Brief History and Timeline of Agile Development

Software development continues to evolve as the programming languages behind it evolve. The rationale behind the evolution was geared towards its improvement through better means of creating detailed and defined requirements, designing the architecture that would support the requirements, and to create it in a methodological manner. Although these needs were met, developers didn’t really feel that they were addressed at all in terms of dealing with rapid changing requirements.

By the late 1990s, the methods and processes of software development that had existed in the 80s were already considered as bureaucratic and slow. As a way to circumvent these heavyweight methods, a small group was formed in the mid 90’s that promoted innovative approaches to software development and enabled organizations to adapt to the changing requirements and technology. This was the time when they realized that embracing change and working around it was the way to implement a more improved development strategy and process. It was during this time where Agile software development was at its peak as a means to counter these heavyweight methods.

According to some reliable sources, it was sometime between February 11 and 13 of 2001where a group of 17 people met at the Snowbird Ski Resort in the Wascatch Mountains of Utah and formed the Agile Alliance. The Agile Alliance was formed by a select group of people that contributed to the development of Agile methodology. Among the founders were Alistair Cockburn, Bill Opdyke, Jennifer Stapleton, Arie van Bennekum, Jeff Sutherland, and Ken Schwaber.

Agilecycle

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Benefits of using Agile Development

Agile development is a process of creating software through a small series of different tests with code before the correct formula is designed. Designers who use Agile development go through a lot of meetings prior to each step being carried out. A lot of designs, testing, and reports made are involved in the development and are important factors in the process. Without these, Agile development is just as mediocre as any other programming methodology. Agile development has been around for a decade and has benefited a lot of businesses that want to have their own customized software.

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What are these benefits?

  1. Clients are more satisfied because they are included in the development process – As mentioned earlier, meetings are held after every step prior to testing. These meetings allow clients to be more hands-on throughout the development process, so they are always updated with what’s happening and how the progress is. Throughout the meetings, clients are also asked for their input on what they want to include in the software, thus giving them more customization options as opposed to using traditional programming methodologies.
  2. The final outcome is perfect – A lot of testing and design is involved in the Agile development, which will take a long time to create the final outcome. Developers are making changes in the middle of the development, as opposed to some who implement them after the software is finished. This saves both clients and developers time when it comes to adding or removing features to the program. This also enables developers to change the internal structure of the code without changing the external behaviour of the software.
  3. Developers already know how to develop the program before they even start – Agile developers only need a basic idea of the software they are going to make before they start on the project. As mentioned, there is no need to wait for changes to be implemented because they are done in the middle of the development. The beginning stage of the development is merely laying the groundwork for the software. Clients and developers can add the layers throughout the development phase later on.
  4. Agile development is faster and saves money – Agile development lives up to its name. software programs created through Agile development are created faster, meaning clients have less money to shell out throughout the development process.
  5. Software created using Agile development have a bigger chance of being sold in the market – This is because the process of Agile development avoids the plateaus of other programming methodologies where the software is not used or sold because clients are dissatisfied. The latter doesn’t follow the same process as Agile development, so there are more errors and delays encountered after the final outcome. Agile development can give you a software that’s fully polished and functional.

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Worst Software Blunders Ever Reported

Computer programs were designed to reduce human errors in various applications, from the assembly line to bookkeeping and records keeping. Sadly, this is not always the case, as blunders often haunt either the program or the user, or both. Intertech.com has come up with a list of the worst computer software blunders. Take note, some of these blunders have occurred more than 10 years ago.

Hospital kills its patients on paper – In February of 2003, St. Mary’s Mercy Medical Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan was reported to have killed a total of 8,500 patients due to the software blunder. In reality, the patients who had their procedures done from October 25 to December 11 2002 were still alive and kicking. The glitch of the hospital’s system notified Social Security, patient’s insurance company, and the patients themselves that they were dead. Jennifer Camenga, spokesperson for the hospital, said “To us, this is really not a very big story. We’re not going to elaborate any more … It was a mapping error. That’s all we have to say about it.” Quite frankly, this kind of blunder would be an alarming one if this happened today.

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How One Small Website Started An Installment Loans Business

Banking and finance is an extremely competitive industry. The banking industry is one of the worlds biggest and most powerful industries sporting some enormous players. Some of the world’s biggest businesses are involved in banking and finance.

And some of the best and brightest minds coming out of college are headhunted by banks and other finance companies so that those people can be at the forefront of keeping those businesses on top.

And so it is extremely difficult for any small operator to start up a new business in the banking and finance sector, get that business well known, market it successfully and start attracting sufficient business to turn a profit.

However that’s what one very small finance company has done. It’s a small company offering installment loans, including installment loans for bad credit, and it has started up as a very small fish in a very big pond.

One of the biggest issues facing tiny finance companies is competing with the big players on marketing. The major banks and finance companies have almost unlimited marketing budgets and can outspend all of their competitors, and regularly do so.

And traditional marketing channels, such as television advertising, are extremely expensive and prohibitively so for any small player that wishes to join the industry and compete.

However one small company with a very canny manager has managed to compete successfully by avoiding all the traditional forms of advertising, such as television advertising, and promoting itself online through one small website.

You can find the website at http://www.installmentloansguide.com/. A website such as this is relatively cheap to build and host. It’s perfectly possible to build a website like this on a tiny budget and, if it is promoted successfully, start attracting considerable quantities of business at a very limited cost.

Of course it’s extremely important that the small company select the right niche in which to operate, and in this case the company decided to offer very small value loans to people who were unable to attract loans through traditional methods.

By selecting an extremely narrow niche this company has managed to avoid direct competition from the largest players because the large banks and finance companies do not generally operate in this particular niche. Large banks and finance companies prefer to lend money to people who are clearly able to repay it and to have significant collateral that they can use to satisfy the banks need for collateral.

However this small company has decided to operate in the much smaller niche of installment loans and payday loans to people with limited collateral or none, and who have poor credit histories and low credit scores, and who are unable to access finance through more traditional means such as the banks.

This is one of the major advantages of the Internet to small companies. If done properly, through a small website, small companies are able to compete with the much larger players by promoting their business online.

It will be extremely interesting to see how successful this company is at promoting its business on the Internet alone. We suspect it will be extremely successful.


Putting Technology to Good Use – Appreciate the Internet

If you were to make a list containing the greatest human achievements, the internet would be right up there with the first flight in an airplane, discovery of electricity or people landing on the moon for the first time. An exceptional company to be in, without a doubt. And as is the case with all great achievements, we have gotten used to the internet and began taking it for granted. But, we are reminded how lucky we are and how hopeless we are without it every time when our internet connection stops responding for some reason.

Because we take it for granted, we rarely make use of its full potential. Sure, we might get a brilliant idea of how we can use the internet to our benefit once in a blue moon, but that’s usually just a flash, after which we go back to chatting on Facebook, tweeting, watching cat videos on YouTube and countless other things that are nothing but a pure waste of time. We need to remind ourselves on occasion that the internet can be used to educate us, help others and or even to make money.

Useful Information on the Web

The ideal combination would be for all three of these boxes to be checked. There are numerous examples where creative people use the World Wide Web to their benefit. Artists, especially musicians, promote their work using free services such as YouTube, Vimeo or MySpace. Photographers put up their portfolios on Flickr. Writers use WordPress, Blogger or Tumblr. Other professionals upload their resumes on LinkedIn, and much more.

Even some professions, such as nursing in this example, use the internet to spread the word and raise awareness about the problems they are facing. Nurse career websites like http://nursesalaryguide.net/ are very useful when it comes to choosing a career for yourself. Not only will you get information on how to pursue it, but also the exact salary in each state for several popular nurse specialties. Medical Assistant Salary Advisor is another example in the health sector covering, as you might guess from the name, medical assistant salaries and job prospects. On top of all that, you can see that trained nurses and other medical personnel are in demand right now, and it seems that that trend is set to continue for at least ten years. These are just a couple of examples of websites actually providing a service and useful information – plus I bet their owners are making some money in the process through advertizing.

As you can see, using the internet to find a new career or expand on the one you already have is entirely possible, and these information sites make it much easier to access the information in one place. This kind of research would have been very time consuming before the internet came along. It is about time we stopped for a moment and remembered that the internet was designed to help spread useful information. Cat videos came later.

I guess there is no harm in using the web for entertainment purposes but I sometimes worry that our children will grow up in ignorance of just what benefits the internet has to offer. It is good to step back once in a while and appreciate the truly amazing thing we call the world wide web!


How A Gun Safes Website Profits From Amazon

Whether you have a small personal website or a much larger website it will be costing you money (unless you are using one of the free services that you can find online such as Blogger or WordPress.)

And whilst the expenses might not be huge, in money, there is still a considerable amount of time which is normally put in to creating and maintaining a website.

And therefore it doesn’t hurt, even if your intention is not to earn a lot of money from your website, to at least make an effort to get some form of return from it.

There’s many ways that you can get some monetary return from a website, and today we wanted to look at one particular way to do that, using a simple website about gun safes as an example.

How a gun safe website profits from Amazon

Take a look at this page http://www.gunsafeadviser.com/gun-safe-reviews/. You’ll see that the page offers gun safe reviews where a number of gun safes are reviewed and images of each of these are offered. If you look at the images of the gun safes you’ll find that these have a link in the image, and if you click on that link you’ll notice that you go to Amazon where you will see the particular gun safe offered for sale on the website. Here’s another example http://www.gunsafeadviser.com/stack-on

Now of course the owner of that gun safe website could just simply go to Amazon, find the particular gun safe for sale on Amazon, copy the page link and insert that link into his own page on his own website, and there is no reason why not. Except that doing that sends business to Amazon without any form of return to the owner of the website that sends the business.

However if you own a website, and you review products like gun safes, and you link to the same gun safe on Amazon, then why not profit from that link? Why send your website visitors to Amazon where they will spend money buying a gun safe but without any return to you?

Why not indeed? Because it’s perfectly possible, if you know how, to get a special link which will be recorded by Amazon and which will have the effect of earning some income for you, as the owner of the gun safes website, any time someone goes to Amazon and buys a gun safe.

It’s what’s called an “affiliate program”. An affiliate program is where a large merchant like Amazon partners up with “affiliates” like you. In other words people who own a website where products might be reviewed, like those gun safe reviews, and where links could be placed in images and text which would direct visitors to the same product available for sale on Amazon.

And if a visitor comes to the website, to the gun safe reviews page, click the link in that page, goes to Amazon and buys that particular gun safe (or any other gun safe) then the website owner, (of course that’s you) makes a small commission on the sale.

Of course you won’t get rich doing this but it is a way for you to earn some simple return from the effort, and the money, that you are putting into your website right now.

Because of course whilst it’s fun creating your own website it does cost you money, and time, so why not profit a little?


Streamlining Life: Unusual Applications of Modern Technology

You would be very surprised if you were to find out all the places where computers and technology have found their application. Just start from with your cell phone. Five or six years ago cell phones were capable of sending and receiving texts, calls, maybe a picture or an email. Now, they are like more like entertainment centers you carry around in your pocket – mini computers in fact. Music, high-definition video, apps, internet, the works. It is all right there at your fingertips. TVs have caught up a long time ago, as well. But, that was sort of expected. What was less expected is that our washing machines, fridges, dryers, and just about any household appliance would become crammed with technology and connected to the internet. Once we get over the whole overkill effect, some applications make a lot of sense, and make our lives a whole lot easier.

However, some applications of modern technology still require you to do most of the work yourself. Then you might ask: What’s the point? Well, the point is that it makes the entire work process much more efficient and in most cases, even cuts it down significantly. For instance those among you who are looking to lose weight, get in shape, or simply those who are workout enthusiasts, know there are no shortcuts when it comes to putting in hard work and many hours in the gym. But, is that completely true?

Technology and Home Exercise

Technology is having a huge impact in the home exercise market. Lots of our favorite exercise machines have been embracing new technology and are now more advanced than ever. From exercise bikes and treadmills to rowing machines and the latest big thing – elliptical machines. Perhaps you are not familiar with elliptical trainers, in which case, you should check out this website – it will show you some of the best ellipticals on the market and it has a few videos to show you what these machines can do. This video will give you a better idea:

Now, they are not some kind of magical, hi-tech devices that will turn you into the incredible Hulk just by clicking a few buttons. But, what these elliptical trainers do have is a central console unit, a computerized hub. The unit records and gathers all of the workout data and displays it for you on an LCD panel. Parameters such as duration of the workout, number of steps/repetitions, calories burned, and distance traveled.

They also have heart rate monitors integrated into the handlebars of the machine, which measure your pulse. The is crucial for the fat-burning process. You see, your body burns fat only when your heart beats at certain rate. Instead of working out for hours, you can simply look at the monitor and aim for that fat-burning zone. This will make your workout much more streamlined and efficient. It may not exactly be a shortcut, but at the end of the day, that kind of technology will help you get in shape more quickly and you will have more free time, because you won’t spend countless hours on a trainer. Perfect for the busy lives we lead.

This is just one example of a new application for technology actually being useful and helping us manage our time. There is no telling where technology will take us in the future, but it is fun keeping an eye on all of the latest developments. Smart exercise – now there is a contradiction in terms!


How Computer Use Is Benefiting Forklift Drivers And Businesses

One of the most fabulous technological developments for business has been the computer. The computer, together with all the spin-offs from it such as mobile phones and tablets, is an extraordinary business tool and one which is being used in more and more applications.

One of the most recent applications that we have been reading about is the use of computers in forklifts. The use of computer operating systems to run forklifts is now becoming more mainstream, just as it is in many other vehicles like cars and trucks. Whilst of course the use of an operating system does not negate the need for a driver, just as in cars and trucks, the use of a good operating system allows the computer to undertake many of the tasks that may well have needed to be done by the driver in the past.

And modern wireless technologies also meaning that communication from the forklift to other computer devices is possible, adding an extra level of adaptability to the use of the forklift.

All of this increases the efficiency and the benefits of forklift use.

For instance any forklift driver can be directed, by use of electronic signal sent over the Wi-Fi network to the computer, to “push” order picks. The forklift driver can be guided to the exact location of any particular item of stock which needs to be moved by forklift. The computer can tell the driver exactly how many items are needed for movement and also confirm how many have been moved and send confirmation back once the complete order has been completed. Of course every forklift driver still needs proper forklift certification.

And by using the software properly this can also allow the business to follow a rolling stocktake so that as items are moved all dispatched stock levels are automatically updated on the inventry.

This has obvious benefits to the business in reducing time spent doing manual stocktakes and there are also obvious benefits for reducing the amount of products ordered which have become recently out of stock.

And of course computers, when properly used, do not make mistakes whereas forklift drivers do, and for this reason the use of mobile computing on forklifts reduces the possibility of driver error and the possibility of other mistakes. Where the computer is able to scan stocks before picking up, by use of a barcode scanning procedure, the computer can confirm that the driver is moving the correct infantry.

And of course it’s perfectly possible to program the computer so that the forklift driver can log himself in for each session so that tabs can be kept on the movements of each driver and tracking of any driver errors.

As well as that there can be safety benefits to having continuous transmitting and receiving data on forklifts so that there is constant vehicle positioning data.

Computers are becoming mainstream in just about every aspect of business. There are substantial benefits to turning over many tasks to computers rather than having those tasks performed by human beings and there is no difference when it comes to the use of forklifts.

Of course it is still essential to have a qualified forklift driver, however he is now freed up from some tasks.


The Latest in Modern Vehicle Technology

Ten years ago, the biggest and most luxurious technologies you could add to your vehicle were air conditioning, power locks and power windows. Through modern technology, it is conceivable for vehicles to be loaded with updated gadgets and safety features making it possible to be productive personally and for business without having to get out of the car. Here are five modern amenities and features that are installed in new vehicle models.

  1. Navigation System. This system is ideal for motorists who frequently travel or simply getting lost along the way. The navigation system makes use of the Global Positioning Satellite System (GPS) in which it can unerringly determine your current position. GPS navigation system can also provide the right directions to your destination. This navigation system can be operated in various ways with touchscreen, voice activation or combination of the two as the most common options. If you are looking for the nearest fast food restaurant, ATM, hospital or gas station, the system will guide you to go there without having to input the address.
  1. Power Outlet. Are you running out of battery charge for your smartphone or tablet (or any handheld gadget)? Worry no more because most modern vehicle models are equipped with power outlet located at the center console. This outlet allows charging of handheld gadgets.
  1. Adjustable Pedals and Steering. Most of the new vehicle models are designed with adjustable steering wheels. This feature allows the driver to easily move into and out of the driver’s seat. Aside from that, there are vehicle models with electric and adjustable foot pedals. These features provide comfort and ease in terms of the most suitable driving positions for the driver.
  1. Keyless Entry. Today’s vehicle models come with the keyless entry system. This system is designed to permit the driver to unlock his vehicle using a remote. Therefore, you can start the engine of your vehicle even if you are inside your home. This same remote comes with a panic button that sounds an alarm to alert other motorists as they pass by, informing them of your need for assistance.
  1. Camera System. Having problem parking? Recent vehicle models are installed with rear cameras assisting the driver to park properly and away from danger because it alerts the driver with an alarm if the vehicle gets too close to an object or another vehicle. The camera system usually provides a rear panoramic view.

Thanks to the advancement in vehicle technology, safety features and comfortable amenities are continuously improving. There are lot of choices when it comes to vehicle, visit this website and compare the best 7-seater SUVs in Australia.


Tips on Getting That Healthy Business Professional Look

Photo by Steve wilson

Business owners and employees have the responsibility to look and feel good especially if work entails them to face clients every so often. It is not enough that they wear the best clothes. If their glow comes from within, it will reflect on their disposition. This is why it is essential to practice healthy lifestyle so that they not only look good, but also feel good.

  1. Eat Healthy. Eating a well-balanced diet leads to a healthier body. It helps make the skin look better, and achieve the energy to do things. Overall health makes a person live a fuller life and that begins with nutritious diet. You cannot afford to be sickly and run a business at the same time.
  1. Exercise. As cliché as it seems, but exercise should be part of everyone’s routine. Exercise makes a person more energetic and lively. A person’s mood is also improved by a daily dose of physical activity. It even helps avoid life-threatening diseases and make you look younger and better. You can also consider enrolling at a gym such as Anytime Fitness for your regular fitness regimen. Read more about fitness gym review by clicking here.
  1. Find Time to Unwind. Stress is a major source of illness, and in this stressful world we live in, we have to find ways on how to relax and unwind. Think of ways on how you can relieve your stress such as a day at the spa, a trip to the movie house, or anything that suits your personality, so that every time you go to work, you feel good and energized.
  1. Be Well-Groomed. As a business professional and adult, this should no longer be reminded of you. It just has to be emphasized because good grooming reflects good personality. Men must keep their hair short and women must always keep a neat and well-combed hair. Clothes should be clean and pressed, and the shoes clean as new.

Part of over-all grooming is dental care. Professionals should not neglect their oral hygiene. A nice smile can do wonders. It is important to keep the teeth clean and shiny. Regular brushing and flossing is necessary, as well as dental check-ups. Nothing beats professional cleaning by a dentist. Employers should include dental insurance plan on their employee benefits package so they can afford regular dental services. This is essential if workers directly deal with customers on a regular basis. A refined look at work projects positive image of the company, which also benefits the business.