Scrum master training

I really enjoyed refreshing my Scrum practice, when I recently attended Scrum master training with Paul Goddard from Agilify.  Below is a quick overview of Scrum.

What is Scrum?

Scrum is an Agile framework for software development.

The ability to respond to change and deliver useful quality products quickly through incremental development and client participation.

Scrum makes use of…

Cross skilled self-organising groups that work at a sustainable rate.

This leads to my favourite outcome:

Sane happy people make nice code!

Scrum manifesto

Scrum has a manifesto of core principles which I will paraphrase below as:

  1. Continuous customer satisfaction
  2. Advantage through change
  3. Frequent functional deliveries
  4. Constant team collaboration
  5. Trust the team
  6. Get together often
  7. Delivery = Progress
  8. On-going sustainable development
  9. On-going best practice
  10. Keep it simple – Think less waste and minimal viable product.
  11. Collaboration optimises results
  12. Learning from experience

What are the roles within a Scrum team?

Scrum Master

This role is to facilitate and coach the team.  To assist in the application of the Scrum framework.  As teams are self-managing, this role must support the group developing the product not dictate to the team nor assign tasks.

Product owner

Essentially the client.  Scrum relies on strong client participation, co-locating with the team.  Continual prioritisation of tasks and feedback help to deliver a relevant product and high customer satisfaction.

Team members

The doers – makers, fixers, testers, designers, sysadmins, developers, … Scrum teams tend to be made up of between 4 to 9 people.  Smaller teams are more likely to suffer from a lack of a range of skills.

Key Scrum meetings and artefacts

  • Product vision – what are we building and why.
  • Product backlog – a continually reprioritised list of high-level product features or tasks.
  • Daily stand up meetings – 15 minutes long and should include all team members.
  • Sprints – development blocks of a fixed length between 1 to 4 weeks long.
  • Deliverables – A functional and potentially deployable deliverable should be produced at the end of each sprint.
  • Sprint planning meetings – this can be scheduled to last for 1 hour for each week of sprint’s length.  Product backlog items are selected to be implemented in this sprint and more detailed planning of their implementation is done at this point.
  • Sprint review meetings – A wider user engagement meeting where more user and or clients are shown the Sprint deliverable
  • Sprint retrospective meetings – a look back at how the previous sprint went and ways to improve going forward.

Find out more

Starting with a short fun overview of key Scrum concepts – muppets included.

Scrum for Schmucks

Learn about Scrum

What is Scrum

Notes on R

R – an interpreted programming environment for statistical computing and graphics

Coming to R from Python and other programming languages, my notes are comparative versus exhaustive. See the following for a good guide.

There is a mechanism for installing R local packages (akin to the usage of virtualenv for isolated Python package installations)


Lists are like dictionaries

$ is a key (like [‘sfsf’] or dot)

data.frames are like pandas

dot just a naming convention

<- and <= assignment

Speed tips:
Vectorise (map/reduce like functions) vs looping in r

Can easily import/export CSV

Space tip – If you need to store large amounts of data, consider using binary vs ASCII or other plain text files.

Can access DBs directly, using data frames

Note to self, look up NETCDF (commonly used as a climate data format)

Nice built in datasets

Very easily generate charts and save the output to jpeg, pdf, etc. See for more options: