Think Differently When Infrastructure is in the Cloud


If you are fortunate enough to be using cloud based resources, it is cost effective to configure Production Like Environments for load testing. The combination of Infrastructure as Code and the Pay as You Go price model in the cloud makes this possible.

Let’s assume that your cloud based production infrastructure is distributed world-wide and has a cost of $70,000 per month. It is not feasible to replicate this infrastructure in other environments full time at this cost.

The above example equates to about $100 per hour. We do not need load test environments full time. We only need them a fraction of that time. Since is it easy to create infrastructure, we can delete it when we do not need it, and thus we do not pay for it. If we run our load test each night for two hours, the cost of a load test on an environment like production is $200 per day.

So, there is really no reason these days to skimp on lower environments.

Simple Technique for Strong Passwords


This is a short and simple blog post that solves a modern challenge. It is important to have strong passwords for our many accounts. These passwords should include a mix of upper and lower case characters, numbers and special characters.

The password should not be any meaningful string either. Spouse names, cities or super hero's should not be used. for example 1r0nman! is not a good password.

It is also important to never record our passwords anywhere. Is someone sees our list, the know our password.

So how can we remember complex passwords that have no meaning without writing them down? I recently have started using a phrase as the basis for my passwords that I will not forget. I use the first letter of each word in the phrase for the password. For example:

I love to walk in the woods and look at the birds

This becomes:


This gives us a strong password that people are unlikely to guess. 



Agile and Dev Ops Links


Over time I have found a number of useful articles and videos on Agile Practices that I have included in this blog post.  I have also included some articles I have written that are posted on the Scrum Alliance site. I hope you find them useful.

From the Web

  • Product Ownership in a Nutshell - Excellent video on Product Ownership and agile delivery in general. We also learn a very useful way to track progress of software projects. This was produced by Henrik Kniberg who has a very creative way of visualizing processes.
  • Spotify Culture - Part 1 - This was also created by Henrik Kniberg. He works at Spotify and describes the culture there. Hendrick describes how large teams successfully work together to deliver complex software. Spotify Culture - Part 2 completes the story.
  • Devops Where do I Start Cheat Sheet - This is a very comprehensive set of links to articles and videos on Dev Ops. It is very Microsoft and Azure focused but will be useful to anyone attempting to understand where to start on this huge topic. I particularly liked the book The Phoenix Project. It is a fun and easy read similar to the One Minute Manager.
  • Lead an autonomous DevOps team at Scale: a true story - This presentation was done at the Microsoft Ignite 2016 conference. It describes how Microsoft was able to change from a delivery cycle of every two years to delivery into production every three weeks. 

My Articles

Best of luck to all of you in your delivery of great software.

Plan and Schedule You Sprint Meetings With This Handy Template

In large corporations, everyone's schedule is packed with meetings. This makes is difficult to schedule the important meetings Scrum needs.

I have created a template that I have been using that is simple and easy.

It includes the name of the project and the sprints contained in a given release. Dates of important activities and meetings are also included.

Once the dates have been established, I schedule All Of The Meetings well in advance. Normally schedules are more open weeks in advance. Once these meetings are on the team's calendar, they schedule other meetings around the existing sprint meetings.

You may access a copy of the template here.