When do you study new technologies ?

I received many mails after my previous post. Some people told me that “you should not be allowed to study new technologies during SCRUM sprints“.

Really ? Let’s see when you do it then ! 🙂

Why I hate SCRUM daily stand-up meetings

I’ve been doing SCRUM stand-up meetings for 2 years before switching to a pre-sales role, and I’m going to tell you why I hated this.

Disclaimer #1: think again before posting your”you don’t understand what SCRUM is” comment. First, this blog post is not about SCRUM in general, but specifically about SCRUM daily stand-up meetings. Then, I fully understand the concept – thank you – but it’s just that I (ie: “me”) don’t like it and I think that there are other ways to achieve the same results.

Disclaimer #2: yes, this is about what I selfishly think… but it’s my blog so I do what I want 😉

Let’s all happily meet in the morning ! (late people will be crucified)

First, the meeting is supposed to begin every morning at the same time. Why in the morning ? Because “it helps set the context for the coming day’s work“. The issue is that developers – in France anyway – don’t like being told when to arrive in the morning: you arrive early, you leave early, you arrive late, you leave late !

But not anymore: with the SCRUM daily meetings, everyone needs to arrive more or less at the same time every morning (talk about freedom !). And if you arrive too early, you just wait for everyone while checking your favorite websites.Why ? Because it takes a while for you to get “in the zone” … and you don’t want to be interrupted during that time right ?

Did you clean your room honey ?

Then, let’s talk about the famous 3 questions: “What did I do yesterday ? What will I do today ? Do I have any impediments ?

Sounds like what my mum was asking me when I was 5 years old. “Well, yesterday at school, I learnt how to write my name. And today, I’m going to do some painting… but it’s hard: can you help me mommy ?“.

On top of this, the need to setup a meeting to learn what my collegues are working on feels so wrong to me. As the member of a team, I happen to know what people are working on just by talking to them during coffee/lunch breaks. Also, reading SVN commits comments is a great way to keep an eye on what people are doing.

Join up, they said! It’s a man’s life, they said!

Finally, I’ve always liked testing new software components. This is a way for me to learn new stuff, which is always exciting… and it keeps me motivated.

The problem with the daily meetings is that you cannot say things like: “well, yesterday I finished working on the billing component and today I’m going to spend a couple hours studying this new PDF rendering library because it looks very cool, even if this is something that has nothing to do with the backlog“.

So why don’t I like standup meetings ?

  • because I don’t want to be told exactly when to arrive in the morning.
  • because I don’t want to wait for everyone to arrive before being able to really start coding.
  • because I don’t need a daily meeting to know who is working on what (I’m a social guy and I use coffee breaks and lunchs to talk about that !)
  • because I don’t need to scream for help: I know who can help me if I’m stucked.
  • because I’m big boy !


Another way to manually install VMware tools on Linux

Today I tried to install the VMware tools on a fresh new Fedora 17 VM, so I made sure that the VM CD drive was linked to a physical drive in “Auto detect” mode:

Then I started the VM and chosed the “Virtual Machine > Install VMWare tools” option from VMware player:

This standard message was then displayed:

And then… nothing ! (I was expecting the Linux file manager to automatically popup, which usually happens when the “automount” feature is activated).

So I tried to follow the instructions to manually install the tools, with no success:

[root@localhost mnt]# mkdir /mnt/mycdrom
[root@localhost mnt]# mount -t iso9660 /dev/cdrom /mnt/mycdrom
mount: no medium found on /dev/sr0

Well, if you have the same problem, then this is easy to fix since it turns out that when you choose the “Virtual Machine > Install VMWare tools” option, VMware player tries to mount the [VMWARE_PLATER_HOME]\linux.iso image. On my Windows 7 laptop, this file is located in C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Player\linux.iso.

So all you need to do is to configure your VM so that the CD drive uses this image:

Then, stop and start the VM (rebooting didn’t work for me: I had to shutdown and restart it completely) and you should be good to go:


Connecting to a Windows Shared Drive from LXDE using Gigolo

When using Ubuntu or/and GNOME, there are many ways to connect to a Windows shared drive… but how can we do this from LXDE ?

Well, you don’t need to install samba, you just need to use Gigolo:

Once Gigolo is started, it will happily sit in your taskbar: this is important to know since closing the application by clicking on the X icon will not really close it, but will put it back in the taskbar. You need to use the “File > Quit” option to correctly close it.

Using the “Help > Supported protocols” option will display the list of supported protocols. The only we are interested in is called “Windows Share (smb)”. If you don’t see it, then you need to install the gvfs-smb package using yum.

From there, click on “Connect”, choose “Windows Share” as the service type and enter your username/password/credentials:

Et voilà: just right-click on the newly established connection and choose the “Open” option to see the files in the shared drive:

If you want to re-use your connection after closing and re-opening Gigolo, you need to create a bookmark:

The next time you open Gigolo, click on the bookmark dropdown list to display the list of existing bookmarks: