Articles by Amanda Bizzinotto

The OmbuLabs Workflow: working with GitHub and Pivotal Tracker

As a remote team, we work and communicate asynchronously a lot of the time. Additionally, as a software agency, we work not only on client projects but also internal projects related to various aspects of the company. This means we will have stories and pull requests opened accross different internal projects at all times and it is important that everyone is on the same page when it comes to what needs their attention and what the next steps are.

We have shared more information on how we use Pivotal Tracker here. We also like to use GitHub to its full potential. Therefore, we needed a standardized workflow that would take into account how we use both these tools and ensure everybody on the team knows what is going on by looking at a Pivotal Tracker board or a list of open Pull Requests.

In this article, I will walk you through the workflow we created for our team. You can find a flowchart representation of the workflow here.

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Team Retreat: How They Can Help Remote Teams "Click"

Remote work is a growing reality. In the 21st century, we have distributed companies that work 100% remotely, with team members scattered around the world.

While remote work has its benefits - diversity in background and experiences, access to an immense talent pool, cut down office costs to name a few - it also brings its challenges. And the biggest one is communication.

There are several pieces of software that aim to facilitate communication in a remote work environment. At OmbuLabs, we use Slack for our day-to-day conversations and Zoom for our calls. However, as a remote team, we don't get to meet our teammates face to face. We don't have "water cooler" chats or as many opportunities for casual chats as an office environment.

So how can we bring our team closer together? How can we build that team spirit that comes from seeing everyone and talking about our casual, social lives? Well, last month we had a team retreat. And it was great.

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Onboarding New Team Members with Slack Workflows

When a new team member comes onboard, there are several tools and resources they need to access, as well as processes, practices and guidelines they need to be aware of. There is also workflow and company culture information you want to communicate. After all, each company has its unique features and you want new team members to be comfortable with the existing team.

For remote teams, this process can be very challenging. Thankfully, if you use Slack, you can use their Workflows feature to easily onboard new team members, making the process actionable and easy to follow.

In this article I'll describe how I used Slack Workflows to make the onboarding process here at OmbuLabs quick and easy.

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Making Your Clients Better Product Owners

Different clients bring different projects, perspectives, workflows, and experiences, as well as different challenges. Before starting a project, one of those challenges is to define who will be the Product Owner.

Ideally, you would be able to assign the role internally or to the client based solely on the characteristics of the project. However, that's not always the case. It might just be that the client insists on being the Product Owner or that you are a small team and can't really assign the role internally. Whatever the reason, you might end up in a situation where your client isn't really a good Product Owner.

Here I'll share some strategies we implement to help our clients become better Product Owners and ensure the best experience for them and for our team.

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The Manual Tester: Becoming the Best QA Asset For Your Team

No app is flawless. We all know that. Quality Assurance is an important part of any software development process and the better the tester, the higher quality the software that gets deployed to production.

But… how to be a better manual tester? Applications have evolved greatly and are becoming more and more powerful, but the manual testing process stays pretty much the same. So what is it that will make you stand out?

Here at OmbuLabs we have some techniques that we employ that ensure our high satisfaction rates. In this post, we’ll share some tips with you.

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Manual Testing: How to become a better tester of your own code

Manual testing is a necessary part of software development and quality assurance. And although it's important to have a dedicated tester in your team, you as a developer can also help speed up QA, and thus the software development process, by becoming a better manual tester of your own code.

But how to do that? I'll cover 4 simple points that will help you get there!

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