project management - Shadow Copying in Perforce?

I am working with a team and we are trying to restructure our approach to managing our perforce depo. Our current solution is to maintain a separate "work" folder structure. Each person is limited to their own work folder a swell as discipline folder. We have people coming in and out of the project constantly so this way no one in art can mistakenly screw something up in programming. Once assets (this is a game) are done, they should be copied by one of the team leaders into the actual build. This way things can be kept clean and organized outs...Read more

project management - When should I use a Domain Specific Language?

I would like some practical guidance on when I should use a Domain Specific Language. I have found resources about advantages and disadvantages, but what kind of project would warrant its use?It seems like there is a big investment in time to create and maintain a DSL, so in what application space would I get a productivity return on my time investment?Edit: It seems the most common use of DSL is for file formats for persisting data state, what about using a DSL for program logic and structure(perhaps code generation)? When is this feasible?E...Read more

project management - Is it possible manage developers with high turnover if you can't lower the turnover rate?

I lead a small group of programmers in a university setting, having just moved into this position last year. While the majority of our team are full time employees, we have a couple of people who are traditionally graduate assistants.The competition for these assistantships is fairly intense, as they get free graduate school tuition on top of their salary while they have the job. We require that they sign up for at least a year, though we consider ourselves lucky if they stay for two. After that, they get their master's degree and move on to...Read more

project management - What tools do you have at your disposal as a manager to promote a way of thinking

This question goes beoynd just programming, but I'd like to get some input on this, if that's okay with the community. Preferably from people that do a lot of coding themselves but also manage other people coding.My problem is this. We have all these ideas that we know is good for the overall strategy of the company and the problem is not figuring out what to do, it's to come about this change. Just telling someone to do things differently isn't enough and it's hard to promote a mind set that is shared within all of the company, (this will take...Read more

project management - organizing code and how to hit deadlines in a programming deadline

I know this may not be exactly a coder question, but I feel it is still related to programming because I'm sure many developers have come across this before and might have some insight on how to resolve this or have advice. There is an actually programming question though.My issue as a developer.I work in a small company, roughly 15 people, 5 of which are developers include myself, the rest are tech support and management. Problem I'm having is, when we get a SOW (Statement of Work), our clients give us a rough description of the project they a...Read more

project management - Building and Planning of a Web-Application

Good morning everyone,I hope I'm not posting this in the wrong place; I've been programming web projects, mostly in MVC and ASP.NET for consulting companies, but I always pick-up unfinished projects, so I gotta say, my experience in web development isn't as good as I'd like it to be. To improve my experience, I decided to accept building a project for a veterinarian clinic and I'm going to build the project in MVC.There are a few things I'd like to know to make my project well structured and to avoid feeling lost in the process because I don't ...Read more

project management - Essential roles for web application team

Some friends of mine came up with an idea for a web application which we (so far) think could be great. I made the analysis and all the early stages of the development process and I'm about to start the coding. I'm talking about something that is barely a mid-level project, so I consider one developer (myself) should be enough.The thing is that we are trying to assign roles to each one of us so we can be focused on our duties and have clear our responsibilities within the team. We are a crew of four people, three of us (my friends) are business...Read more

project management - Capacity planning when using Kanban-base/Lean development

We are currently using Scrum to help develop a set of software libraries in C++ and C#. The nature of the domain is such that we need to be pretty reactive to changing requirements - so much so that sprint-planning often ends up being a waste of time due to the high level of emergent work. I'm thinking it's time to switch to a lean (kanban) development model instead of Scrum since this has worked reasonably well for us the past. Also on my mind though, is that I'd like to be able to make a case to my managers that my team is understaffed. I'...Read more

project management - Simplest and quickest way to portray an application for development

As a designer I sometimes feel the need to portray the main idea of an application in a graphical form like a flowchart. Something that is easy enough to understand for the development firms and could convey the purpose of the application and possibly the main features it needs to provide which they could ultimately use to reply back with recommendations, rough estimates and turn around times.The application will still be in the ideation phase so creating a prototype is an overkill. I could do it as a flowchart but I thought there should alread...Read more

project management - How do you manage a large product backlog?

We have a large backlog of things we should do in our software, in a lot of different categories, for example:New problem areas for our products to solve New functionality supporting existing problem areasNew functionality requested by our existing usersUsability and "look" enhancementsArchitectural upgrades to the back-endBug fixesManaging all of these in a sensible fashion is a job that falls to Product Management, but it is tricky for a lot of reasons. Firstly, we have a number of different systems that hold the different things (market req...Read more

How did you sign a contract to an Agile project? (not how you think you would, how you did)

To execute an Agile project you first need a contract. No contract – no project! No project – no Agile, SCRUM or whatsoever!The contract, if we are talking about mid to big projects, must have well defined safety triggers. I.e. customers want to be very much sure, that if we agree on ending a project in time = T, budget = B and scope = S we do not end up with time = T×2, budget = B×3 or scope = S/2. On the other hand we, as a company who delivers the product, do not want the project to end unexpectedly. I.e. if after some iteration customer say...Read more

Project Termination

I was recently working with a team to develop an online system. We had worked for several months and were making good progress when the project got canned. We all felt strongly that the projects completion was important and that it would have great outcomes on our consumers productivity. After being frustrated for a while I thought I should ask some people with more experience. What is the best way to deal with the frustration of a canned project and move forward so that it doesn't hold future possibilities back?...Read more

Software projects and development in a research environment

What are useful strategies to adopt when you or the project does not have a clear idea of what the final (if any) product is going to be?Let us take "research" to mean an exploration into an area where many things are not known or implemented and where a formal set of deliverables cannot be specified at the start of the project. This is common in STEM (science (physics, chemistry, biology, materials, etc.), technology engineering, medicine) and many areas of informatics and computer science. Software is created either as an end in itself (e.g. ...Read more