This is a growing collection of my learnings from building web applications with AWS Amplify

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AWS Amplify is a wonderful idea. In theory it simplifies all the messy coordination of different Amazon Web Services and speeds up building new products. In practice however, Amplify is not quite there yet. Here I describe my learnings of how to use Amplify in practice and how to circumvent the inevitable problems with a new technology.

The paragraphs are in no particular order — I will add to this article each time I discover a solution to a non-obvious Amplify challenge. Feel free to come back frequently and learn from my journey. …


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Photo by Ra Dragon on Unsplash

Disclaimer: I love Scrum — it’s an awesome framework! But too many people believe that Scrum would make their company agile; this is wrong and this is why I wrote this article. Enjoy.

When I went to Chernobyl, a good friend told me to bring a Geiger counter (a device that detects radioactivity) to protect myself. So I got a Geiger counter — a good and expensive one — and went into the danger zone polluted by the nuclear catastrophe of 1986. Although the situation felt scary, I had no fear, because I was protected by that Geiger counter. The device was clicking along happily. Trusting it to save my life, I entered the ruins of the old power plant. I was using the Geiger counter exactly as I was instructed. …


In today’s climate, it’s best to assume that most business models, even successful ones, will have a short lifespan.
― Alexander Osterwalder, Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers

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Photo by Skye Studios on Unsplash

If business models have a short lifespan, how can we create long-term success for our business? Do short lifespans for business models automatically mean short lifespans for companies?

Your business model must change constantly

The solution to keep your company in business in todays quickly changing world? Constantly change yourself! Adapt your business model. It needs to adapt to changing markets, trends and technologies. And this is not a one-time stunt: you need to set up your business to be able to change constantly and quickly. …


A hands-on process we use to get from feature requests to happy customers

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Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Doing lean startup and customer development in practice is a challenge. Here is how we at gixtra.com get from features requests of users to happy customers.

The full process

Here is the process in short. I will describe it in more detail below.

  1. Receive requests via Intercom
  2. Create a user story in GitHub and link it to Intercom conversation
  3. Prioritize backlog on GitHub
  4. Implement
  5. See conversation pop back up in Intercom after closing GitHub issue => inform customer
  6. Evaluate metrics of new feature and ask customer how they use it/like
    it
  7. Remove feature, if it doesn’t bring enough value for core customers

1. Receive requests via Intercom

It often starts with customers asking how to get something done in Gixtra on our Intercom support chat. Instead of simply answering and closing the ticket, we first ask, what they try to achieve. This often gets us to a whole new level of understanding the context and problem they face on the job to be done! …


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Photo by Tirza van Dijk on Unsplash

This is a beta article. I write and extend this article as I develop an application in VueJS with Quasar and AWS Amplify (including Cognito). I hope, my learnings will already help some of you even without being a fully written article.

Tools used

  • VueJS — JavaScript framework
  • Quasar — Full frontend stack for web, mobile and desktop apps (based on VueJS)
  • AWS Amplify — Cloud infrastructure and services for hosting, CI, authentication … (a little like Google Firebase and Google Cloud)
  • AWS Cognito — User authentication

Why these tools?

You could argue about this for a lifetime. I simply arrived at these tools after trying out a lot of JS frameworks, UI libraries and infrastructure services. …


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Photo by Tina Rataj-Berard on Unsplash

This happened to me a few times and I want to save you from the trouble in this article.

A naive approach

Sometimes you need to customize the CSS class attached to an element. In my example I had events that had a different status (e.g. “confirmed” and “cancelled”). Each status has a different styling.

So naively I went my way and typed:

Note how I use string interpolation on the <div> element to dynamically change the CSS class depending on the eventStatus.


Never ever let it be 16 minutes!

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There is a reason why the Daily Scrum is timeboxed to 15min max!

The Daily Scrum is a core element of good project management. But I’ve seen too many teams misunderstanding this meeting and implementing it badly. Pointing out common misunderstandings & pitfalls, I want to give you hands-on advice to fix the Daily Scrum and reap all the benefits from this important meeting.

While the first article looked at the pitfall of the Daily Scrum degenerating into a status meeting, this article specifically talks about a lack of timeboxing and the Daily Scrum lasting longer than 15 minutes. …


The Daily Scrum is NOT a daily status meeting!

The Daily Scrum is a core element of good product and project management. But I’ve seen too many teams misunderstanding this meeting and implementing it badly. Pointing out common misunderstandings & pitfalls, I want to give you hands-on advice to fix the Daily Scrum and reap all the benefits from this important meeting.

This article specifically talks about the pitfall of the Daily Scrum degenerating into a “daily status meeting”. Although this is a pretty common pitfall, it is by far not the only one — I talk about another one in part 2 of this article.

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Never let the Daily Scrum become a status meeting! (image: “Great Job Soldiers” by 316th ESC)

The status quo

In my many years as an agile coach I have seen the following kind of bad “Daily Scrums” far too…


How to determine the perfect sprint duration for every project phase

As an agile coach I get this question a lot! There is a simple and a more nuanced answer to this question. Let’s start with the simple one…

Start with 2 weeks

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If in doubt, stick with 2-week sprints

“Make it two weeks” is the standard recommendation of most agile coaches — and it’s certainly a starting point with which you can hardly go wrong. If you’re in a hurry or in doubt, make it two weeks.

Why? Well, two weeks seem to be the most common sprint length in practice, it is kind of the middle between the possible extremes and it gives you enough benefits without high cost. …


Determine the perfect sprint length for every project phase

This cheat sheet accompanies the article What is the opitmal Sprint length in Scrum? Please read it first to benefit from this cheat sheet.

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Cheat Sheet

Feel free to download and print it. Please share it with the world, if you find it useful!

If you practice Scrum, you might want to check out my free email course with tips on the Daily Scrum.

About me

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I’m Matthias Orgler, an agile coach and Scrum trainer with more than a decade of practical experience in agile projects. I have worked in Silicon Valley, coached many international companies and today offer my experience in video courses 📺 and classroom trainings 👨‍🏫 from my European home in Germany. Feel free to contact me with questions — I always love to help and to make the world a better place by spreading the agile mindset.

Check out my website

About

Matthias Orgler

Agile Coach, Business Innovator, Software Engineer, Musician

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