Surviving at the Software Industy (12) – I’m Almost There.

--Originally published at ISC de día, intento de cinéfilo de noche.

Today we are gonna talk about starting the implementation of our project. We're done planning by now and we can start programming. Our movie for today will be the first contemporary Disney Princess, The Princess And The Frog. Tiana will join us as we develop our own project as she shows us the dedication she put on getting her restaurant.

Image result for princess and the frog gif

Ever since she was a little girl, she saw how her dad wanted to put a restaurant on New Orleans called "Tiana's Place". Even when her dad passed away, she kept his dream as her own, and she put all her efforts to get the job done. 

The first thing we need is to follow our Software Development Plan. We already did it on earlier stages, and we shouldn't waste our effort. That was the guide we gave to our client, so we better stick to it. We can also reduce the risks of having low quality, lack of visibility or running out of time. It's not good to have a jar of coins without knowing how much money we have inside of it.

Image result for tiana savings

For our plan, it is extremely important we define some "milestones" or things we HAVE to do to maintain order over the general project, our lovely book recommends us to do the following activities on every project.

  • Requirements updates 
  • Detailed design 
  • Construction 
  • Test case creation 
  • User documentation updates 
  • Technical reviews 
  • Defect corrections 
  • Technical coordination
  • Risk management 
  • Project tracking 
  • Integration and release
  • End of stage wrap-up
Image result for tiana gifs

Returning to the mini-milestones, these are activities that can only be classified on one of two categories, "done" and "not done. They have only two scenarios. Tiana shows us how this works.
Her first goal is to get the money to buy the place for her restaurant, then buy the
Image result for tiana gifs
Image result for tiana gifs
Continue reading "Surviving at the Software Industy (12) – I’m Almost There."

Surviving at the Software Industy (12) – I’m Almost There.

--Originally published at ISC de día, intento de cinéfilo de noche.

Today we are gonna talk about starting the implementation of our project. We're done planning by now and we can start programming. Our movie for today will be the first contemporary Disney Princess, The Princess And The Frog. Tiana will join us as we develop our own project as she shows us the dedication she put on getting her restaurant.

Image result for princess and the frog gif

Ever since she was a little girl, she saw how her dad wanted to put a restaurant on New Orleans called "Tiana's Place". Even when her dad passed away, she kept his dream as her own, and she put all her efforts to get the job done. 

The first thing we need is to follow our Software Development Plan. We already did it on earlier stages, and we shouldn't waste our effort. That was the guide we gave to our client, so we better stick to it. We can also reduce the risks of having low quality, lack of visibility or running out of time. It's not good to have a jar of coins without knowing how much money we have inside of it.

Image result for tiana savings

For our plan, it is extremely important we define some "milestones" or things we HAVE to do to maintain order over the general project, our lovely book recommends us to do the following activities on every project.

  • Requirements updates 
  • Detailed design 
  • Construction 
  • Test case creation 
  • User documentation updates 
  • Technical reviews 
  • Defect corrections 
  • Technical coordination
  • Risk management 
  • Project tracking 
  • Integration and release
  • End of stage wrap-up
Image result for tiana gifs

Returning to the mini-milestones, these are activities that can only be classified on one of two categories, "done" and "not done. They have only two scenarios. Tiana shows us how this works.
Her first goal is to get the money to buy the place for her restaurant, then buy the
Image result for tiana gifs
Image result for tiana gifs
Continue reading "Surviving at the Software Industy (12) – I’m Almost There."

Surviving at the Software Industry (11) – Let’s Go To Paradise Falls!

--Originally published at ISC de día, intento de cinéfilo de noche.


We are on the last stage of preparation of our project! Isn't that exciting? I think it is. We just have to make our last preparations so we can roll. We will be talking about a movie that is none other than the second animated movie nominated for Best Picture in all history: Up. 

Carl and Ellie wanted to travel to Paradise falls to meet their hero. From the moment they got married, they had a can where they put all the extra money they had every day. When Ellie was a kid, she had planned how the travel would have been and she added some pictures and stamps to her book so she wouldn't forget anything. Of course, life happened and they had to postpone their trip for ever. 


I'm gonna skip the saddest part of the movie by talking about our last stage. As of right now we just have to estimate. We have to calculate how much time are we gonna take on every stage, our milestones the costs, everything. We already have everything planned and this is adding like a cherry to our milkshake. Everything has to look great on paper. I remember Ken told us once on our TI2011 course that if we wanted to estimate right we had to multiply our first estimate by two and then work on the next time unit. So if we would be taking 3 weeks on the project, we would actually be working on it 6 months. Crazy, right? Maybe just as crazy as making a house flying with balloons.


We also have to consider that we can't just escape on a flying property of the real work. We have to take in consideration other factors such as marketers, tendencies and sudden / unexpected changes. The
Continue reading "Surviving at the Software Industry (11) – Let’s Go To Paradise Falls!"

Surviving at the Software Industry (10) – It’s time to become a well-dressed devil.

--Originally published at Un lugar para escribir sin preocupación.

I know I should be comparing this chapter to something related with construction and things like that, but I can't think of any movie that can helps me on that genre, so today we'll be using The Devil Wears Prada. This one is a fun movie to watch and it comes on Fox almost once a week.

As software developers we are condemned to become software architects. And yeah, we do a lot of stuff that architecs do when they are planning on building a bridge. We have to treat some issues on the same ways.

If a client asks you to do something in specific and they have a delimited budget and you cannot achieve it.
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The client wants to know how the project is going on any stage. They want to be informed.
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We have to fix the problems as soon as possible or it will be more expensive on the future.

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And we all love coffee with all our heart.

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So we can talk about the main characteristics of a good architecture now. The system overview is describing everything in broad terms so we can have a general idea of the project. It has to happen on a high level discussion. The conceptual integrity phase is where the objectives for the architecture are stated. This ensures that the architecture covers all the problems of the project, whatever it is. Subsystems and Organization is when you star defining the areas or subsytems of a project. It can be divided on the major clusters of functionality, or major areas of the general system. Although it is good to have some communication you cannot have everyone knowing every single aspect of the project. Is not convenient. Imagine if an intern listened a brainstorm meeting for the next season!

Image result for devil wears prada gif

Surviving at the Software Industry (9) – Caravan your way out of problems.

--Originally published at Un lugar para escribir sin preocupación.

It's not a secret that I admire Damien Chazelle a lot. He is the youngest movie director of all times. Today we'll be talking his first big hit "Whiplash" on the context of quality. If you haven't watched this film I recommend you to watch it because it is gorgeous.

In the film, we have an abusive professor on a jazz school called Fletcher. This professor is obsessed with perfection and he aims to get the best students on his group to perform difficult jazz songs and to become a great school jazz band.

Image result for whiplash movie gif

The chapter nine from the book talks about quality. What is good, the consequences of doing the job right and doing it wrong. It also helps you to see the big picture, and to identify all what is around of the making of a good project.

If we don't ensure good quality, we can end like Carl Tanner and being kicked out of the band. Sometimes the project wont be quite the client's tempo and they will need you to give them support on the project AFTER you deliver it. All of these problem are solvable on the early stages of the project. We just need a Quality Assurance Plan, or QAP, a fancy nickname I invented for it.

So, what should we have on our plan? The book gives us a list of concepts that we should be aware of when doing our document. Look at Andrew. He had to rehearse every single day and go over all his flaws to achieve his teacher's expectations.

Surviving at the Software Industry (8) – How Far I’ll Go.

--Originally published at Un lugar para escribir sin preocupación.

Here's where a regular student who has not taken this class would normally start a project. You are right now in the same spot as Moana was when her grandma told her what she had to do to save Motunui. Don't let the sea take you by surprise!

Image result for how far i'll go oscars gif

As a project manager, you have to get the requirements for the project. You can get them in various ways, but they all are a little complicated. You can gather candidate requirements by interviewing and reviewing other products, but this could be like trying to talk with the Ocean. They think they know what they want and you think you understand them, but you have to be very careful so you can take the useful information.

Specifying requirements, or commiting with the gathered requirements to tangible media, like storyboards, this could be like talking to Mini-Maui, he is pretty expresive, and he can write and store all the information from his adventures. Finally, you can analize requirements, or breaking them to their essential characteristics.

So, what's the best way to get all the requirements? 
  • Identify a set of key end users or defining who wil be using the system. You don't want an accelerometer on an app that will help you to cook on your house, or you wouldn't like to take a boat all by yourself if you do not know how to sail. Oh Wait.
  • Interview the End Users, or actually make a first round of interviews. So you can see what is happening with your users. What do they think about it.
  • Build a prototype, but it has to be a simple one. You don't have to be such a perfectionist. It just has to have the basic functionalities. It is very useful to record the results on
    Image result for moana gif
    Continue reading "Surviving at the Software Industry (8) – How Far I’ll Go."

Surviving at the Software Industry (7) – Creating an Indominus Rex.

--Originally published at Un lugar para escribir sin preocupación.

Do you remember when Claire wanted to create the biggest dinosaur so they could get more people going to the park in Jurassic World?

Image result for indominus rex jurassic world wallpaper

When you have a goal to achieve it is important to have a vision, a mayor achievement to reach and to feel accomplished when you get it. The vision doesn't have to be something as big as the dinosaur, but it has to help your team to feel inspired so they keep working on your project. You as a PM have to know what you should be leving out of a vision. It is as important to know what we want to do as to know what we don't; this is essential for maintaining the project risk level on a manageable level. When you have a formalized vision, now you have to make all your team to commit to it.

In the movie, we see that the main problem of the park is that they are not getting as many visitors as they once had. The money is the principal issue there. The Jurassic World has to get a Sponsorship from a weapon company so they can create the new dinosaur. On a real project it is actually the same thing. We need to get an executive sponsor, a person who is resposible to say if the application is ready. What is right and what is not.

After getting a sponsor, we have to communicate our project scope targets that you probably won't fulfill. As on the movie, you will experience complications on the making that will delay your delivery. When they try to accelerate the first show of the Indominus Rex is when everything starts to go crazy. Instead of giving an fixed time for every stage of the project give some time scopes so
Image result for jurassic world raptor gif
Image result for jurassic world raptor gif
Continue reading "Surviving at the Software Industry (7) – Creating an Indominus Rex."

Surviving at the Software Industry (6) – Don’t take the red pill!

--Originally published at Un lugar para escribir sin preocupación.

So, do you remember how in The Matrix the machines controlled the human race? Yeah, pretty good movie, if I spoiled you: c'mon that movie is 18 years old, it is actually your fault.

What do I mean when I ask you to not take the red pill? Well, it means that if you are not ready to take on a project. If you haven't read this lovely survival guide or my blogs and followed my instructions, well, you're gonna end being controlled by the project and not the other way around.

Changes are inevitable. You as a PM are going to have to deal with them and you better be prepared by downloading all the martial arts into you system. Or you can just follow the following advices by Steve McConnell.

  • Make changes at the beginning of the projects without worrying too much.
  • Create technical reviews to declare work stages complete.
  • Having a group of people who can discuss the changes in the project.
  • Make revisions to the project.
  • Notify changes to everyone.

All changes have to be considered before being applied. And we have to remember to ACTUALLY tell all the members on the team how the changes will affect them. So, take the blue pill of your project and have a blast developing it!

I always thought the blue pill looked like an Advill.

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