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To develop software and manage numerous projects, government agencies are looking forward to using new ways of working. Agile methodology could prove to be the best approach. Agile focuses on iterative and incremental approaches to work on a project or developing software. Agile is a work process that has been used by the private industry for more than two decades, and now government organizations are also looking forward to using this process.

Challenges Faced by Government Organizations to Imply Agile

Using Agile in Government Projects can be challenging. Agile methodologies are completely different from the traditional project management methodologies and government organizations are quite resistant to change. To make people understand, the working system of Agile can be very stretching.

Following is the list of all the major problems faced by the government organizations in implementing and adopting Agile Methodology −

Understanding of Agile Language

Agile methodology has its own terminologies, and a language which can be quite different as well as difficult to understand. Hence, it may discourage the employees as most of them are used to traditional management methodology.

Rules and Regulations

Employees working in the government sectors have to follow many more rules compared to the employees working in the private industry. Such a working system may have few effects on their ability to change methods.

Capability and Talent gaps

Agile capabilities include product management, user-centered design, and automation engineering, which are generally absent in the government sector. The IT departments in the government sectors face difficulties while recruiting competent talent with digital knowledge. This is majorly due to the salary caps, budget constraints, and policy restrictions.

Government should create roles and positions that are necessary for the agile style of working. Hiring processes should be tailored to particular skills requirements for this way of working.

Outdated Organizational Techniques

Different organizations with cross-functional teams are required for the shift to agile.

The emphasis on end-to-end development is also necessary for it. The business organizations team that designs services or delivers products for citizens; the IT sector is often soiled away. The IT function is organized by a series of stages such as building applications, software development, and diverse projects.

Implementation of Agile Methodology in Government Sector

Here are some of the basic steps in implementing Agile methodology in the government sector −

Set a Long-Term vision

Implementation of Agile methodology in the government sector can be tricky. But if the government organizations mark long-term goals, it may help them to set and acknowledge even smaller projects. To set a long-term vision, organizations might need to create multi-year maps to navigate the project ahead.

Assurity of Understanding of Agile

Most government employees have experience working with a traditional management approach, they might not completely understand what exactly Agile is. Agile methodologies were not used previously in the government sectors; hence government organizations mostly are unfamiliar with agile practices. It has to be ensured that they understand that Agile is the future. Thereby these methods are to routinized and infused in the process of adopting.

Initiate Small Projects and Valuable Outcomes

Generally, Agile methodologies show their value with quick and small achievements. Emphasis should be given to try to figure out the part of a project that needs to be completed first. Therefore, initiate agile methods in smaller projects, thereby by focussing on delivering valuable outcomes.

Client and Customer Involvement

The involvement of client is higher in the modern Agile management in private sector, which is very rare in the government sector. Thereby, less transparency in government sector.

Problem Escalation

In case there is an issue in the project working, all the members work together to solve it in the agile management; whereas in the government sector, the issue is right away escalated to the higher management. This way time involvement to solve or find a solution is more in the government sectors.

Assumption of Clients’ Knowledge

Many times clients are not hundred percent sure of what they want from a project. In government sector, the management assumes that clients know exactly what they want and they proceed accordingly, thereby do not show flexibility in case any changes are requested by the clients. Implementation of agile brings flexibility in the changes requested by the client as per project requirement.

Conclusion

No project guarantees hundred percent success without any changes or issues. However, implementation of agile, especially in the public sector gives possibility of maximum benefits, less time involvement and client satisfaction.

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What Is Agile Development? Scrum Events In Agile Methodology

Introduction to Agile Development

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Agile software development is Feature Driven Deployment based approach where we follow some principles:

Software developers need to satisfy the customer through continuous delivery and welcome changes even late in development.

Need to deliver working software frequently with short time intervals.

Attention to Technical expertise and good design of the functionality will improvise agility.

Need to have self-organizing teams for better architecture and requirements design.

Comparing to other models of software development like Traditional Waterfall methodology, where developer gets the requirements, develops the complete code and send it for testing of the software, here in Agile Methodology, we split the requirements on priority and co-ordinate with other teams to develop the given requirements with parallel testing the requirements done so far and release the software part by part.

This agile methodology involves Scrum framework which is used to manage complex software development employing various processes and techniques.

Scrum Master: He/ She ensures the process is followed by removing impediments and supporting development team.

Product Owner: He/ She works with stakeholders and business.

Development Team: Self-organizing team who do the requirement analysis, design, implementation and testing, etc.

Scrum Events in Agile Methodology

Scrum is simple to understand but extra effort is needed to implement the methodologies. Scrum events in Agile methodology are Sprint, Sprint planning, Daily Scrum, Print Review and Sprint Retrospective.

Sprint: It is a time-box of 1 month or less consistent duration, new sprint starts immediately after the conclusion of previous sprint. No changes are to be made once the sprint starts and scope of the project can be re-negotiated with Product owner and development team.

Sprint Planning: It is time-box of maximum 8 hours for a month sprint, it gives an overview of what are the requirements which are to be delivered in sprint.

Daily Scrum: It is a 15 min time box event for the development team to discuss and create a plan for the next 24 hours to reduce complexity.

Sprint Review: It is held at the end of each sprint to inspect Increment and adapt Product Backlog.

Sprint Retrospective: It occurs after sprint review and before sprint planning to get to know what went well in the previous sprint and what could be improved.

Artifacts in Agile

Artifacts in Agile includes Product Backlog, Increment and Sprint backlog.

Product Backlog: It is an ordered list of the product requirements which is never complete.

Increment: It is the sum of all the product backlog items completed during a sprint.

Sprint backlog: It is the set of Product backlog items selected for a particular sprint.

Scrum Framework

Given below is the diagram of Scrum Framework:

User Stories

These are the product features/ functionalities that the user wants to use in their final product which are also known as requirements. The success of a development project lies in understanding the customer requirements and implementing them in final product/ software.

In Scrum projects, product backlog consists of list of user stories and is narrated from user perspective as what he/ she wants. These user stories are prioritized and taken into sprint backlog in sprint planning meeting.

For e.g., Consider a requirement where customer wants to purchase PVR movie pass so that he gets access to purchase movie tickets at a lower cost.

Format of User story is, as a customer I want to purchase a movie pass so that I can access to purchase movie tickets at a lower cost.

This requirement should satisfy acceptance criterion defined by customer/ business.

Only one pass can be issued to one customer.

No pass to be issued if customer does not pay a one-time amount of 500 annually.

Customer has to enroll and has to have a history of watching at least 5 movies in PVR.

Maximum 3 people can be allowed on a single pass. And the criterions can go on depending upon customer requirements.

Benefits of User stories includes:

It is the customer who will be using the final product, user stories connect the end users and software development team.

The format of user story ensures to achieve the benefit that customer wants.

There is a chance to make changes to user stories during execution of the project, even though the scope of story changes, we can split it and move the user story or part of requirement to backlog for executing in further sprints.

As we deliver working software/ product at the end of sprint, scrum team can get feedback in review meetings.

Advantages of Agile Development

It promotes teamwork and cross functional training.

Functionalities can be developed and demonstrated in a shorted period.

It is a realistic approach to develop software.

Requirement of Resources is minimal.

Suitable for changing requirements.

Early delivery of working software at least partially.

Easy to manage and gives flexibility to developers.

Conclusion

Agile Methodologies include many software development approaches, here we have discussed SCRUM, we also have Extreme Programming (XP), Agile Modeling etc. As Agile methodology is growing software development methodology, it has made lives of software developers, testers and the organization easier as it is adaptable to change, people-oriented, speedy and responsive which are required for software development projects.

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Steps To A Successful Agile Iot Project

Want to create or implement the Internet of Things (IoT) Agile which is one of the most innovative methods. It combines the principles of agile software development with the unique challenges of building and managing connected products. It focuses on delivering value quickly, responding to feedback from users & making changes when needed. Agile IoT projects can be done swiftly & affordably in contrast to traditional IoT initiatives, which are frequently complicated, expensive, and time-consuming.

When it comes to traditional IoT projects they are often complex, costly, and time-consuming, whereas due to Agile IoT projects can be completed quickly & cost-effectively. It is perfect for companies who need to keep on top of this changing market.

Because of its adaptability and flexibility, in recent years Agile methodology’s popularity has grown significantly. It provides a more effective & efficient project management method after it works or is integrated with the Internet of Things (IoT). To guarantee success, nevertheless, some degree of preparation and coordination is needed.

In this article, we will explore more about Agile Internet of Things (IoT) project. Let’s start.

Keys Steps to Ensure Successful Agile IoT Project

Here are some key steps to a successful Agile IoT project −

The essential actions you need to follow to guarantee the success of your Agile IoT project are listed below.

Define your requirements

Before you start any project, it is essential to define your requirements. It includes identifying the project objectives, the functionality you require, and the stakeholders involved. In the case of an IoT project, you should also consider the hardware and software components necessary to achieve your objectives.

Create a product backlog

Once you have defined your requirements, the next step is to create a product backlog. It is a prioritized list of features or functionalities that you want to develop. It should be regularly updated throughout the project to reflect any changes in requirements or priorities.

Plan sprints

Agile methodology is characterized by short, iterative sprints, usually lasting between one and four weeks. During each sprint, the development team should focus on delivering a specific set of features or functionalities. It is essential to plan sprints carefully to ensure that they are realistic and achievable.

Conduct daily stand-up meetings

Daily stand-up meetings are an essential part of Agile methodology. They are brief meetings that the development team holds each day to discuss progress, identify any obstacles or issues, and plan the day. They should be short and to the point, with each team member reporting on what they have achieved since the last meeting, what they plan to do next & any issues they have encountered.

Use Agile project management tools

There are many Agile project management tools available that can help you manage your IoT project effectively. You may manage sprints, keep track of your progress, and work with the team using these tools. Some popular tools include Jira, Trello, and Asana.

Test and iterate

The agile methodology emphasizes continuous testing and iteration. It is essential to test your IoT solution regularly to identify any bugs or issues and refine your solution. Regular testing ensures that your solution meets your requirements and is fit for purpose.

Emphasize communication & collaboration

Effective communication and collaboration are key to the success of any Agile IoT project. Open lines of communication between the development team, stakeholders, and any connected third-party providers are crucial. We can have a regular meetings & updates that can allow us to ensure that everyone is on the same page also if there is any issues or concerns are addressed promptly.

Monitor progress and adapt

Agile methodology is all about adapting to change. It is essential to monitor progress regularly, assess the success of each sprint, and adjust the project plan accordingly. It allows you to respond quickly to any issues or changes in requirements and ensures that the project stays on track.

Document everything

Documentation is crucial in any project, and Agile IoT projects are no exception. It is essential to document everything, including project requirements, sprint plans, testing results & any issues or changes that arise. This document plays a major role in ensuring that everyone in the project is aware of its status of the project.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Agile methodology can deliver significant benefits for IoT projects. By breaking the project down into smaller sprints, you can iterate quickly and respond to changes in requirements or issues that arise. Use Agile project management tools with this you can manage the project effectively also you can collaborate with the team.

By emphasizing communication and collaboration, monitoring progress, and adapting the project plan as necessary, you can ensure that the project stays on track and meets its goals. Also, you can ensure that everyone involved in the project is aware of its status & can refer to it if necessary, by documenting everything. By following these best practices, you can deliver a successful Agile IoT project that meets your requirements & delivers value to your stakeholders.

Public Vs Protected Vs Package Vs Private Access Modifiers In Java

Java has various levels of protection that allow precise control over the accessibility of member variables and methods within classes, subclasses, and packages. The access control mechanism works with the help of access modifiers such as public, protected, private and package. They define scope of a variable, class and method. We are going to understand the various access modifiers in Java.

Access Modifiers in Java Public Access Modifier

Java does not restrict the accessibility of public members. Anything declared public can be accessible everywhere means we can access them within the class as well as outside the class and also within the package as well as outside the package. You may have noticed that the main() method in Java is always defined as public so that the JVM that exists outside any scope of the current program can call it.

A few examples of public access modifier−

public int i1 = 108; public double d2 = 6.55;

Here, variables are declared as public.

Private Access Modifier

When we declare a class member as private then, it becomes non accessible to any code outside its class, including its subclasses. We can achieve higher level of encapsulation by using private keyword.

A few examples of private access modifier −

private int mobNo = 982266; private double income = 35005.55;

Here, variables are declared as private.

Protected Access Modifier

It is mostly used in the case of inheritance to control the access of parent class members and corresponding child class members. It allow an element to be accessed outside the current package but only to the direct subclasses of classes. Here, packages are the containers that hold group of classes.

A few examples of protected access modifier −

protected int data1 = 5; protected double data2 = 5.55;

Here, variables are declared as protected.

Package Access Modifier

It is also known as the default access modifier. When we don’t specify any access specifier explicitly to classes and methods, the java compiler automatically considers it as a default or package member. We can access these members inside sub classes as well as other classes within the same package.

A few examples of package access modifier −

int i1 = 108; double d2 = 6.55;

Here, variables are declared as default or package.

Public vs Protected vs Package vs Private access modifiers

From the above discussion, we can conclude the following differences among these access modifiers −

Accessible Regions

Public

Protected

Package

Private

Within Same Class

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Within Same Package Subclass

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Within Same Package non-Subclass

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Other Package Subclass

Yes

Yes

No

No

Other Package non-Subclass

Yes

No

No

No

In the above table, ‘Yes’ represents that member with the specified access modifier is accessible to the given region and ‘No’ represents that it is not accessible.

Example 1

The following example illustrates the use of public, protected and package modifiers in Java.

class Pack { protected void prnt1() { String msg1 = "I am accessing a protected method"; System.out.println(msg1); } public void prnt2() { String msg2 = "I am inside a public method"; System.out.println(msg2); } void prnt3() { String msg3 = "I am inside a default method"; System.out.println(msg3); } } public class ClassShow extends Pack { public static void main(String args[]) { ClassShow obj = new ClassShow(); obj.prnt1(); obj.prnt2(); obj.prnt3(); } } Output I am accessing a protected method I am inside a public method I am inside a default method Example 2

The following example illustrates what if we declare a method as private in Java.

class Pack { private void prnt() { String msg = "I am inside a private method"; System.out.print(msg); } } public class ClassShow extends Pack { public static void main(String args[]) { ClassShow obj = new ClassShow(); obj.prnt(); } } Output ClassShow.java:13: error: cannot find symbol obj.prnt(); ^ symbol: method prnt() location: variable obj of type ClassShow 1 error

Here we modified the code of previous example, we got a compile time error because we tried to access a private method in subclass.

Conclusion

The access modifiers determine how a member of a class or method can be accessed. They are attached to the members at the time of declaration. In this article, we have explained all access modifiers in detail with respective examples and also, discussed a few differences among them.

Sugarsync 2.0 Goes Public, We Go Hands

It’s getting tough to keep track of who’s who in the crowded world of cloud storage and file synchronization apps. Every week, a new service seems to pop up, or an old one adds new features. SugarSync—one of the most full-featured services—is the latest to get an overhaul with today’s release of a new client that definitely stands out from the typical cloud crowd. We’ve been using SugarSync 2.0 for months now and have the full scoop about what’s new and different. Read on for everything you need to know.

What is SugarSync?

SugarSync is a file-synchronization and cloud storage application, similar to Dropbox. If you’ve somehow avoided any exposure to file-sync apps, their primary purpose is to keep a set of files and folders mirrored across multiple computers or devices. If you modify or add a file on one computer, it will be uploaded and downloaded appropriately, so that an identical file appears on all machines.

What has always set SugarSync apart from the more-popular Dropbox is its larger feature set and greater customizability. With Dropbox (and SkyDrive, and Google Drive, and…), you get a single synchronized folder shared across all computers. If you want a file to be synced, you’re going to have to stick it somewhere in your one-and-only Dropbox folder. SugarSync, on the other hand, allows you to synchronize any number of folders from anywhere on your computer while offering a number of additional features, including 5GB of free cloud storage (plus 10GB for every friend you refer), revision history for synced files, and shared folders.

So, with more flexibility and the same base price as its competitors—free, with the option to pay for more storage—it’s little surprise that SugarSync has been a favorite of the power-user crowd. One obstacle to widespread popularity for the application has always been its clunky, old-fashioned interface… until now.

What’s different in SugarSync 2.0?

With the release of SugarSync 2.0, the program has received a much-needed makeover. The old client, which looked like a circa-2003 FTP client, has been replaced with an attractive and compact new interface that strongly resembles a smartphone application, even on the desktop.

The mobile versions of SugarSync have been updated to use the same, new interface. The functionality is slightly different, of course, but the new UI looks great on smartphones, and performance has improved, as well. The SugarSync 2.0 app is currently available for Android phones, and will be coming to IOS in the near future.

What’s new in SugarSync 2.0?

In addition to the interface overhaul, SugarSync 2.0 adds several important features to the service.

Most significantly, SugarSync now adds a virtual drive to Explorer (in Windows) or Finder (in OSX). This virtual drive lets you access all files and folders that SugarSync monitors on any of your devices, as well as any files shared with you. You can access these files even if they’re not synced with the device you’re currently using—if you want to access or edit a file that’s not currently on your machine, SugarSync will download and upload it as needed, without synchronizing the whole folder.

See the SugarSync virtual drive under Computer?

Additionally, the client can now search through all files in your SugarSync storage and take you directly to them. You also have the option to view images in an attractive new gallery view.

Finally, SugarSync 2.0 introduces the ability to create public folders, which anyone (even people who don’t use SugarSync) can access just by entering a URL in their browser. Previously, SugarSync only allowed you to share individual files this way—not whole folders.

Should you upgrade to 2.0?

Go for it! We’ve played with SugarSync 2.0 since its beta days without encountering a single issue, and the fresh look and new features are much appreciated. SugarSync is worth a look even if you’re already a Dropbox, SkyDrive, or Google Drive user—especially if you’ve ever found yourself wanting more control over which folders you can sync to the cloud.

Pov: The Public Health Consequences Of Hate

POV: The Public Health Consequences of Hate Charlie Hebdo massacre underscores impact of less glaring hatred, intolerance on millions

During the past three weeks, I have found myself riveted by the media accounts of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, where 3 men, purportedly motivated by a desire to avenge satirical cartoons demeaning the prophet Muhammad, killed 12 people and injured 11 others. A total of 20 people were killed between January 7 and 9, as the Charlie Hebdo shootings were followed by police involvement and subsequent shoot-outs on the outskirts of Paris. The events—reminiscent of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings—galvanized France and resulted in astonishing large-scale demonstrations in Paris against extremism and mass violence.

Yet, the events in Paris also cast into bold relief the public health consequences of less glaring hate crimes—acts of hatred that are much more prosaic, much more mundane, and that touch the lives of millions daily.

Population health research over the past two decades has steadily illuminated how prejudice, discrimination, and segregation, linked to hatred and antagonism, have a pernicious and pervasive effect on health. A study last February in the American Journal of Public Health, for example, linked lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth suicide in Boston with neighborhood-level LGBT hate crimes involving assaults and found that sexual minority high school students who lived in neighborhoods with higher rates of assault were significantly more likely to report suicidal thoughts or attempts. A companion study found evidence of a higher prevalence of marijuana use among these same LGBT students in higher hate crime neighborhoods. Yet another study, published last year in Social Science & Medicine, found that “structural stigma,” defined as antigay prejudice at the community level, was associated with higher all-cause mortality, especially from suicides, violence, and cardiovascular disease, among LGBT residents. And Ilan Meyer of UCLA’s School of Law put forward a conceptual framework that links stigma and prejudice to mental health disorders among LGBT people through hostile social environments.

On the individual level, discrimination has been shown to negatively affect health, as social ties influence health behaviors and act as buffers against stress—which can, in turn, affect immune function, cardiovascular activity, and the progression of disease. A Harvard Medical School study found that respondents to a national health survey who personally perceived any kind of major lifetime discrimination were more likely to have major depression. Discrimination following a specific, collective event also has been studied. Arab Americans living in the United States who perceived abuse after the 9/11 attacks were more likely to report high levels of psychological distress and lower levels of happiness, a 2010 study found.

The literature extends well beyond the negative health effects among minorities who are targeted by specific discrimination. One recent study found that racial resentment was associated with smoking among non-Hispanic whites, suggesting that the consequences of hate reach both minority out-groups and those in majority groups. Additionally, there is robust literature about the relationship between segregation, often a proxy for racial tension in a community, and health status. One systematic review found that isolation segregation was associated with higher pregnancy risks and mortality among blacks. A paper that I coauthored in 2011 estimated that about 176,000 deaths annually from heart disease and other causes might be attributed to racial segregation.

Witnessing the extreme expression of hatred—the murder of dozens of people by a few—has stirred the world’s attention, showing us all too brutally how hatred, in its ugliest manifestations, can tear at the fabric of civilization. But perhaps the most sobering reflection emerging from this terrible event is not that this was an isolated incident, but rather that hatred and intolerance pervade our daily lives, with substantial impacts on individual and community health. At core, this sheds light on the fundamental causes of population health, on the social structures that influence our day-to-day lives and that form the conditions that produce health. This suggests, to my mind, that a concern with the health of the public is inextricable from a concern with issues of social justice that influence the conditions that make people healthy.

There are many reasons, beyond health, why hatred and intolerance should have no place in a pluralistic, enlightened society. But health is a shared and universal aspiration. A desire to maximize the health of populations should inspire us. It should push us to engage with the social fractures that threaten our potential to become healthier people. This argues strongly for the central role of a social justice agenda in an activist public health approach—one that is concerned with understanding and creating the conditions that promote health in populations.

Sandro Galea is a professor and dean of the Boston University School of Public Health. He can be reached at [email protected].

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