Exploration Through Example

Example-driven development, Agile testing, context-driven testing, Agile programming, Ruby, and other things of interest to Brian Marick
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Thu, 21 Oct 2004

Another burndown chart

Kelly Weyrauch has posted another variant of a burndown chart. Here's my version of it.

What I like about Kelly's chart is that it marches steadily down to a release date that stays on the X axis. But it's easy to see whether work's added or removed by looking at how the bars change height.

My chart differs from Kelly's in that I removed some extrapolated lines he uses. I like to get away with as few predictions as possible. To emphasize that, I hand-drew the one prediction. That makes the line seem less authoritative and believable than one Excel draws, which is appropriate.

(One of my proudest moments back when I had a real job was in 1985 or so, when I was first charged with scheduling a project. I had to predict out about nine months, using an early version of Microsoft Project. In response, I invented Schedu-Sane®. It was a sheet of plexiglas you would lay over a printed schedule. The left side would be clear. But, as your eye travelled further to the right, forward in time, the plexiglas would become cloudy and warped, making it hard to see the predictions underneath - as is appropriate. Schedu-Sane was never constructed, but I told managers about it whenever I showed my schedule, thus reinforcing my reputation for eccentricity.)

I don't know whether I like Mike Cohn's or Kelly's chart better. I certainly don't have the experience to speak with authority about burndown charts.

## Posted at 09:26 in category /agile [permalink] [top]

What? - Gut? - So what? - Now what?

Esther Derby ran a BoF on retrospectives. She's written up her notes.

One of the things she talked about was a model of communication that she uses. It's summarized by the four questions in this posting's title. At a recent meeting, I compared something I'd just heard to those four questions and was inspired to do something I haven't done in many years: get so uncomfortable speaking to a group that I had trouble finishing.

Believe it or not, that's a recommendation. I have a fear of spending so much time in my comfort zone that I turn into one of those dinosaur consultants I scorned when I was young and fiesty. (Still do, actually.) I get uncomfortable whenever I notice I've been comfortable for a while.

## Posted at 09:00 in category /links [permalink] [top]

About Brian Marick
I consult mainly on Agile software development, with a special focus on how testing fits in.

Contact me here: marick@exampler.com.




Agile Testing Directions
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Working your way out of the automated GUI testing tarpit
  1. Three ways of writing the same test
  2. A test should deduce its setup path
  3. Convert the suite one failure at a time
  4. You should be able to get to any page in one step
  5. Extract fast tests about single pages
  6. Link checking without clicking on links
  7. Workflow tests remain GUI tests
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Design-Driven Test-Driven Design
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Views and presenters appear
Hooking up the real GUI


Popular Articles
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Tacit knowledge: Experts often have no theory of their work. They simply perform skillfully.

Process and personality: Every article on methodology implicitly begins "Let's talk about me."


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