Product Owner vs Product Manager

I received from @akitaonrails an interesting article concerning the differences and responsibilities of the product owner and product manager roles.

For the author, the PO must perform:

  1. Articulate the product vision to the team
  2. Define the goals at the beginning of every sprint
  3. Tell the story behind each user story so that the development team understands what is required. So the PO must understand the end user requirements.
  4. Define or help define the user story acceptance criteria so the team knows when they are DONE
  5. Be able to prioritize the stories and be able to negotiate/collaborate on priorities with the team. Negotiate priorities occurs when after taking the top priorities off the backlog; there may be some remaining capacity that the next highest priority story won’t fit in to. So in those cases, a lower priority feature could be picked.
  6. Must be available at all inspect and adapt points to answer questions and help guide the team empirically

On the other side, the PM must perform:

  1. Defining the marketing strategies and outbound marketing communications
  2. Pricing strategies
  3. Understanding the positioning of the product in the market place
  4. Competitive analysis

For me, the PO mainly responsibilities are the ones that highlighted. What do you think about them?

Effect propagation to code

Reading Michael Feathers’ ‘Working Effectively With LegacyCode’, I found quite interesting his heuristics to trace propagation of effects to code:

  1. Identify a method that will change.
  2. If the method has a return value, look at its callers.
  3. See if the method modifies any values. If it does, look at the method that use those values, and the methods that use those methods.
  4. Make sure you look for superclasses and subclasses that might be users of these instance variables and methods also.
  5. Look at parameters to the methods. See if they or any objects that their methods return are used by the code that you want to change.
  6. Look for global variables and static data that is modified in any of the methods you’ve identified.

JFileContentManager included in the Softpedia Mac OS software database

100% FREE award granted by Softpedia

I’m proud to announce that JFileContentManager, a software of mine, has been added to Softpedia’s database of software programs for Mac OS. It is featured with a description text, screenshots, download links and technical details on this page.

JFileContentManager has been tested in the Softpedia labs using several industry-leading security solutions and found to be completely clean of adware/spyware components. We are impressed with the quality of your product and encourage you to keep these high standards in the future.

You can see the announce by clicking on the image above. Thanks Softpedia for the award!

JDK7 Tackles Java Verbosity

Interesting article showing some changes on the Java platform to address its verbosity, but keeping code readability safe.
I liked the new Collection’s literals syntax to create lists, sets and maps:

List powersOf2 = {1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024};
Map ages = {"John" : 35, "Mary" : 28, "Steve" : 42};

Although it can be possible to use the DoubleBraceInitialization idiom to initialize collections in a more elegant way, this syntax is very terse and concise.

BTW, as I said before, Scala already has a syntactic sugar to create a literal Map:

val ages = Map("John" -> 35, "Mary" -> 28, "Steve" -> 42)

Maybe this change was taken into account considering the Scala collection literals implementation?

Constructors in Scala

I just came across an interesting post by Stephan Schmidt about constructors in Scala.

It shows how to create constructors with immutable and mutable fields, how to have multiple constructors how to invoke super class constructors. I found it very handy and concise to create a constructor with a private immutable field:

class Foo(private val bar: Bar)

Using Scala to update LiveJournal tags – Part I

Some days ago I started to use the Scala programming language to update my Livejournal tags using its XML-RPC protocol reference. First I had to check if some tags of mine were entered wrong, so I’ve done this Scala program to list all of them:

   1:import org.apache.xmlrpc.client.XmlRpcClient;
   2:import org.apache.xmlrpc.client.XmlRpcClientConfigImpl;
   3:import org.apache.xmlrpc.client.XmlRpcCommonsTransportFactory;
   4:import java.net.URL;
   5:import java.util.Map
   6:import java.util.HashMap
   7:import scala.collection.immutable.TreeSet
   8:
   9:object LJListTag {
  10:     def main(args: Array[String]) {
  11:         val config = new XmlRpcClientConfigImpl()
  12:         config.setEnabledForExtensions(true);
  13:         config.setServerURL(new URL("http://www.livejournal.com/interface/xmlrpc"))
  14:         val client = new XmlRpcClient()
  15:         client.setConfig(config)
  16:         val params = new HashMap[String, String]
  17:         params.put("username", "user")
  18:         params.put("password", "password")
  19:         var paramsToServer = new Array[Object](1)
  20:         paramsToServer(0) = params
  21:         val results = client.execute("LJ.XMLRPC.getusertags", paramsToServer).asInstanceOf[Map[String, String]];
  22:         printEachTag(results)
  23:     }
  24:    
  25:     def printEachTag(results: Map[String, String]) {
  26:        var allTags = new TreeSet[String]
  27:        val iterator = results.values().iterator()
  28:           while(iterator.hasNext()) {
  29:             val resultFromRPCData = iterator.next().asInstanceOf[Array[Any]]
  30:             resultFromRPCData.foreach(singleResult => allTags += extractTag(singleResult))
  31:           }
  32:        allTags.foreach(tag => println(tag))
  33:     }
  34:    
  35:    def extractTag(singleResult: Any): String = {
  36:        val tag = singleResult.asInstanceOf[HashMap[String, String]]
  37:        return tag.get("name")
  38:    }
  39:}

Just fill your user and password to have all of your LiveJournal tags printed on the standard output. The experience was so amazing, since you can use all the Java libraries (Scala is fully interoperable with Java and runs on top of the JVM). I used a TreeSet because I wanted print my tags sorted according its alphabetical order. I’m continuously studying Scala and its API, so the code above doesn’t use any advanced Scala constructs. If you have any suggestion about the code or how to use better the Scala constructs, post your comments here. It will be all appreciated.

“Salute #{@Ruby}!”

Some times ago I had to parse a XML messages’ file to produce some i18n properties files.

I decided to try it with Ruby, mainly because of two reasons:

  1. I’m continuosly exploring some dynamically-typed languages, like Python and Ruby
  2. I wanted to try the conciseness of programming with closures

So, I used the REXML API to process the XML file. The result code looks like the one below:

   1:require 'rexml/document'
   2:include REXML
   3:englishFile = File.new('englishFileName', 'w+')
   4:spanishFile = File.new('spanishFileName', 'w+')
   5:portugueseFile = File.new('portugueseFileName', 'w+')
   6:errorMessagesFile = File.new("errorMessages.xml")
   7:document = Document.new(file)
   8:root = document.root
   9:root.each_element("Property") do |propertyTag|
  10:  id = propertyTag.attributes['id']   
  11:  propertyTag.each_element("element") do |elementTag|
  12:      elementAttr = elementTag.attributes['otherTag']
  13:      error = elementTag.text == nil ? "" : "#{id} = #{elementTag.text}\n"
  14:      if elementAttr = "pt"
  15:          portugueseFile << error
  16:      elsif elementAttr == "es"
  17:          spanishFile << error
  18:      else 
  19:          portugueseFile << error
  20:      end
  21:  end
  22:end
  23:errorMessagesFile.close()
  24:englishFile.close()
  25:spanishFile.close()
  26:portugueseFile.close()
  27:  

I like to solve this kind of tasks with programming languages (mainly the dynamically-typed ones..) I don’t know very much because it’s an opportunity to put my hands on them! This way I could experience Ruby’s closures syntax, it was really nice and I’m gonna try something new with it often!

*Updated: line 13

Twitter on Scala Interview

There is a nice interview with the Twitter development team on Artima about using Scala in production on Twitter code. The team talks about some issues and facilities regarding the chose of Scala to develop Twitter’s queueing system and how Scala affected the team’s programming style.

My personal highlights:

And Ruby, like many scripting languages, has trouble being an environment for long lived processes. But the JVM is very good at that, because it’s been optimized for that over the last ten years..

So Scala provides a basis for writing long-lived servers…Another thing we really like about Scala is static typing that’s not painful. Sometimes it would be really nice in Ruby to say things like, here’s an optional type annotation

And because Ruby’s garbage collector is not quite as good as Java’s, each process uses up a lot of memory. We can’t really run very many Ruby daemon processes on a single machine without consuming large amounts of memory

In some cases we just decided to burrow down and use the Java collections from Scala, which is a nice advantage of Scala, that we have that option..

As I’ve learned more Scala I’ve started thinking more functionally than I did before. When I first started I would use the for expression, which is very much like Python’s. Now more often I find myself invoking map or foreach directly on iterators..

The reason you should care about immutability is that if you’re using threads and your objects are immutable, you don’t have to worry about things changing underneath you..

It’s very worth read. Post your comments here when you read it.

Twitter Ecosystem Tools

I’m very impressed of how many applications are being built on top of Twitter. This simple communication tool bas became so popular that people use it to expand their business relationships, promote themselves, discover new friends, talk about stuff they like, et cetera..

Here are some tools (maybe mashups?) which use Twitter:

Here you can find other 100 Twitter Tools