326 Weekly Journal 1

Overview for All Journals

The weekly journals are a mechanism to encourage you to read, reflect upon your prior experience in light of the new material, and make an action plan to guide your work with your project team in the upcoming weeks.   Journaling for this class is more free-form than the reading journals from 324, and although I have suggestions for themes each week, what you write should depend more upon you, your skills, your career aspirations, and how well (or not) your team is coalescing into a productive unit.

In this term, I am asking you to read Jeff Sutherland’s book on Scrum.  As one of the major contributors to Agile methodology, he has a passion and enthusiasm for the approach that he shares with readers and a historical perspective on the problems of the “traditional” development methods that formed the rationale for a different way of approaching software development.  I also think that his writing style is more approachable than what you will find in many textbooks and articles, and I hope that his unique positionality will enhance your understanding of Scrum and its contributions to software engineering theory and software development practice.

I also am asking you to read one or more of the articles on managing distributed global software development teams.  From the fall terms, we know that the combination of online work and shortened time frames has been stressful for students.  Some of you have direct experience with being a student in 324 during the spring transition and the fall terms.  I encourage you to reflect on your experiences and consider how you can aid the students who will be your junior engineers this term.


For your first journal, read Sutherland Chapters 1 & 2.  Read the Appendix if you can, since that has a review of the whole Scrum process.  And skim at least one article on remote software development.


For the first journal, in fact, I ask you to write about:

  1. After having experienced a (mostly) Scrum-based software development project, how does your experience compare with Sutherland’s vision of Scrum?  What aspects of your experience does he describe?  What aspects of your experience were different?
  2. What aspects of Scrum worked well for your team in the past that you might encourage your new team to adopt?
  3. What features of Scrum did your prior team NOT use effectively?  Do you intend to encourage your new team to try them?  Why or why not?
  4. What “lessons learned” can you share with your team to help them “get up to speed” quickly?  What do you wish you had known when you started on your first team project?
  5. What planning and communication tools will you encourage your team to use?  Why?
  6. What skills do you want to develop or improve during this term?  How can I help you?  What could our alumni mentors do to help you?

What to Hand In (the “Deliverable”)

Please write at least two pages reflecting on the reading and planning for the beginning of the team project.  This should be submitted in PioneerWeb by 10:30 pm Friday February 5th.

Important note:  the writing style for your journal may be informal!!  You do not need to follow a particular style or use academic language for these assignments.  If you have other resources that informed your thinking and planning, please give credit to them, but you can do so with a brief mention of the author and source.

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