About the Author

Rusty Divine

Rusty Divine is technical lead who cultivates a fun and friendly environment for his agile team where it is safe to make mistakes and continually learn. Rusty specializes in .Net web applications for businesses and enjoys working with customers and stakeholders, coaching developers, and helping manage projects. Rusty has a scientist’s training and curiosity with a degree in Geology that took him to Antarctica to study climate change for a season. Rusty lives with his wife and son in Nebraska.

Story Point Estimation: Could Your Team Do Better?

Rusty Divine Agile, Tutorial Leave a Comment

It can be rough to ask your development team to estimate work based on abstract story point values, especially when they are new to it or to each other. I know this and have experienced this in full.

So in this blog, I am going to share an exercise with you that will give every member of your team the same frame of reference for estimating the size of their work. I call this exercise Story Point Benchmarking.

Every Agile Software Project Needs a User Story Map

Rusty Divine Agile, Microservices Leave a Comment

In this blog, I share an example of a real-world, agile enterprise modernization project that benefited from a User Story Map.

I’m the team lead for a project to convert a business solution from COBOL to a .NET microservices architecture. Other than some interesting challenges with designing a robust microservices solution, the business logic is very straightforward – input files are processed, databases queried, output files are produced and dropped in a folder, and our goal is to match the output produced by the COBOL solution perfectly.

Yet, we lost our way fairly early on in the project because we had a typical prioritized backlog. Unfortunately, even on a straightforward, well-defined project with an engaged team, we still managed to veer off course.

Our project manager started asking questions about where we were in the project and where we were going. I struggled to answer those questions because I couldn’t make sense of all that was in our backlog. It was around this time that I took a spreadsheet and created our first User Story Map….

Creating a SQL Database Project for Isolated Development

Rusty Divine .NET, Databases, Development Technologies, Tutorial 2 Comments

In this article you see how to create a database project that will let you quickly and consistently deploy a database to your local environment. This approach can help to solve some issues from team members interfering with each other’s work on a shared development database.

Then, in an upcoming article, we will show you how to take the next step to include this database project in your continuous integration process and deploy it to each environment up the chain to production so that you can eliminate the need for any direct interaction with database updates.