SAFe

Scaled Agile Framework ~ Enterprise (SAFe) is quite an undertaking. I first started learning about SAFe back in 2017. At the time, I thought it as an extension of what I had learned over the years in Agile and Scrum. Having learned Lean Six Sigma a few years back, as it was capstone of my first exposure to it as a Yellow-belt in 2004. I later hear about Lean Agile software development, but everyone I knew was still doing waterfall. So in 2015 I started learning a bit about Agile software development. Added Scrum to my list of many things I learned, or learned about in 2016. I guess I started with Project Management stuff in 2010 with my studies towards PMP, which finally got a writing, Project Management Basics
And now I am writing about it as my knowledge checker. By now you know I hear about something, study it for a while, do a few things with it, and finally write about it.

SAFe things First

AgileTeamsA few of the first things is figuring out how it all fits together, and what you need to know And do. Like embracing a Lean-Agile Mindset. What is that?
Understanding the SAFe Principles. What are they?
Implementing Agile Release Trains. Yes, I have a engineers hat with a Western Pacific patch on it. But more importantly I actually do have train-engineer striped overalls from Oshkosh.
I think the biggest hurdle for some companies other than getting their people on board is PI Planning. Maybe the biggest program is really vocabulary. Like SAFe stands for Scaled Agile Framework ~ Enterprise, and PI Planning is about Program Increment.
Another big hurdle revolves around Value. Value is a big deal to Lean folks, and should be to you as well. Finding value, executing and releasing value, defining value, and the list seems to go on.
But then you come to the building the Agile Portfolio.

How does Kaizen fit in? Kanban? and Waste?

In a nutshell those are the main talking points of Scaled Agile Framework ~ Enterprise (SAFe). Shall we dig in deeper?

GitHub Update

As St. Patricks Day approaches I reflect I was at WordCamp last year about this time and decided it was  time for a GitHub update.

GitHub Update I created my GitHub account back in 2012, and never really knew what to do with it. I mean, I didn’t have code that was so magical or wonderful that it needed to be shared with the world. And the years rolled by; 2012 became 2013, then 2014, and 2015 came and went. Then in 2016 I took part in an amazing program at General Assembly(GA), a coding school, called Web Development Intensive (WDI).

HTML 3.2 Compliant Web Page Logo
HTML 3.2 Compliant Web Page Logo

Now remember I have been building web pages since before HTML 3.2 can out, because I remember when it came out, or at least I started using it sometime in 1998. And I started building pages to the new 4.01 standard in 2000. So the WDI was a reboot for me. I had dealt with the buzz word Dynamic HTML, and XHTML phase, and then HTML 5 came out in for real in 2014.

HTML5 standards compliant
HTML5 standards compliant

I had tolerated JavaScript back in the early days because it would work in Netscape and IE, where as my beloved VB-Script only worked in IE. I was starting to use CSS back in 2000, but by 2011 CSS3 was here to stay, and growing. MY Basic JavaScript days were gone with jQuery, a cross-platform JavaScript library designed to simplify the client-side scripting of HTML, having taken its place in my tool-set some time back in 2012. All this adds up to still nothing worthy of adding to GitHub.

Along came 2014, the year of JavaScript fatigue. Every time I turned around, every MeetUp I would go to there was something new, that I was aware of, but didn’t really know. NodeJS with its V8 engine, Angular JS was replacing Backbone, Gulp was taking over from Grunt. And in 2016 I took part of the WDI at GA, and got me back on track.

GitHub Update 2018

ProGit BookcoverFinally I learned how to work Git and GitHub. In 2016 I had 210 contributions, and then had a lag. Bounced came back in 2017, after the WordCamp 2017 with a pledge to do 100 Days of Code.
I had 409 contributions in 2017.

So my “State of the Union” GitHub Update is that I made 421 contributions in 108 repositories in the last year.

JavaScript fatigue

  • Ember,
  • Angular,
  • React,
  • Express,
  • Grunt,
  • Bower,
  • npm,
  • Broccoli,
  • Gulp,
  • Lodash,
  • Underscore,
  • rxjs,
  • Knockout,
  • SocketIO,
  • Threejs,
  • D3,
  • Backbone,
  • Ionic,
  • Angular2,
  • React Native,
  • Redux,
  • Alt,
  • Reflux,
  • Webpack,
  • Bluebird,
  • Express,
  • Mocha,
  • Jasmine,
  • Chai,
  • Less,
  • Sass,
  • Postcss.

How Long Should Your Meta Description Be?

Brand new data on the Meta tag front. How Long Should Your Meta Description Be? Old rule of thumb was 120-150 characters, then Google started doing their SERP snippets, and the number grew to 215-250. Now new data suggests that 300 characters is acceptable in the Description meta tag. The meta description is one of your best hopes for search engine results pages (SERPs) to attract a searcher to come to your site. Check out this link to https://moz.com/blog/how-long-should-your-meta-description-be-2018  Take a good look at the image above and see how they used the meta description above the title and used it again in the OG meta description.

Write Good Meta Descriptions

I think writing meta descriptions as a good exercise in effective sales copy-writing. You should do everything possible to drive someone to make that decision and click your link. Your focus has to be on persuading the searcher to click — while still maintaining accuracy so expectations are met. Here’s some ideas about writing meta descriptions that are clear, helpful, and stand out to searchers. Good meta descriptions help greatly with Web Accessibility.

1) Use action-oriented language.

Action-oriented language is ideal for call-to-action copy, which is exactly what a meta description is because it tells the reader exactly what they can do if they click. Consider starting your meta descriptions with verbs like “Learn,” “Discover,” or “Grab,”, and follow it up with specifics of what exactly they’ll get if they click. Don’t use the word Free….

2) Provide a solution or benefit.

Tell the searcher what they can expect by clicking on your link. Write a short sentence previewing the content or telling the searcher why they should read your post. Give them a clear benefit of clicking through and reading your post, if necessary. This is your chance to sell them on what you have to offer — informative, valuable content. This is where the meta Description comes in.

3) Keep it to a certain size.

Generally, a meta description used to be 120- 150 characters. However, Google is changing this. It only takes a minute to check the length of your meta description and title tags. Hence the title of this post, How Long Should Your Meta Description Be takes on new meaning.

4) Don’t deceive searchers.

If your meta description deceives the reader with content not relevant to what they should expect, be prepared for the searcher to hit that ‘Back’ button again. Some meta descriptions are spammed with keyword-stuffed content — this is bad, and probably stems from an old-school understanding of SEO. When searchers and search engines see keyword-stuffed content, that throws up all kinds of red flags, and hurts the level of trust a searcher has in your content.

5) Make it specific and relevant.

Most people know a predictable, generic meta description when they see it in the SERPs (despite possibly not knowing exactly what a meta description is). That’s why it’s so important to use descriptive words, not unnecessary “fluff” words, and do your best to connect with your target audience and let them know what they’ll get from clicking through on your search result. Not the same thing on all pages.

Use the Description Meta tag as well as you can, and don’t worry about how long it should be.

Improve Your Graphic Design

The list of lists of things to do and learn keeps going, ever growing. Like in this case, 20 New Tutorials for 2017 to Improve Your Graphic Design.

How to is the name of the game;

    • create a geometric pattern
    • dynamic gradients
    • optimise and export SVGs
    • create digital particle waves
    • create an editable retro text style
    • making quick selections for masking
    • quick and easy duotone text effect
    • endless picture within a picture illusion
    • vintage film title text effect

     

  • Good Graphic Design is Key to Communicating Your Message.