment.com/ 2726568
76 http://www.gettingagile.com/ 2729011
77 http://brainslink.com/ 2808821
78 http://blog.oikosofy.com 2893584
79 http://availagility.co.uk/ 3117999
80 http://www.leanessays.com/ 3134021
81 http://kellycrew.wordpress.com/ 3194994
82 http://scrumcoaching.wordpress.com/ 3397983
83 http://www.agilechamps.com 3420233 Based on real time experiences. Agile becomes simple.
84 http://www.coachingagileteams.com/ 3493804
85 http://www.derekhuether.com 3499622
86 http://www.axisagile.com.au 3630517
87 http://www.softwareresults.us/ 3658561
88 http://indigoblue.co.uk 3671917
89 http://www.agiletrainings.eu 3740017
90 http://hanoulle.be/ 3782502
91 http://lmsgoncalves.com 4120325
92 http://fragile.org.uk/ 4235666
93 http://theagileexecutive.com/ 4479652
94 http://scalingsoftwareagility.wordpress.com/ 4543469
95 https://scrumfamily.wordpress.com/ 4603896
96 http://www.tinypm.com/blog/ 4815953
97 http://catenary.wordpress.com/ 5292497
98 http://www.agilecoach.ca/ 5352264
99 http://www.thoughtclusters.com/ 5547969
100 http://agilemindstorm.com/ 6605622

I would really appreciate if you can provide a link to this blog to your website if your website is listed above.

50 Web Performance Tips and Tricks
 

I came across the below video on the web performance improvement tips and tricks. This is fantastic.

http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2012/3-132

In this video, Jatinder talks about Six fundamental principles for improving web application performance. He also talks a lot about how we go about Decreasing CPU time and increasing parallelism on the client machine to achieve faster web performance.

While I went through the video, I captured all the tricks he talks about. And thought will be useful for others while they watch it. Please find below the tricks.

Quickly respond to network request

  • Avoid 3XX Redirections (63% of top websites use redirect)
  • Avoid Meta refresh
  • Minimize Server time for Requests
  • Use Content distribution Networks (CDN)
  • Maximize concurrent connections.
  • Reuse connections – don’t sent connection close.
  • Know your other servers – you are only fast as your weakest link
  • Understand your network timing

Minimize bytes downloaded

  • GZIP Compression Network traffic
  • Persist application resources locally (Windows 8 applications)
  • Cache dynamic resources in the application Cache (html5 app cache)
  • Provide cacheable content
  • Send Conditional request
  • Cache Data requests (jQuery AJAX calls)
  • Standardize File name capitalization convention.

Efficiently structure markup

  • Load pages in latest browser mode
  • Use http header to specify legacy IE mode
  • Link CSS in the top of the page header, never on the bottom.
  • Avoid using @import of hierarchical styles
  • avoid embedded and inline CSS
  • Only include necessary styles in the page.
  • Always link JS at the end of the page.
  • Avoid linking JS in the header (use the defer & async attribute)
  • Avoid Inline JS
  • Remove Duplicate code (52% of the web have duplicate code
  • Standardize on a single framework

Optimize your media usage

  • Avoid death by too many images
  • If possible use Image Sprites
  • Use png image file format
  • Use Native image resolutions
  • Replace Images with CSS3 Gradients, border Radius
  • Leverage CSS3 Transforms
  • Use Data URI’s for Small Single view images
  • Avoid complex SVG paths
  • Video : Use preview images
  • Minimize media plugin usage
  • Proactively download Future media

Write Fast JavaScript

  • Stick to Integer math (Math.Floor)
  • Minify your JavaScript
  • Initialize JavaScript on Demand
  • Minimize your DOM Interactions
  • Built in DOM methods always more efficient (firstchild, nextsibling methods are faster)
  • Use Selectors for Collection access (document.querySelectorAll)
  • Use .innerHTML to construct your page
  • Batch your markup changes
  • Maintain smaller DOM (less than 1000 elements)
  • Json always faster than XML
  • Use Native Json methods
  • Use regular expressions Sparingly

Know what your app is doing

  • Understand JavaScript Timers (setTimeout, SetInterval)
  • Combine Application Timers
  • Ensure dormant timers are not running
  • Align timers to display Frame (16.7)
  • Use window.requestAminationFrame(renderLoop) for Animations
  • Know when your application is visible (document.hidden, Visibilitychange (event))

Conclusion

The web optimization is not easy and needs exhaustive deep look and hopefully this check list helps while optimizing your pages. Enjoy coding high performing applications. If you have more tips please provide them in the comments.