Articles about Agile

Submit Great Pull Requests

Pull Requests let developers tell other team members about changes they've made to a project repository. Once a pull request is created, team members can review the set of changes, discuss potential modifications and even push follow-up commits before the changes are merged into the repository. Therefore, it is important to make sure that your pull requests are easily understandable to the reviewers.

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Using Google Calendar for Account Management

At Ombu Labs, we like to split our time between working on our own products, open source and client projects.

Our own products include everything from OmbuShop, an e-commerce platform, to FastRuby.io, a Ruby on Rails upgrade service. In terms of open source, we recently created Audit Tool and are constantly searching for more projects to contribute to. We also work on a variety of interesting client projects, and with our current team size, like to take on two to three of them at a time.

As an Account Manager, it can get hectic trying to manage all of this. Google Calendar can be a serious help.

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Kickoff Calls for New Projects

When starting a new software development project with a client, it is important to get started on the right foot. The way you communicate with a client at the beginning of a project can set the tone for how communication will be throughout the project.

Therefore, at Ombu Labs, we believe it is crucial to start off every new project with a Kickoff Call, where we can take time to get to know the client's team and speak in depth about their goals and priorities for the project. We like to discuss the following list of topics with clients during our calls:

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How we use Pivotal Tracker at Ombu Labs

We tend to use GitHub for everything at Ombu Labs, but sometimes our clients prefer Pivotal Tracker. We have no problem with Pivotal Tracker, we just like to keep everything in one place, that is why we prefer GitHub for everything.

There are many things that are easier with Pivotal Tracker, as long as you are using it the right way. Some of its features are very useful for agile teams like ours. This is how we like to use it to ship value with every sprint and keep track of our velocity.

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The Joys and Woes of Pair Programming

There are a few agile practices that I really love. Pair programming is one of them.

We try to do it as much as possible at Ombu Labs. We usually keep the sessions under two hours and try to follow a regular schedule.

When we find ourselves blocked by a code problem, we use our daily scrum to coordinate a pairing session. It's quite a step up from rubberducking or using a cardboard programmer to find a solution to a problem.

@mauro_oto and I pair programming

The Joys

As a Senior developer, I find that pairing sessions are great for coaching Junior developers. I enjoy teaching them about best practices, design patterns, frameworks, languages, code style, XP, and TDD.

From the point of view of a Junior developer, I believe it's a great opportunity to learn from someone who "has been there before". When you program with someone with more experience, you will often learn about design patterns, elegant object-oriented solutions, tips and tricks.

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