Blogs

The User Story Mapping Workshop process

A technique that I’ve known for a long time — but has been improved by my recent Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) and Certified Product Owner (CSPO) training — is how to conduct a “User Story Mapping Workshop” at the beginning of a new software development project.

Alvin Alexander, Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)

As a brief note today (May 2, 2022), Alvin Alexander is now a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), certified by the Scrum Alliance. This is in addition to his many years of leading agile software teams in Scrum, Scrum-like, and Scrumban environments, and also being a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM).

Alvin Alexander is now a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

As a brief note today (April 24, 2022), Alvin Alexander is now a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), certified by the Scrum Alliance. This is in addition to his many years of leading agile software teams in Scrum, Scrum-like, and Scrumban environments.

Our “Back To Then” app (for iOS and Android)

Back To Then is a “photo frame” slideshow app. Just copy your favorite photos into the app and then press Start Slideshow, and it slowly rotates your photos in full-screen mode on your device. When you want to stop the screensaver, just tap the screen to return to the main menu.

Back To Then doesn’t have any ads, and it doesn’t access the internet, so your photos remain completely private to you.

How It Works

To use Back To Then:

A Docker cheat sheet

This is the beginning of a Docker cheat sheet. I couldn’t find any out here that I liked, so I’m starting to create my own, which will hopefully be organized the way I like it. (This cheat sheet is cross-posted at alvinalexander.com/programming/docker-cheat-sheet-cheatsheet.)

Docker Basics

Recommended as a first command on a Docker system:

docker version     # should show Client and Server sections

Docker Lifecycle

This section mostly comes from (https://github.com/wsargent/docker-cheat-sheet):

Pushing a Scala 3 JAR/Docker file to Google Cloud Run

This blog post about Scala, JAR files, Docker, a Dockerfile, and Google Cloud Run was initially posted here on my alvinalexander.com website. While I’m currently only working with the Google Cloud on a part-time basis, I hope this information is helpful to others.

Reading a CSV File Into a Spark RDD (Scala Cookbook recipe)

Note: This Apache Spark blog post initially appeared here on my alvinalexander.com website.

This is an excerpt from the Scala Cookbook, 2nd Edition. This is Recipe 20.3, Reading a CSV File Into a Spark RDD.

Problem

You want to read a CSV file into an Apache Spark RDD.

Solution

To read a well-formatted CSV file into an RDD:

Reading a File Into a Spark RDD (Scala Cookbook recipe)

Note: This Apache Spark blog post initially appeared here on my alvinalexander.com website.

This is an excerpt from the Scala Cookbook, 2nd Edition. This is Recipe 20.2, Reading a File Into an Apache Spark RDD.

Problem

You want to start reading data files into a Spark RDD.

Solution

The canonical example for showing how to read a data file into an RDD is a “word count” application, so not to disappoint, this recipe shows how to read the text of the Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln, and find out how many times each word in the text is used.

After starting the Spark shell, the first step in the process is to read a file named Gettysburg-Address.txt using the textFile method of the SparkContext variable sc that was introduced in the previous recipe:

Getting Started with Apache Spark (Scala Cookbook recipe)

Note: This Apache Spark blog post initially appeared here on my alvinalexander.com website.

This is an excerpt from the Scala Cookbook, 2nd Edition. This is Recipe 20.1, Getting Started with Apache Spark.

Scala Problem

You’ve never used Spark before, and want to get started with it.

Solution

When you use Spark professionally, your data will probably be spread across multiple computers — maybe thousands of computers — but to get started with Spark you can do all of your work on one computer system in “local mode.” The easiest way to do this is to start the Spark shell, create an array, and go from there.

Automated GUI Testing (AGT) software, version 0.1.0

As a brief note today, I just finished writing the first draft of my Automated GUI Testing (AGT) software with Scala 3 today. Really this is Version 0.1.0, but I just added some basic image recognition methods into it last night, and that was the final piece of what it needed to go live.

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