Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui, William Schmarzo, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Open Source Cloud

Java IoT: Book Review

Book Review: Executable Specifications with Scrum

A Practical Guide to Agile Requirements Discovery

This book is exactly what the sub-title "A Practical Guide to Agile Requirements Discovery" says it is. The book is a very detailed breakdown of the steps that should be taken by Scrum teams that want to succeed.

I have listed the chapters below to give you an overview of the topics the author covers in this book.

Chapter 1. Solving the Right Problem
Chapter 2. Relying on a Stable Foundation
Chapter 3. Discovering Through Short Feedback Loops and Stakeholders’ Decrements
Chapter 4. Expressing Desirements with User Stories
Chapter 5. Refining User Stories by Grooming the Product Backlog
Chapter 6. Confirming User Stories with Scenarios
Chapter 7. Automating Confirmation with Acceptance Tests
Chapter 8. Addressing Nonfunctional Requirements
Chapter 9. Conclusion

In the first chapter the author covers how the scrum teams can distinguish requirements from the solution. In other words the what from the hows.

In the second chapter the author shows how to develop guardrails which are basically the artifacts and activities that will keep the project within its defined scope. The examples that the author uses are a healthy team, involvement of all stakeholders, a shared vision, a meaningful common goal, a set of high-level features, and "can-exist" assumption.

In chapter 3 the author really drives home applying the trial and error method for discovering desirements through short feedback loops.

In chapter 4, Expressing Desirements with User Stories, the author does a great job of showing how to create user stories. He does a great job of breaking down the structure of the user story and introducing the questions that you ask when creating them- who, what, and why, questions. The author also touches on the importance of establishing Ubiquitous Language. Ubiquitous Language is a shared team language that defines a certain domain. Chapter 6 also touches on Ubiquitous Language. He ends the chapter by introducing how to use a product backlog to record desirements.

The next chapter, Refining User Stories by Grooming the Product Backlog, is all about roles and activities that need to be in place in order to managing the product backlog correctly. Topics include Managing the Product Backlog, Collaborating to Groom the Product Backlog, Ranking User Stories with a Dot Voting Method, Illustrating User Stories with Storyboards, Sizing User Stories Using Comparison, Splitting User Stories Along Business Values, Tracking User Stories with a Collaboration Board, and Delivering a Coherent Set of User Stories.

Chapter 6 is all about confirming your User Stories by scripting scenarios that validate them. The author also introduces two tools for automating validation. He introduces the Framework for Integrated Test (FIT) and the Given-When-Then syntax the Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) community uses. He also touches on Ubiquitous Language again and its importance.

Chapter 7 is all about automating confirmation, which is done by turning scenarios into acceptance tests. This chapter explains how to make the scenarios “executable” by a computer. The author introduces existing BDD automation frameworks which include Cucumber for Ruby, JBehave for Java, and SpecFlow for Microsoft .NET. I downloaded SpecFlow which is a solid framework backed up by very thorough documentation.

The last chapter before the concluding chapter covers Nonfunctional Requirements (Quality Attributes). Quality attributes are all about tradeoffs and constraints. The author does a great job of explaining quality attributes, showing how they are broken down into internal and external categories, and then applied through constraints (which he calls restrictions).

The two things I like most about this book was the flow of the chapters and the author's recognition of the importance of architecture.

The chapters build on each other so I definitely recommend a cover to cover read of the book. The author has a great writing style, so that is easy to do.

When the author spells out what roles make up a team he includes architects. He defines architects as members of the development team who are responsible for designing the structural foundation upon which the solution is built. Their role is to ensure the development team builds the software right and delivers quality work. I have seen a lot of confusion in Scrum teams when it comes to architecture, because a lot of the Scrum material out there today discounts it.

All in all I found this book a very enjoyable read. If you are involved with agile development teams, you should definitely read this book. The elicitation of requirements is really lacking in most of the agile teams I encounter. This book can help to remedy that.

Executable Specifications with Scrum: A Practical Guide to Agile Requirements Discovery

More Stories By Tad Anderson

Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...