Chennai Agile User Group November Meetup.

I went to Chennai Agile User Group November meet up on Saturday. Myself, Siddh and Sury Balasubramanian (yes, only we three turned up) met in Gaea Global at about 3 PM and we were discussing till 5 Pm.

First I would like to thank Sury for providing space and Siddh for organizing meet. It was a very good and effective meeting. Siddh showed us how to use Selenium for testing web applications. Sury’s company is using Fit for testing in his projects. He showed us how they are doing it. We discussed about continuous integration. Sury is using CruiseControl and Siddh is using a tool called Hudson . We discussed about it.

We also discussed how to publicize Chennai Agile User Group. We thought of doing some hands on in the next session.

Siddh shared his book : A Practical Guide to Feature-Driven Development. I have already read about 5 chapters in it. Its really a good book. I am planning to complete reading this book before our next meet-up.

Our next meet-up will be on Dec 1 2007 at 3 PM at  Gaea Global


Effectively using my Time…

Last week, I read about Time Management and I am currently following this in my work

  1. I prepare my Action Items(To Do list) with priorities the previous night. I try to accomplish everything on the list. Initially, I was having too many action items in the list for every day (inexperience). Now a days I see to that I have only important tasks that should be done for the day. If something new comes up, I add it to the list and prioritize.
  2. I follow the STING method more often now a days. I am finding it very useful.
  3. Starting this week, I decided to spent less (no) time on my personal work during office hours. By personal work, I mean – checking personal email, reading blogs etc. Even I am making a practice of looking at my official emails only 2 /3 times a day. I have disabled all those silly new mail reminders and keep my outlook closed most of the time.
  4. I am maintaining a time Journal as suggested by Dr. Randy Pausch..
    From this journal I identified that I was spending time without any specific objectives in my mind. For example, I had an RSS Reader installed on my office computer and have subscribed to quite a lot of RSS feeds. I used to open the reader atleast 2-3 times a day – just to mark all the entries as read 🙂 Gosh.. I was maintaining the RSS Reader like my Inbox. I didn’t want to see any unread items there. Crazy way to spend my time…. Now , one of my low priority task is to clean up the RSS reader and have it subscribe to only ** selected** feeds. (At one point of time I decided to uninstall it completely. But then, blogs are one of the effective ways to learn; so decided to keep)My time journal is a simple XL file which contains 3 columns – Time (15 mins interval), What I did, Whether its productive Time / Unproductive time. I update this sheet every 30 mins. Try this and its an excellent method
  5. We are now doing kind of Pair Programming in office. No, not to the extend specified in XP. But its just a start. My team mate and myself are finding it very useful. We alternate (drive) the key board every 1.5 hours. We start with a specific goal in our mind for each session and continue until the goal (task) is accomplished. Benefits : Effective use of time, no distractions, learn from each other.

STING Method to stop procrastination

Today I followed the STING method to overcome my procrastination.  Using this method, I was able to read a time management book in  5 one hour sessions ( 5 hours of productive time).  I made a decision to read the book for one hour without any distractions or interruptions.  After one hour, I took a break of 10 – 15 mins. I started again to read for another 1 hour.
After reading this book,  I feel highly motivated.  Tomorrow I will be reading an ASP.NET book using the same method.

Time Management…

I am reading about Time Management for sometime now.  A couple of interesting links:

I have already started implementing the idea of Time Journal.  The results are showing off on my productivity for the past couple of days. I have to keep this going. I am planning to publish the summary of my time journal every day in this blog.  I would also be implementing some other ideas I learnt from my reading about this subject.  Before I put them here, I want to try it first.  Let me see how it goes.