June 27, 2012

Behind the Scenes at the iLab SEA: Friday Demos for Agile Software Development

Friday (ថ្ងៃ​សុក្រ​), both in Khmer and in most Romance Languages convey the same meaning as the "day of Venus".  In Cambodia, Friday marks the end of the work week for most of the foreign companies and organizations.
While you may think of wearing your lovely jeans with your favorite T-Shirt and sneakers on Friday, something even better than "Casual Friday" happens inside the iLab SEA.  Friday is the day where each of us shows off and surprises everyone with our new and improved features that we worked on that week.

On Friday afternoons, people are not working on adding new functionalities to their software products.  Instead, they are preparing necessary data for the features they are going to present, running all the unit tests, testing LCD projector and when they think they are ready, people just relax and have fun before the 4pm show time.
Usually most of the participants are internal, so it is important to keep the presentations as short and informal as possible while still showing the team your progress.  We all love to impress others with the most interesting part of what we've created while also getting feedback and validations before the tool goes live.
In order for us to "fail fast and learn quickly", we do these meetings on a weekly basis. It's important for us to learn what we did right and wrong each week so that we don't work blindly and limit the product to our personal assumptions only to have someone else see it and express their disappointment. This practice is one of the best parts of the Agile software development process.
CMPE Project for resource tracking in Laos
Resource Map Android
By continuing to practice Friday demos, we can improve our products while simultaneously learning about our team productivity and velocity.  Sharing like this is an important part of building the team's confidence as each of us needs to stand up to the crowd and proudly talk and share our expertise and experience so that we are more prepared for the next challenging journey ahead.
What does Friday mean to you and in your company? Have you done any interesting activity in Friday?

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