Sitecore Technical MVP Award 2014!

MVP 2014 -TechnologyA few months ago I submitted my candidacy for this year’s technical MVP awards and this month I was notified that I had been rewarded for my efforts in 2014! I am now officially a Sitecore Technology MVP.

I have joined a small group of excellent folks from around the world who are focused on helping their customers and the community work with Sitecore, including several of my colleagues at nonlinear.  My congratulations to Randy, Amanda, Nick, Glen, and Eduardo who also received awards!

Thank you, the reader, for all the help you’ve given me in this last year by reading this blog and asking such great questions!

Additional details:

Tracking hours burndown in Trello

TrelloIn the past, I’ve written about some tools for doing Scrum inside of Trello, as well as some guidance on creating Scrum boards using these plugins. Recently, I received a question about how to accurately track hours spent in Trello.  Zig Mandel, the man behind Plus for Trello and Spent for Trello, reached out and recommended taking a look at his Chrome plugin which does some similar tasks to Scrum for Trello and Burndown for Trello, but provides a richer hours burndown.

The plugin is advertised as an open-source and free tool that will not collect data or insert ads, whose primary purpose seems to be tracking time spent on cards in Trello.  A lot of reporting features and timers built into the plugin allow you to track at card levels, list levels, or across the entire board.  Other plugins I’ve used don’t have this level of accurate spent tracking for tasks, that is for sure.

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Sitecore Continuous Deployment: Video presentation from SVUG

SitecoreI had planned on kicking off a short series on how to tackle the challenges of Sitecore Continuous Deployment, but after I had written my post the Sitecore Virtual User Group (SVUG) held an online Q&A presentation by Jason Bert on Continuous Integration & Deployment. The presentation is a great introduction to the concepts and challenges.

Some notes on the presentation

Tools used:

TeamCity (build), Git (source control), Octopus Deploy (deployment), and Sitecore Courier (create update packages).

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Git branching model

gitI haven’t really had the chance to work with Git much over the years, other than creating a GitHub account and performing some simple merges on my own projects. For work reasons, however, I’ve been looking into sustainable models for using Git as an enterprise source control for larger, long-running projects.

My investigations started with the following branching strategy: http://nvie.com/posts/a-successful-git-branching-model/

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The NFR Dilemma: Capturing Nonfunctional Requirements in the Backlog

ScrumDevelopment teams using Scrum, or similar agile forms, will find that the constraints on the system that are represented by Nonfunctional Requirements (NFRs) can be a pain to capture and reference in product backlogs. The NFRs aren’t acceptance criteria, but the “story” isn’t really done unless it meets them. The NFRs  also usually span multiple stories, or the entire application itself (such as performance) so cannot be managed on an individual story level.

So how can we represent these constraints in the backlog?

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