Gotta Love Agile

Back in the good old days, developers and project managers inhabited the same space through necessity. Developers would interact with the PM only when vital, buffered from more regular contact by a Team Leader or Technical Director, and from the actual customer by both, and quite possibly an Account Manager as well. The Project Manager would only grudgingly concede that a development team was even of benefit, since it was the source of many kinks in the otherwise beautifully balanced Gantt chart pointing confidently from Day Zero to Day n.

In these crazy, topsy-turvy times though, not only do developers talk about project management with great relish, but they actually want to share their work with the customer and - get this - understand what the customer really wants, even if it means talking, you know, face to face!

The miracle that has brought about this Road to Damascus-style turnaround? Agile Project Management and especially the SCRUM variety of it.

Do You Support Your Technology Like You Support Your Football Team?

Hype or Glory?The passion and devotion that goes into supporting your team come from deep down, rooted in family tradition or from the close bonds of friendship forged in the playground. Objectivity has no place in the heated and lively exchange between rival fans, whether across the pitch or in the pub: you defend what, against all basic logic, you instinctively know to be right, against all comers who know, with equal certainty that they, too, are right.

But where does the single-minded devotion to specific choices of technology come from? I'm not particularly talking about pub discussions over iPhone vs. Android or PS3 vs. XBox, where the argument is as likely to be emotional as it is logical; I'm concerned more with conversations in boardrooms, or between solutions providers and their clients, and I mean in both directions: what makes people feel the need to be so biased, and what makes them so sure they're right?

Project Lux Crossword Helper

An old mate of mine, working as a programmer in a specialist manufacturing business for many years, has been getting into web development in his spare time. The differences between working with a single language - in an environment where every piece of hardware and every bit of software is a known entity - and with the many languages and frameworks of the web, are plentiful, so this looked like a daunting task at first.

(If you're looking for the crossword helper itself, it's here:

Integrated Multichannel - What Do I Know?

Being asked to help with the presentation of the Integrated Multichannel Marketing (IMC) framework devised by a leading healthcare communications agency meant an interesting challenge! What do I know about IMC?

On the other hand, what did my client know about turning an idea into software?

How to Get User Details from Active Directory

What For?

In an Active Directory (AD) network, user details (like name, email address, telephone number and so on) are stored and managed by one or more Domain Controllers (DC). When a user logs into a computer on an AD network, it is a DC that provides the authentication to log in and access network resources such as files, printers and applications.

Why does a 'J' appear in emails?

Not the most hard-hitting topic for a blog entry, I know, but have you ever wondered why a 'J' appears in emails where you might expect to see a bit of punctuation or a smiley face, like this:

That's really good news J

Microsoft CRM 2011 App Authentication

When writing a web application to work closely with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, it can be useful to know who you have logged in, so that any work you call on the CRM to do is carried out on behalf of that user. This takes care of permissons and the correct attribution of authorship, etc. to any entities created or edited.

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