Agile Allure

Through the wonderful Agile Atlanta, I got to visit another company’s location this week – Allure Global. They make dynamic signage for movie theaters – concessions and ticketing, etc. They are an Extreme Programming shop, which means they use the XP practices like TDD, collective code ownership, and others. They have two week iterations. They code in Java and use Jira as their project management tool. I took a couple of pictures.

This first picture of the workspace for one of their delivery teams.

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Note the monitors side by side at each station. That’s because they do pair programming, another of the XP practices. When they come in to work, the team members pair up and start working on the days tasks. They don’t keep the same pairs and anyone can sit at any workstation – all of the code is shared and can be worked on by anyone. Checkins are signed by both members of the pair.

The second picture shows their dashboard and the status of their continuous integration.

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They use Jenkins to manage the automatic build, test and deployment of code. The bottom screen is green because the build for that evening was successful. You can also see the number of tests (or checks) that were run. Those are the tests that run as part of the build and they run FAST. All 20 some-odd-thousand of those tests run in a matter of seconds. These tests use mocks and other test doubles which allow them to run fast, but also to check only the specific code addressed. Having a fast-running, comprehensive suite like that makes it so much easier to refactor and redesign because you’ll get immediate feedback if you’ve broken anything else in the process. It’s a great feeling!

The top screen shows the status of the automated functional and/or Acceptance tests – see zone two of the testing quadrants! These tests are more integrated and (as a result) slow and work at the story/feature level and are of more interest to the customer/product owner.

The top screen also rotates to other information radiators important to the team, like a burndown chart.

Much thanks to the friendly folks at Allure Global for sharing their environment and processes with me!

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  1. #1 by andrewfuqua on December 13, 2011 - 3:06 pm

    Nice writeup, Alex. Thanks, I’m glad you were able to make it.

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