Classic Arcade Archive

I can’t believe I haven’t found this archived arcade website before in any shape or form until today.  For those of you who have yet to visit this nostalgic website, it’s an arcade game archive containing dozens of classics such as Defender and Joust.

Naturally, I played a couple of these games.  Of course, these games are accessed via the computer and played in the form of an emulation.  You’ll miss the full experience of having giant joysticks and buttons to mash, but other than that it’s the real thing.

Unfortunately, they don’t seem to have Pac-man.  This picture is a lie, sorry.  Instead, I played Joust.  Nothing really changed in terms of the game.  Every part of it was exactly like how I remembered it to be and I still died without getting very far due to the irritating momentum and gravity mechanics.

I also tried some of the other games, but I began getting annoyed by the funky controls.  Most of the games I have tried have stupid controls and the website doesn’t even try to defend itself.  The site’s guide just tells you to press random buttons until something moves, most of which are not very intuitive, such as ctrl, alt, and shift.

Still, I am a huge fan of emulators.  I use stuff like Project64, PCSX2, Droid4x, Bluestacks, etc.  You can have your computer store nearly every type of game across just about every console ever made.  Everything’s convenient and accessible.  The only downside is having to configure controls and adapt to using your keyboard in place of a game controller (you can always plug it into your computer).

Using an emulator is completely worth it.  It’s free if you know where to look and you can have all your games stashed in one place.


Pac-Man Chart. Retrieved August 24, 2015

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Delivering a project and presenting to a multi-level audience

It is now time to deliver the project to the client.  The preliminary stage of development is over, and now, the real challenge awaits.  Whether or not your project is successful largely depends on how you handle addressing diverse audiences, fixing unintended problems, and delivering the product itself.  The video game industry is a great example of a customer-driven business style that improves itself based on customer feedback.  The developers are constantly fixing bugs and creating new in-game content to encourage people to continue playing.  Pretend you are developing the newest Star Wars video game.  So far, you have programmed a fully-functional game, mass-produced copies of it, sponsored trailers, and filled every major retailer’s stores with your product.  Now, the question is: will it sell?


Again, this largely depends on how the product is handled.  Understanding buying influences, the reasons that a consumer would buy something, is vital to a customer-oriented company (Shapiro 3).  In other words, who would buy your game?  Obviously, the majority of consumers would comprise of the existing Star Wars fan base.  Within this demographic, a number of them may already be satisfied with their older games.  The key to success is to be able to convince this group that your game offers something unprecedented, something so unique and interesting that they just have to buy it.

After securing the majority, the next goal would be to try to appeal to diverse groups to reel in new fans and customers.


Let’s be honest: of all these people shown above, how many people are actually going to buy your game?  My guess is just as good as yours.  I’m going to be generous and say that among those 35 people, 15 of them are Star Wars fans.  Remember: the majority of the consumers will be Star Wars fans, but it doesn’t mean all of them will buy it.  So we’re looking at about eight people buying the game in a very favorable situation.  It would take nothing short of a miracle to convince everyone to buy it, which is why the focus will be on the fans.

On opening day, two people buy your game.  Both of them are dissatisfied with the numerous graphical glitches in the game.  As a developer, it is important that these problems are handled right away by aggressively researching public opinion (McMinimee 6-5).  Now that the issues are taken care of, your two customers are impressed and spread the word that the game is excellent.  The rest of the fans are delighted and buy the game, which becomes a success.  As shown by this extensive explanation, a customer-oriented strategy allows for improvement.


Family (Video) Game Night » Rockin Mama™. (n.d.). Retrieved November 22, 2014

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McMinimee, J. C., Schaftlein, S., Warne, T. R., Detmer, S. S., Lester, M. C., Mroczka, G. F., … & Yew, C. (2009). Best Practices in Project Delivery Management (No. NCHRP Project 20-68A).

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ODE programs. (n.d.). Retrieved November 22, 2014

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Shapiro, B. P. (1988). What the hell is market oriented?. HBR Reprints.

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Handing off a project to a client; what are the risks and challenges?

You’ve done it!  You’ve completed your project: you’ve completed every user story you can think up of, you’ve written everything from backlogs to retrospectives, and you’re ready to deliver your final project to your eager yet patient client.  If you’ve mentally checked off everything in the previous sentence as a “yes”, chances are, you’re good to go.  If not, then get back to the workshop.

Recall my earlier post on what “done” means.  Done is the embodiment of perfection, an impossible-to-achieve yet desirable goal.  The final hand-off to the client does not mean your work is done.  The fun has only begun.


After the product is complete, the client will undoubtedly do his or her own final review of the product before marketing it.  This is to ensure that the product is satisfactory to both the client and the intended consumers.  The reason why the development team does not get to rest upon completion is that the client may find the product unacceptable.  In this case, the team needs to revise it until the client is satisfied.  Is it over?  No.  Just because the client is satisfied doesn’t mean the consumers are.  What if the product was a total flop?  The client now faces potentially huge losses and must coordinate with the group again in order to mitigate the damage.  This process is called collaborative product development, which is a way to appease the relentless consumers (Wognum, P. M., Fisscher, O. A., & Weenink, S. A., 350).

Remember what Netflix did to Qwikster?  The client will do exactly that to the team’s paycheck if an abomination like that is created.


If the word Qwikster doesn’t ring a bell, perhaps this logo will.  Netflix removed Qwikster just as quickly as they introduced it.  It was a disaster.  They took out everything that made Netflix good, and introduced a clunky new system that was about as useful as a screen door on a submarine.  Fortunately for them, their quick reversion prevented further damage and preserved their reputation.

Okay, back on topic.  The product was a failure, but it’s not the end of the world.  The product just needs to go back to the development phase, have its weaknesses identified, and then be revised in a way to eliminate those weaknesses (Otto, K. N., & Wood, K. L. 289).  Just remember that too many revisions after the release of the product may cause customers to lose faith in the product.


Highway Trust Fund Jeopardy Remains-Members of Congress Need to Hear “The Job is Not Done” (n.d.). Retrieved November 16, 2014

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KN· 奥托 (美), Otto, K. N., & Wood, K. L. (2003). Product design: techniques in reverse engineering and new product development. 清华大学出版社有限公司.

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Red Antler | Emily Heyward Interviewed by Reuters – Netflix ‘Amputates a limb to save the body’ (n.d.). Retrieved November 16, 2014

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Wognum, P. M., Fisscher, O. A., & Weenink, S. A. (2002). Balanced relationships: management of client–supplier relationships in product development. Technovation, 22(6), 341-351.

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What five technical skills are employers seeking? What five soft skills put you on top?

A common misconception among students across America is that good grades translate into a good job.  While it may be partially true, it is not the ultimate factor, according to Microsoft.


The diagram above indicates that communication skills are the most important by far.  However, when employers are searching for an employee, they will be looking for someone who has the best combination of skills that may or may not be listed above.  This, of course, depends on the job in question.

According to Ronald Alsop, some highly sought-after soft skills (a.k.a. people skills) include communication skills, teamwork, ethics, past experience, and time management.  Though these skills are broad and hard to assess, they are nonetheless vital to any job.  Again, communication is the ultimate skill to master because it facilitates all the other soft skills.  How are you supposed to demonstrate good teamwork if you can’t communicate efficiently?

Teamwork is a necessity.  Employees must be able to work well not only with their peers, but also their managers and bosses.  Similar ethics naturally improves teamwork, because like-minded people generally work efficiently together.  Even if employees have different religious views, ethics allows for people to be respectful by agreeing to disagree.  Past experience may look like a hard skill (technical skill), but in reality, it is more of a way to ensure and insure that an employer is hiring the right person.  Past experience tells the employer how well the prospective employee fared in his or her previous job.  Was that employee fired at the previous job because of insubordination, discrimination, or some other fatal flaw?  That is what past work experience can tell.  Last but not least, time management is an important skill, particularly among managers, because they need to keep projects on schedule as well as assign a reasonable amount of work to their employees.

Technical skills are more specialized by comparison to soft skills.  Some of those skills employers look for are Microsoft Office proficiency, logistics, problem solving, mastery of mathematics, and actual knowledge of the field.


Technical skills are essentially professional qualifications.  Technical skills are even more important than soft skills in a profession.  Then why all this fuss about soft skills?  The key here is supply and demand.  There are a lot of people with technical skills, less people with soft skills, and even less with both.  Employers are looking for people with both.  While people that only know technical skills can get away with being obedient mindless drones, people that only know soft skills are doomed not knowing how to actually do the job.  Can you imagine a basketball player that only knows how to talk?  We call them sports journalists.  Therefore, it is more important to have technical skills than soft skills, but by mastering both skill sets, the employee becomes a top prospect.


Alsop, R. (2004). How to get hired. Wall Street Journal, 8.

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Carnevale, A. P. (1990). Workplace Basics: The Essential Skills Employers Want. ASTD Best Practices Series: Training for a Changing Work Force. Jossey-Bass Inc., Publishers, 350 Sansome Street, San Francisco, CA 94104.

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“Gallery For Kobe Bryant Jump Shot Over Lebron.” Gallery For Kobe Bryant Jump Shot Over Lebron. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.

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“New Study Reveals Most Important Skills for Students.” News Center. Microsoft, 15 Oct. 2013. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.

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Social Media and Branding

Social media is a way for people to attempt branding: the idea of attaching a name to a product.  What is the first thing that comes to mind when the word “phone” is mentioned?  It would probably be either Apple or Samsung.  What about “Bill Gates”?  Microsoft.  That is the effect of branding.  Essentially, it is making a name nearly synonymous with a product or company, creating its unique identity.  This identity becomes a household name which lends it credibility and thus makes it marketable.


Above is Tom Dickson, the CEO of Blendtec, attempting to blend an iPhone in his famous series “Will it Blend?”.  In his series of YouTube videos, he blends various objects in order to promote his own product, a blender.  Why does he choose an iPhone instead of a block of concrete?  Marketing purposes.  How is that achieved?  The objects he blends are lending credibility to his blender because the objects themselves are reputable and used by many people.  As a result, his videos became extremely popular and Tom Dickson and his company Blendtec became household names.  Blendtec experienced a 700% increase in sales over the course of 3 years, much of it attributed to the blending videos (Dutta 2).


Social media isn’t just a platform for companies to promote their brand — people can also use it to promote themselves.  For example, Justin Bieber was originally an unknown singer who eventually became famous via YouTube when professionals discovered his talent and reached out to him for a real career.  It’s not just because he was at the right place at the right time, but because he offered something unique that suited the needs of whatever company decided to hire him.  It is possible for anyone to receive a job using social media.  It isn’t limited to YouTube — there are many more options such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or anything else that comes in the future.  LinkedIn is a great way for professionals to present their skills to a potential employer in order to brand themselves as an efficient worker.

The most important thing to remember before marketing yourself is to be unique.  Do something no one else has, or have something no one else does.  However, the action or quality must be marketable to the company you expect to work for.  You want to brand yourself.  Make your identity something you wouldn’t regret being a part of, and make it recognizable.


Dutta, S. (2010). What’s your personal social media strategy?. Harvard Business Review, 88(11), 127-130.

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Osborne, B. (n.d.). IPhone 4 meets end via blender, sniper fire, and microwave. November 1, 2014.

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Qualman, E. (2012). Socialnomics: How social media transforms the way we live and do business. John Wiley & Sons.

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Your Source For Branding. (n.d.). Retrieved November 1, 2014.

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LinkedIn profiles, how to use them, how to market yourself, how to network


LinkedIn is an online social networking site where one can create a professional profile and connect to other people in the workforce.  Essentially, a LinkedIn profile should be like a resume: concise, descriptive, and appealing to potential employers.  Instead of having to physically hand in a resume to each employer, LinkedIn allows for employers to search for candidates instead via LinkedIn.

Naturally, one’s profile must adhere to all the features that make a resume work: a brief showcase of the applicant’s skills, relevant experience, and a unique, personal touch that makes it stand out.  Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn is not a good place to include information about hobbies, religious views, and other potentially controversial content (Skeels and Grudin, 2009).  However, there is an enormous assortment of resources available that make it more practical.

One advantage to using LinkedIn over hard-copy resumes is that it features the ability to update an existing profile.  People can edit their profiles when they receive a promotion, accept a new contract, receive an award, or acquire a new experience (Elad, 2014).  As such, it is expected of LinkedIn users to regularly update their profiles.


It is important for a personal profile to stand out among others.  In the picture above, the yellow smiley face draws the most attention because it is the only different one in the sea of unhappy faces.  This is what a LinkedIn profile needs to do.

Now what can people do to distinguish themselves?  Taking advantage of what LinkedIn has to offer is one way.  Creating the profile is merely the first step needed to facilitate building the network that people want to have.  One must also begin adding people to their network — the Facebook equivalent of adding friends.  This can be done by joining relevant groups, which allows prospective employees to talk to people at all levels of a company (Elad, 2014).  As expected, the process requires a bit of dedication because active participation will increase the odds of appealing to employers.  The more they get to know an employee, the more they will develop a sense of trust; eventually the employer may be inclined to reach out for an interview.

One of the best ways to attract an employer’s attention would be to tell them a story: one where the potential employee (the protagonist) comes across a problem that may be relevant to the job being sought, fixes that issue, and most importantly, describes the sequential process in order to fix it along with the skills that were needed in order to do so.  Anything else that qualifies as experience would suffice because it tells the employer that the potential employee is well-qualified and is the right fit for the job.  There are many other methods that will do the trick, so the idea is to be creative and resourceful with LinkedIn.


“4 Reasons to Join LinkedIn If You STILL Haven’t Got Round To It – Brandwatch.” Brandwatch. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2014.

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Elad, Joel.  “How to Market Yourself to Your LinkedIn Network.” – For Dummies. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2014.

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Skeels, M. M., & Grudin, J. (2009, May). When social networks cross boundaries: a case study of workplace use of facebook and linkedin. InProceedings of the ACM 2009 international conference on Supporting group work (pp. 95-104). ACM.

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“Unique Is No Longer… Unique.” N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2014.

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Agile tasks lists, what does “done” mean in Agile?


The above is an example of an Agile task list.  Task lists are a way for Agile users to plan and track their progress.  Lists are kept in a simple spreadsheet format which tracks the estimated time to complete a task, the actual time it took, and the people responsible for the task (Reichlmayr, 2003).  As with all other Agile strategies, task lists are subject to change and are developed via user stories.  The task list is not merely busy work to be completed, but is rather a way for teams to keep organized by dividing tasks as equally as they can across each sprint.

Being done means that something is finished, or in other words, the end has been reached.  When you are done eating, it can mean that you still have food on your plate that you can’t finish.  When you are done with a test, it can mean that you bubbled C straight down out of frustration.  When your significant other sees you getting a bit too chummy with your attractive neighbor, you are done.  These are all different usages of done.

Ecce Homo

Above is the infamous “restoration” of a painting of Jesus called the Ecce Homo (behold [the] man).  Surely, the painting is done, as well as that person’s artistic career.

In Agile, being done is defined in much more specific terms.  Done means that a project is not haphazardly completed.  The product needs to appear amazing to every member involved and satisfy all the user stories created.  It doesn’t stop there.  The end product then needs to pass one final test: the review phase.  After the entire designing and developing phase, it needs to be tested for potentially unintended, unwanted bugs (Gupta, 2008).  The process is repeated until it is devoid of all the bugs that are found.  Then, it needs to be approved by the product owner and therefore be recognized as a product that is ready for distribution.

For technology-related products, a product can almost never be classified as done.  Even after mass distribution, users may find bugs that the developers failed to spot, or even come up with ideas that would improve the product even more.  Many more user stories will emerge due to, well, more users.  For example, video game developers often create downloadable patches to add onto their games which include new features and bug fixes.  Being done is like being perfect: impossible, but a goal to strive for nonetheless.


Agile Project Management.  20 Aug. 2010.

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Gupta, Mayank.  Definition of Done: A Reference.  3 Sept. 2008.

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Neild, Barry.  Ecce Homo ‘restorer’ wants a slice of the royalties.  20 Sept. 2012.

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Reichlmayr, Thomas.  The Agile Approach in an Undergraduate Software Engineering Course Project.  5 Nov. 2003.

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What is an Agile Sprint Retrospective?

It’s one thing to work fast, and it’s another thing to work properly.  The term properly is subject to interpretation, but the main idea is that it is important that you are working both correctly and efficiently.  In Agile, the purpose of the Sprint Retrospective is, as the name suggests, to evaluate the current progress on your project in retrospect.  What is working?  What is not working?  Is there a more efficient way to achieve your purpose?  These are just some of the many questions that need to be addressed during the Agile Sprint Retrospective.


The retrospective revolves around 3 ideas: start, stop, and continue.  The team needs to decide if they are using their time wisely by observing what parts of the project are going by quickly and which parts aren’t.  For those items that are being dealt with quickly, the team can continue doing it the way it is and keep on schedule.  As for things that consume too much time, the group really needs to decide whether or not it is worth it to use so much time for whatever they are doing.  In which case, they would need to start either improvising or devising new ways to tackle that problem.


The true purpose of the retrospective is to administer change.  It is necessary for all the group members to participate in the discussion to administer changes.  Retrospection allows for the quick identification of mistakes and for them to be fixed promptly.  During the process, it is important to be harsh with yourself and others, yet remain fair.  You need to send your message clearly, provide constructive criticism for your team, and be respectful above all else.  Though other people are fully aware that they may make mistakes, they don’t like to be told that so bluntly.  Rather, gentle nudging towards the right direction by training team members patiently instead of pointing out every mistake they made is a more efficient way to deal with issues.

When the team is dividing up the work, it is more likely than not that the distribution is uneven, and some members may struggle to complete their assigned task on time.  During retrospection, those struggling members are more than welcome to voice their concern and some of the other members that either have less work or are ahead of schedule can volunteer to help them complete their task.  The key to succeeding is teamwork, and the Agile Sprint Retrospective facilitates that by having team members apply or evaluate their current progress in order to plan ahead and stay on schedule in the future.


Ronin-Harel, Shirly.  The Retrospective Session for Everyone.  28 Oct. 2013.

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Schuh, P. (2005). Integrating agile development in the real world. Hingham: Charles River Media.

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Topics in Scrum: Sprint Retrospective. (2014).

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Watterson, Bill. “Calvin and Hobbes.” N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2014.

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The Agile Team and what is a Backlog? What are they for and why are they important?

Often times, people in general find it difficult to start doing something.  It’s not that the work itself is hard, but it appears that the law of inertia isn’t restricted to just physical objects.  It’s hard for people to get started on their homework until the day before it’s due –I am a victim of that myself– but once I get started, I work until it is finished.  What people need is a driving mechanism to transition from leisure to busy work.  The backlog for instance is a driving force to start the development of software.  It defines the starting point by organizing what needs to be done in what order.  In the sample picture shown below, the work is strategically divided among a number of days with different objectives in mind.

A backlog is a point of reference that Agile users formulated as part of their project.  They first create user stories, which are hypothetical customer reviews, in order to develop the goals the end-product is expected to have.  These reviews put utility into perspective for the Agile team so they know whether or not the thing they are creating will become useful.  As part of Agile methodology, these goals are expected to either be reiterated or changed during the biweekly meetings.  If the product’s goal is something people envision to be both achievable and useful, then it should be kept.  If not, then it either needs to be revised until it fulfills the aforementioned conditions, or needs to be tossed out completely.

Also, a backlog can be used to setting milestones for the upcoming tasks.  The Agile team can divide the work by using the user stories as checkpoints.  To some degree, it is a way for the team to monitor their progress and ensure that their pace is acceptable.  Multiple user stories can be completed at the same time because they can be similar enough so that one code can address both needs.


As the product nears completion, the backlog is then used as reference for debugging.  Suppose the product created is a website.  The process will involve the debugger running tests by navigating through the interfaces of the website to make sure it works correctly.  This involves spotting graphical glitches (missing user interfaces, awkward formatting, etc), updating dead links, and monitoring the speed of the servers that the site is hosted on (a.k.a. stress tests).


Adams, Scott. (2011).  Dilbert.

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Beck, K., Beedle, M., Van Bennekum, A., Cockburn, A., Cunningham, W., Fowler, M., … & Thomas, D. (2001). Manifesto for agile software development.

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Cohn, M. (2004). User stories applied: For agile software development. Addison-Wesley Professional.

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Topics in Scrum. (2014).

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What is Agile and what are user stories?

Agile methodology employs a collective group of ideas from every individual in a group who plans a project together with the other members.  Every step of the process is planned at the first meeting then and there, but there are still biweekly re-evaluations to assess which direction the project needs to go.  Compared with other planning methods, Agile is much more adaptable and is structured such that each participating member agrees to the terms the team decides on.

The deadlines are not rigid and random, but can be adjusted according to the visualization of the project in motion instead.  Team members can offer their own projected completion dates which can be earlier or later depending on the workload and pace of the members rather than having the leader pushing for unrealistic deadlines.

Agile can be applied to other development projects such as software testing.  In this situation, Agile can be used to divide the workload into things like patching bugs, finding glitches, and other aspects of testing.  Any group project can be organized by the Agile method to ensure professional collaboration among the team.  Of course, each member must be committed to what they agreed to and respect the deadlines set for them.  The situation may change over time, and he/she can report that change and request for more or less time depending.  Again, Agile’s flexibility allows a project to be more versatile compared to other methods such as the waterfall model.


As seen from this diagram, the development process never stops with Agile — it continues to adapt itself to achieve its purposes.  Often times with the waterfall model, people work on a project for months, only to realize that by the time they complete it, it becomes irrelevant as it has become outdated and a new one needs to be done.

User stories are a unique way for Agile team members to assess a product they are creating.  For example, suppose an Agile group is creating a video game.  Some questions that may lead them through the developmental process include: Which age group or demographic are we targeting to sell this product to?  What kind of features would keep people playing this game?  Is its theme or its characters marketable?

User stories put the developers in the hypothetical viewpoint of the customers.  Developers envision what a satisfied customer would say about their product and would actively modify their product to actualize those user stories.  Eventually, the end product will be something that intentionally caters to its customers’ needs.

SmartBear_Types of Agile Teams to Avoid_InfoToon


Agile Project Management. (2014, August 11). Agile Project Management Meets Customer Needs – New Horizons Computer        Training – Industry News & Related Courses.

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Agile Teams to Avoid in 2012. (2014, January 4).

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West, D., & Grant, T. (2010, January 20). Agile Development: Mainstream Adoption Has Changed Agility.

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What is the Agile Software Development Methodology? (2014, July 10).

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