Blog

Re-platforming with Scala for scale, fun, and profit

Following our advice on how to convince your CFO to invest in modernising your systems, this article describes some techniques for re-engineering away from a legacy system to a modular, test driven, reactive architecture running on JVM, the Java platform.

How to automate Ghost Inspector with Capistrano

A few months ago one of Steven Richardson's colleagues asked if he could automate Ghost Inspector tests with each deployment to the QA server for a particular project. In this tutorial, Steven explains how to automate Ghost Inspector with Capistrano and quantify the results with Google Analytics. 

How to write a Server Density plugin

An important part of developing and maintaining applications is the ability to monitor the environment they run on. Inviqa’s 24/7 support services depend on a number of tools to ensure that we get all the information required to monitor the health of our client's applications, and for server monitoring we use Server Density. This tutorial covers how to create your own Server Density plugin. 

3 tips for better brand communication online

It’s no longer enough to produce an arresting design with some PR-based copy and simply wait for the sales to roll in - instead, brands must plan for inevitable change and find ways to ensure their message isn’t lost as their customers and competitors charge ahead. Here are 3 tips to help you communicate better online.

The Kanban Can-Can

Kanban advice and strategies for Business as Usual/maintenance projects from Adam Scott, Project Manager.  

3 legacy system upgrade failures

Companies are always looking to update their systems and improve, often by investing in huge development projects which will completely rejuvenate their whole system. While on paper it may seem achievable and advantageous, when put into practice, problems frequently arise, incurring unimaginable costs and causing the whole implementation of the project to be questioned.

Here are some examples of companies who have been forced to abandon their undertakings due to unprecedented complications, and have had to fork out millions in the process.

When legacy software goes wrong

Legacy software is not glamorous, but it props up our banks, hospitals, airlines and companies across the world.

On the surface, you can’t always tell the state of the systems beneath. Updates are installed, software is upgraded, and layers upon layers of code are added to keep systems running, yet not as seamlessly as they may appear.

This patchwork approach solves the short term issues, but as seen in this post, inadequate stitching can have catastrophic consequences.

Testing myths debunked

Here we take a look at some of the more common myths about testing and, from a tester’s point of view, provide correct and valid information for each point.

 

Software testing has been around for many years now but over this time some incorrect assumptions have arisen about what testing is, what the process involves and how the process of testing can add value to the software development process.


Here we take a look at some of the more common myths about testing and, from a tester’s point of view, provide correct and valid information for each point. 

The value that a Quality Assurance team would add to any business which is involved in, or requires, software development, will be made evident.

An introduction to testing & quality assurance

Shortly after the first systems were created using high-level computer code, it was inevitable that the role of the tester, whether known or unknown at the time, was about to be created.

Testers deal in ‘what’ and ‘why’. What does the system do? Why does it do it in a particular way? What happens if value x is used instead of value y? Why is the system configured with these particular values?

Testers have a different way of thinking, different methodologies and different approaches to systems than other technical staff.

PHP South Coast: A promising start

This year a new PHP conference was born for the developer community. 

PHP South Coast was billed as “a community conference by the sea” and this weekend it made its debut at Action Stations in Portsmouth, a venue literally by the sea. 

The organisers found a fantastic location and the line-up was just as good. 

Here are some of the highlights.

Empathy: the difference between product ownership and scope creep

When practicing Agile, the product owner (PO) role is designed to represent the client business in the development team. From a technical standpoint, the product owner lends focus to the team. From the customer standpoint, the product owner adds an increasing degree of accountability to the day-by-day and to the project as a whole. The product owner is more than critical to the outcome of the project.

Here are some guidelines towards empathising with and building a relationship with your product owner.

5 simple tips for Scrum masters when starting a new Scrum team

As many companies within the IT industry move away from Waterfall/PRINCE 2 and more towards Agile/Scrum, it can be hard for project managers and Scrum teams to know what the best approaches are for a new Scrum team.

There is a lot of information online that provides information about what Scrum is, what tools are available, and what the Scrum process is. I have worked in the digital/ IT industry as project manager/ business analyst since 2005 and have worked with Scrum since joining Inviqa at the start of February 2014. The transition has been a steep learning curve and in this article I will share some of the practices I have learnt to improve Scrum team efficiency.

Don't say the A-word: The cultural challenges of adopting Agile

Can you make Agile successful without fighting your company's culture? 

Last week, a select group of technical, digital, and marketing professionals from the UK’s leading insurance, publishing and telecoms industries met at an invite-only dinner to discuss the challenges faced by organisations attempting to adopt Agile. 

Here's a round-up of the discussion.

Are you guilty of having an Agile “project”?

A lot of insightful experiences of Agile were shared at Inviqa's first networking dinner, mainly about the methodology as a project management approach, and the cultural change required to make Agile ‘work’ outside the realm of IT projects. 

But one particular point stuck in my mind.

“I wish,” said one of the participants, “that [other parts of the business] would stop referring to what we do as projects. I wish we could agree on short- and long-term KPIs and work continually to achieve them.”

From Waterfall to Agile: A guide for Project Managers

As the project management industry moves more towards Agile and SCRUM, it’s easy to feel like you are being left behind. 

No matter how alien these methodologies may seem, transitioning from a Waterfall/ PRINCE2 approach doesn’t have to be a monumental change.

This guide aims to help project managers bridge the gap between Waterfall and Agile with practical tips from an experienced PM.