Skip to content

Software Development Blogs: Programming, Software Testing, Agile Project Management

Methods & Tools

Subscribe to Methods & Tools
if you are not afraid to read more than one page to be a smarter software developer, software tester or project manager!

Feed aggregator

What’s next for Google payment and loyalty experiences

Android Developers Blog - Thu, 05/18/2017 - 15:57
.caption { font-size: 75%; text-align: center; text-format: italic; } Posted by Pali Bhat, VP of Payment Products

Thousands of apps and millions of stores accept Android Pay, a simpler and more secure mobile payment experience. Android Pay is now available in 10 markets, with more coming soon, including Brazil, Canada, Russia, Spain and Taiwan. And in addition to our already announced Visa and Mastercard partnerships, we'll soon enable a streamlined mobile checkout experience for PayPal users.

The newest ways to pay with Google

Yesterday, we announced the Google Payment API, which lets people pay in app or online with any verified credit or debit card saved to their Google Account, via products like Google Play, Chrome and YouTube.

Paying with Google in the Wish app

For users, the option to pay with Google means breezing through checkout without needing to remember and type multiple lines of payment details. You simply choose your preferred card, enter a security code or authenticate with your Android device, and check out.

Developers who adopt this API can enable an easy-to-use checkout experience for their customers. Sign up for early access to the new Google Payment API.

In the upcoming months, we'll also enable people in the U.S. to send or receive payments via the Google Assistant. On your Google Home or Android device, it's as simple as saying "Ok Google, send $10 to Jane for pizza." All you need is a debit card linked to your Google account.

Pay friends on Google Assistant

Connect with customers before, during and after purchase

We're also announcing new ways for merchants to engage and reward customers before they walk into the store and after they've left.

The Card Linked Offers API drives customer loyalty by providing a new channel to deliver targeted offers, and Panera Bread is one of the first merchants who will roll out this new capability nationally. MyPanera members who save their loyalty card to Android Pay can discover offers and learn about new menu items, surfaced by Android Pay when they are at the store. The offer is redeemed when you use your MyPanera account at checkout.

Card Linked Offers for Panera Bread in the Android Pay app

We're also making it easier for Android Pay users to add loyalty programs. For example, Walgreens Balance Rewards® members who manually apply their loyalty account with a phone number and use Android Pay will receive a notification on their phone that easily enables them to link that loyalty card to Android Pay for future visits. This experience is powered by our smart tap technology, which Walgreens has fully deployed across their 8,000+ U.S. stores.

There's more—we're collaborating with Clover, a First Data company, to expand our smart tap technology beyond national retailers to businesses of all sizes. With the upcoming integration of smart tap in Clover's developer APIs, you'll be able to build Android apps for loyalty, coupon and gift card redemption and new features, such as order ahead and tap for pick up.

Visit developers.google.com/payments for the latest on all of our Google Payment, Loyalty and Offers APIs.

Categories: Programming

Software Development Linkopedia May 2017

From the Editor of Methods & Tools - Thu, 05/18/2017 - 13:43
Here is our monthly selection of knowledge on programming, software testing and project management. This month you will find some interesting information and opinions about practical Agile, software developers types and interview, giving feedback, error handling for .NET, unfinished user stories, mobile testing with Appium, dealing with pesky people and the product owner role. Web […]

Android Instant Apps is open to all developers. Start building today!

Android Developers Blog - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 23:21
.caption { font-size: 75%; text-align: center; font-style: italic; padding-top: 0; } Posted by: Jonathan Karmel, Product Manager

Earlier this year, we began testing Android Instant Apps, a new way to run Android apps without requiring installation. Thanks to our incredible developer community, we received a ton of feedback that has helped us refine the end-to-end product experience.

Today, we're opening Android Instant Apps to all developers, so anyone can build and publish an instant app. There are also more than 50 new experiences available for users to try from a variety of developers, such as HotPads, Jet, the New York Times, Vimeo, and One Football. While these experiences have only been live for a short amount of time, the early data shows positive results. For example, Jet and HotPads are seeing double digit increases in purchases and leads generated.

(left to right: One Football, Dotloop, Jet, Vimeo, HotPads and The New York Times)

Feedback from our early partners has directly shaped the development tools we're making available to all of you today.

To get started building an instant app, head over to developer.android.com and download the latest preview of Android Studio 3.0 and the Android Instant Apps SDK. You'll continue to use a single codebase. Android Studio provides the tools you need to modularize your app so that features can be downloaded as needed. Every app is different, but we've seen with our early partners that with the latest tools, instant app development typically takes about 4-6 weeks.

Once you've built your app, the Play Console provides support for distributing your instant app. You just upload your instant app APKs together with your installable APK.

Instant Apps continues to ramp up on the latest Android devices in more than 40 countries. And with Android O, we've gone further, building a new, more efficient runtime sandbox for instant apps, sharable support libraries to reduce app size, and launcher integration support.

To learn more, visit g.co/InstantApps. We're also hosting a session "Introduction to Android Instant Apps" on Thursday, May 18 from 1:30-2:30 PM PT at the conference to dig deeper into the topic. You'll also be able to watch the live stream on Google I/O YouTube channel.

We are excited to see what experiences you create with Instant Apps!

Categories: Programming

Google I/O 2017: Empowering developers to build the best experiences across platforms

Android Developers Blog - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 22:17
By Jason Titus, Vice President, Developer Product Group
It's great to be in our backyard again for Google I/O to connect with developers around the world. The 7,200 attendees at Shoreline Amphitheatre, millions of viewers on the livestream, and thousand of developers at local I/O Extended events across 80+ countries heard about our efforts to make the lives of developers easier -- allowing them to focus on the problems they're trying to solve by minimizing the pain points of building a product.
Earlier this morning, our CEO Sundar Pichai talked about our various billion-user platforms. Whether it's Android or Chrome or the mobile Web, our success would not have been possible without the developer community. And during our Developer Keynote, we covered our heavy investments in tools and services for developers who build on our platforms every day.
We have a lot to cover over the next three days. Let's take a closer look at the major developer news at I/O so far:
Platforms that connect developers to billions of users around the world
  • Android O Developer Preview 2 — Get a look at the next release of Android O focused on fluid experiences that make Android even more useful, and our efforts to optimize battery life, startup time, graphic rendering time, and stability. Early adopters can opt in to the Android O Beta Program at android.com/beta and run Android O now.
  • Project Treble — Last week, we also introduced a new Android framework designed to help reduce the time and effort it takes device makers to upgrade a phone to a new version of Android, starting with Android O.
  • Android Go — We're optimizing Android to run smoothly on entry-level devices, starting with the O release. We're also designing Google apps to use less memory, storage space, and mobile data, including apps such as YouTube Go, Chrome, and Gboard.
  • Kotlin — Android is officially supporting the Kotlin programming language, in addition to the Java language and C++. Kotlin is a brilliantly designed, mature, production-ready language that we believe will make Android development faster and more fun.
  • Android Studio 3.0 Canary — Our new preview includes three major features to accelerate development flow: a new suite of app performance profiling tools to quickly diagnose performance issues, support for the Kotlin programming language, and increased Gradle build speeds for large sized app projects.
  • Mobile Web — AMP and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are re-defining modern mobile web development. AMP gets content in front of users fast and PWAs deliver app-focused experiences that are reliable, fast and engaging. We're seeing success stories from all around the world - travel company Wego has rolled out a successful AMP based PWA and Forbes has seen user engagement double since launching a PWA. If you're wondering how good your current web experience is, you can use Lighthouse - an automated tool for measuring web-page quality. Be sure to tune in this afternoon for the Mobile Web: State of the Union talk to hear more about building rich mobile web experiences.
Infrastructure and services to take mobile apps and the Web to the next level
  • Firebase — At last year's I/O, we expanded Firebase to a full mobile development platform with products to help you build your app and grow your business. Over a million developers now use Firebase, and we're doubling down on our efforts to simplify more every-day developer challenges. We're giving more insights to understand app performance through Firebase Performance Monitoring, introducing integration between Hosting and Cloud Functions, adding support for Phone Number Authentication, and continuing to improve Analytics in a number of ways. We've also started open sourcing our SDKs.
  • Mobile web developer certifications — At I/O'16 we launched the Associate Android Developer Certification. This year, we're adding two new certifications for web developers: the Mobile Sites Certification and the Mobile Web Specialist Certification.
Powerful tools to acquire and engage new users; grow successful businesses
  • Google Play Console — We announced several powerful, new features and reports in the Play Console to help developers improve their app's performance, manage releases with confidence, reach a global audience, and grow their business. The Play Console also has a new name, to reflect its broadened business uses, and a fresh look to make it easier to get things done.
  • Android Instant Apps — We opened Android Instant Apps, a new way to run Android apps without requiring installation, to all developers. Now anyone can build and publish an instant app. There are also more than 50 new experiences available for users to try out from a variety of brands, such as Jet, New York Times, Vimeo and Zillow.
  • Payments, Monetization & Ads — We introduced a Google Payment API that enables developers to give their customers the ability to pay in apps and online with credit or debit cards saved to their Google Account. New AdMob integration with Google Analytics for Firebase helps them monetize efficiently and updates to Universal Apps Campaigns will help them grow their user base.
New interfaces to push the limits of what's possible
  • Actions on Google for the Google Assistant — We brought Actions on Google to phones, introduced new features and functionality, improved our SDK and more. We also launched the Actions Console, a new developer console that helps developers work as a team, and collect data on app usage, performance and user discovery patterns. This new console is integrated with the Firebase and Google Cloud consoles.
  • VR and AR at Google — We'll have more to share on the latest Daydream platform features and developer tools during our "VR and AR at Google" session tomorrow (May 18) at 9:30 AM PT in the Amphitheatre and on the livestream.
It's important to us that developers are successful. In addition to building products that help solve developer challenges, we're on the ground in over 130 countries, growing and expanding the developer community through programs such as Women Techmakers & Google Developer Groups (GDGs). We're also investing in training programs like Google Developers Certification and courses through Udacity and other partners to help developers deepen their technical capability. We're also excited to announce two large multi-product developer events, Google Developer Days, which are planned for Europe (September 2017 in Krakow, Poland) and India (December 2017 in Bangalore, India). If you are interested to find out more, sign up for updates on g.co/gdd2017.
During Google I/O, attendees and viewers have an opportunity to dive deep into a number of these areas with 14 content tracks and 140+ breakout sessions -- covering Android to Assistant to VR -- and all livestreamed. We've also launched over 70 codelabs to get developers up and running with our latest APIs today.
Whether it's Android, Chrome, Play, VR/AR, the Cloud, and the Mobile Web — we're constantly investing in the platforms that connect developers to billions of users around the world. Thank you to the continued support and feedback from the developer community.
Categories: Programming

Google I/O 2017: Empowering developers to build the best experiences across platforms

Google Code Blog - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 22:17
By Jason Titus, Vice President, Developer Product Group

It's great to be in our backyard again for Google I/O to connect with developers around the world. The 7,200 attendees at Shoreline Amphitheatre, millions of viewers on the livestream, and thousand of developers at local I/O Extended events across 80+ countries heard about our efforts to make the lives of developers easier -- allowing them to focus on the problems they're trying to solve by minimizing the pain points of building a product.

Earlier this morning, our CEO Sundar Pichai talkedabout our various billion-user platforms. Whether it's Android or Chrome or the mobile Web, our success would not have been possible without the developer community. And during our Developer Keynote, we covered our heavy investments in tools and services for developers who build on our platforms every day.

We have a lot to cover over the next three days. Let's take a closer look at the major developer news at I/O so far:

Platforms that connect developers to billions of users around the world
  • Android O Developer Preview 2 — Get a look at the next release of Android O focused on fluid experiences that make Android even more useful, and our efforts to optimize battery life, startup time, graphic rendering time, and stability. Early adopters can opt in to the Android O Beta Program at android.com/beta and run Android O now.
  • Project Treble — Last week, we also introduced a new Android framework designed to help reduce the time and effort it takes device makers to upgrade a phone to a new version of Android, starting with Android O.
  • Android Go — We're optimizing Android to run smoothly on entry-level devices, starting with the O release. We're also designing Google apps to use less memory, storage space, and mobile data, including apps such as YouTube Go, Chrome, and Gboard.
  • Kotlin— Android is officially supporting the Kotlin programming language, in addition to the Java language and C++. Kotlin is a brilliantly designed, mature, production-ready language that we believe will make Android development faster and more fun.
  • Android Studio 3.0 Canary — Our new preview includes three major features to accelerate development flow: a new suite of app performance profiling tools to quickly diagnose performance issues, support for the Kotlin programming language, and increased Gradle build speeds for large sized app projects.
  • Mobile Web — AMP and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are re-defining modern mobile web development. AMP gets content in front of users fast and PWAs deliver app-focused experiences that are reliable, fast and engaging. We're seeing success storiesfrom all around the world - travel company Wego has rolled out a successful AMP based PWA and Forbes has seen user engagement double since launching a PWA. If you're wondering how good your current web experience is, you can use Lighthouse - an automated tool for measuring web-page quality. Be sure to tune in this afternoon for theMobile Web: State of the Union talk to hear more about building rich mobile web experiences.
Infrastructure and services to take mobile apps and the Web to the next level
  • Firebase— At last year's I/O, we expanded Firebase to a full mobile development platform with products to help you build your app and grow your business. Over a million developers now use Firebase, and we're doubling down on our efforts to simplify more every-day developer challenges. We're giving more insights to understand app performance through Firebase Performance Monitoring, introducing integration between Hosting and Cloud Functions, adding support for Phone Number Authentication, and continuing to improve Analytics in a number of ways. We've also started open sourcing our SDKs.
  • Mobile web developer certifications — At I/O'16 we launched the Associate Android Developer Certification. This year, we're adding two new certifications for web developers: the Mobile Sites Certification and the Mobile Web Specialist Certification.
Powerful tools to acquire and engage new users; grow successful businesses
  • Google Play Console — We announced several powerful, new features and reports in the Play Console to help developers improve their app's performance, manage releases with confidence, reach a global audience, and grow their business. The Play Console also has a new name, to reflect its broadened business uses, and a fresh look to make it easier to get things done.
  • Android Instant Apps — We opened Android Instant Apps, a new way to run Android apps without requiring installation, to all developers. Now anyone can build and publish an instant app. There are also more than 50 new experiences available for users to try out from a variety of brands, such as Jet, New York Times, Vimeo and Zillow.
  • Payments, Monetization & Ads — We introduced a Google Payment API that enables developers to give their customers the ability to pay in apps and online with credit or debit cards saved to their Google Account. New AdMob integration with Google Analytics for Firebase helps them monetize efficiently and updates to Universal Apps Campaigns will help them grow their user base.
New interfaces to push the limits of what's possible
  • Actions on Google for the Google Assistant — We brought Actions on Google to phones, introduced new features and functionality, improved our SDK and more. We also launched the Actions Console, a new developer console that helps developers work as a team, and collect data on app usage, performance and user discovery patterns. This new console is integrated with the Firebase and Google Cloud consoles.
  • VR and AR at Google — We'll have more to share on the latest Daydream platform features and developer tools during our "VR and AR at Google" session tomorrow (May 18) at 9:30 AM PT in the Amphitheatre and on the livestream.

It's important to us that developers are successful. In addition to building products that help solve developer challenges, we're on the ground in over 130 countries, growing and expanding the developer community through programs such as Women Techmakers & Google Developer Groups (GDGs). We're also investing in training programs like Google Developers Certification and courses through Udacity and other partners to help developers deepen their technical capability. We're also excited to announce two large multi-product developer events, Google Developer Days, which are planned for Europe (September 2017 in Krakow, Poland) and India (December 2017 in Bangalore, India). If you are interested to find out more, sign up for updates on g.co/gdd2017.

During Google I/O, attendees and viewers have an opportunity to dive deep into a number of these areas with 14 content tracks and 140+ breakout sessions -- covering Android to Assistant to VR -- and all livestreamed. We've also launched over 70 codelabs to get developers up and running with our latest APIs today.

Whether it's Android, Chrome, Play, VR/AR, the Cloud, and the Mobile Web — we're constantly investing in the platforms that connect developers to billions of users around the world. Thank you to the continued support and feedback from the developer community.

Categories: Programming

Google I/O 2017: Empowering developers to build the best experiences across platforms

Google Code Blog - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 22:17
By Jason Titus, Vice President, Developer Product Group

It's great to be in our backyard again for Google I/O to connect with developers around the world. The 7,200 attendees at Shoreline Amphitheatre, millions of viewers on the livestream, and thousand of developers at local I/O Extended events across 80+ countries heard about our efforts to make the lives of developers easier -- allowing them to focus on the problems they're trying to solve by minimizing the pain points of building a product.

Earlier this morning, our CEO Sundar Pichai talkedabout our various billion-user platforms. Whether it's Android or Chrome or the mobile Web, our success would not have been possible without the developer community. And during our Developer Keynote, we covered our heavy investments in tools and services for developers who build on our platforms every day.

We have a lot to cover over the next three days. Let's take a closer look at the major developer news at I/O so far:

Platforms that connect developers to billions of users around the world
  • Android O Developer Preview 2 — Get a look at the next release of Android O focused on fluid experiences that make Android even more useful, and our efforts to optimize battery life, startup time, graphic rendering time, and stability. Early adopters can opt in to the Android O Beta Program at android.com/beta and run Android O now.
  • Project Treble — Last week, we also introduced a new Android framework designed to help reduce the time and effort it takes device makers to upgrade a phone to a new version of Android, starting with Android O.
  • Android Go — We're optimizing Android to run smoothly on entry-level devices, starting with the O release. We're also designing Google apps to use less memory, storage space, and mobile data, including apps such as YouTube Go, Chrome, and Gboard.
  • Kotlin— Android is officially supporting the Kotlin programming language, in addition to the Java language and C++. Kotlin is a brilliantly designed, mature, production-ready language that we believe will make Android development faster and more fun.
  • Android Studio 3.0 Canary — Our new preview includes three major features to accelerate development flow: a new suite of app performance profiling tools to quickly diagnose performance issues, support for the Kotlin programming language, and increased Gradle build speeds for large sized app projects.
  • Mobile Web — AMP and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are re-defining modern mobile web development. AMP gets content in front of users fast and PWAs deliver app-focused experiences that are reliable, fast and engaging. We're seeing success storiesfrom all around the world - travel company Wego has rolled out a successful AMP based PWA and Forbes has seen user engagement double since launching a PWA. If you're wondering how good your current web experience is, you can use Lighthouse - an automated tool for measuring web-page quality. Be sure to tune in this afternoon for theMobile Web: State of the Union talk to hear more about building rich mobile web experiences.
Infrastructure and services to take mobile apps and the Web to the next level
  • Firebase— At last year's I/O, we expanded Firebase to a full mobile development platform with products to help you build your app and grow your business. Over a million developers now use Firebase, and we're doubling down on our efforts to simplify more every-day developer challenges. We're giving more insights to understand app performance through Firebase Performance Monitoring, introducing integration between Hosting and Cloud Functions, adding support for Phone Number Authentication, and continuing to improve Analytics in a number of ways. We've also started open sourcing our SDKs.
  • Mobile web developer certifications — At I/O'16 we launched the Associate Android Developer Certification. This year, we're adding two new certifications for web developers: the Mobile Sites Certification and the Mobile Web Specialist Certification.
Powerful tools to acquire and engage new users; grow successful businesses
  • Google Play Console — We announced several powerful, new features and reports in the Play Console to help developers improve their app's performance, manage releases with confidence, reach a global audience, and grow their business. The Play Console also has a new name, to reflect its broadened business uses, and a fresh look to make it easier to get things done.
  • Android Instant Apps — We opened Android Instant Apps, a new way to run Android apps without requiring installation, to all developers. Now anyone can build and publish an instant app. There are also more than 50 new experiences available for users to try out from a variety of brands, such as Jet, New York Times, Vimeo and Zillow.
  • Payments, Monetization & Ads — We introduced a Google Payment API that enables developers to give their customers the ability to pay in apps and online with credit or debit cards saved to their Google Account. New AdMob integration with Google Analytics for Firebase helps them monetize efficiently and updates to Universal Apps Campaigns will help them grow their user base.
New interfaces to push the limits of what's possible
  • Actions on Google for the Google Assistant — We brought Actions on Google to phones, introduced new features and functionality, improved our SDK and more. We also launched the Actions Console, a new developer console that helps developers work as a team, and collect data on app usage, performance and user discovery patterns. This new console is integrated with the Firebase and Google Cloud consoles.
  • VR and AR at Google — We'll have more to share on the latest Daydream platform features and developer tools during our "VR and AR at Google" session tomorrow (May 18) at 9:30 AM PT in the Amphitheatre and on the livestream.

It's important to us that developers are successful. In addition to building products that help solve developer challenges, we're on the ground in over 130 countries, growing and expanding the developer community through programs such as Women Techmakers & Google Developer Groups (GDGs). We're also investing in training programs like Google Developers Certification and courses through Udacity and other partners to help developers deepen their technical capability. We're also excited to announce two large multi-product developer events, Google Developer Days, which are planned for Europe (September 2017 in Krakow, Poland) and India (December 2017 in Bangalore, India). If you are interested to find out more, sign up for updates on g.co/gdd2017.

During Google I/O, attendees and viewers have an opportunity to dive deep into a number of these areas with 14 content tracks and 140+ breakout sessions -- covering Android to Assistant to VR -- and all livestreamed. We've also launched over 70 codelabs to get developers up and running with our latest APIs today.

Whether it's Android, Chrome, Play, VR/AR, the Cloud, and the Mobile Web — we're constantly investing in the platforms that connect developers to billions of users around the world. Thank you to the continued support and feedback from the developer community.

Categories: Programming

From Actions on Google to the SDK, the Google Assistant is getting better for developers

Google Code Blog - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 22:10
Posted by Brad Abrams, Product Manager for the Google Assistant

Five months ago, we announcedan early version of the Actions on Google developer platform for Google Home. Since then we've been focused on growing your audience, expanding the platform's features and improving the developer experience overall. With today's news, we're excited to bring the platform to phones, introduce new features and functionality, improve our SDK and continue to work together to create great apps for Google Assistant users near and far!

Introducing Actions on Google on phones
Since the platform launched in December, it's been exciting to see creative and interesting apps come to life on Google Home, from working with FitStarto getting the latest news with CNBC. Today, we're bringing Actions on Google to the Assistant on both Android phones and iPhones.


With apps for the Assistant now available on phones, you'll have the opportunity to grow your user base and build apps for entirely new use cases -- things that weren't suited to a voice-only interface, like shopping for clothes or ordering food from a lengthy menu. Moving to a screen also means users can easily get things done with their app through new UI elements like image carousels, lists, and suggestion chips.


You can build and deploy apps for the Assistant on the phones starting today - here's the documentation.


We'll also soon be launching Actions on Google in English in the UK and later this year French and German, and other languages.


Adding Transactions and PaymentsOur goal with the Assistant is to help you get things done - and that doesn’t just mean asking questions or listening to information. We also want to make it easy to complete purchases.

To enable payments in your apps for the Google Assistant, you have two options. You can use Google-facilitated payments that are free, easy to integrate, and allow you to leverage the hundreds of millions of cards that are already available with Google. Or, you can use the payment method the user has already provided you. With this second option, we recommend using our new seamless account linking solution that enables users to sign into an existing account or create a new account with just two taps.


But a transaction isn't over when the user pays, it includes things like tracking an order, modifying or reordering. That's why the Assistant now allows users to see all their transactions in a single history view. And we also built an order-updates feature to make it easier to re-engage. With it you can send status updates like when a car arrives to pick them up, when their food is delivered, or their prescription is ready.


You can start building and testing transactional apps today, and they'll be available to Google Assistant users on phones soon.
Offering Better Tools and DiscoveryWith all of these new features, getting the basics is more important than ever and we know that great tools and being discovered are top of mind.


We're invested in offering a great developer experience, so today we're also launching a new developer console. This console helps you work as a team, and collect data on your app's usage, performance and user discovery patterns. It's integrated with the Firebase and Google Cloud consoles, so that you share data within your apps.


Additionally, we're rolling out a new app directory. Users can access it with a single tap from the Google Assistant and it has both categories and user ratings. Each app's directory page is also shareable on the web so that you can promote your app for new and existing users and they can share it with their friends.


With this update, they can also create a shortcut to your app, so instead of saying "Ok Google, ask Forecaster Joe what's the surf report for the Outer Banks", a user can just say their personal shortcut, like "Ok Google, is the surf up?" to easily re-engage with your app.


While we're confident these features will help improve discoverability, our work is not done! We'll continue to add new features and improve the discoverability of your apps over time.

Updating the Assistant SDKLast month we introduceda preview of the Google Assistant SDK. Today, we're continuing to make it better by adding a number of new features.


With hotword support, developers can now build devices that are triggered by "Ok Google" rather than a button or some other physical action. We're also adding the ability to have both timers and alarms. So a user can now say "Ok Google, set a timer for 60 seconds" on any device with the Google Assistant built-in.


While we are still in the early days of the SDK and the platform, we're continuing to work on creating a more comprehensive developer experience. We're also looking to bring the platform to new devices, including those powered by the Google Assistant SDK.



Announcing a new developer competitionLast but not least, we're also launching the first developer competition for Actions on Google. As part of this competition, there will be more than 20 prizes for the best apps for the Google Assistant! So start building - we can't wait to see what you come up with.


We're excited for the road ahead and look forward to working with you to develop new apps for the Google Assistant.
Categories: Programming

From Actions on Google to the SDK, the Google Assistant is getting better for developers

Google Code Blog - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 22:10
Posted by Brad Abrams, Product Manager for the Google Assistant

Five months ago, we announcedan early version of the Actions on Google developer platform for Google Home. Since then we've been focused on growing your audience, expanding the platform's features and improving the developer experience overall. With today's news, we're excited to bring the platform to phones, introduce new features and functionality, improve our SDK and continue to work together to create great apps for Google Assistant users near and far!

Introducing Actions on Google on phones
Since the platform launched in December, it's been exciting to see creative and interesting apps come to life on Google Home, from working with FitStarto getting the latest news with CNBC. Today, we're bringing Actions on Google to the Assistant on both Android phones and iPhones.


With apps for the Assistant now available on phones, you'll have the opportunity to grow your user base and build apps for entirely new use cases -- things that weren't suited to a voice-only interface, like shopping for clothes or ordering food from a lengthy menu. Moving to a screen also means users can easily get things done with their app through new UI elements like image carousels, lists, and suggestion chips.


You can build and deploy apps for the Assistant on the phones starting today - here's the documentation.


We'll also soon be launching Actions on Google in English in the UK and later this year French and German, and other languages.


Adding Transactions and PaymentsOur goal with the Assistant is to help you get things done - and that doesn’t just mean asking questions or listening to information. We also want to make it easy to complete purchases.

To enable payments in your apps for the Google Assistant, you have two options. You can use Google-facilitated payments that are free, easy to integrate, and allow you to leverage the hundreds of millions of cards that are already available with Google. Or, you can use the payment method the user has already provided you. With this second option, we recommend using our new seamless account linking solution that enables users to sign into an existing account or create a new account with just two taps.


But a transaction isn't over when the user pays, it includes things like tracking an order, modifying or reordering. That's why the Assistant now allows users to see all their transactions in a single history view. And we also built an order-updates feature to make it easier to re-engage. With it you can send status updates like when a car arrives to pick them up, when their food is delivered, or their prescription is ready.


You can start building and testing transactional apps today, and they'll be available to Google Assistant users on phones soon.
Offering Better Tools and DiscoveryWith all of these new features, getting the basics is more important than ever and we know that great tools and being discovered are top of mind.


We're invested in offering a great developer experience, so today we're also launching a new developer console. This console helps you work as a team, and collect data on your app's usage, performance and user discovery patterns. It's integrated with the Firebase and Google Cloud consoles, so that you share data within your apps.


Additionally, we're rolling out a new app directory. Users can access it with a single tap from the Google Assistant and it has both categories and user ratings. Each app's directory page is also shareable on the web so that you can promote your app for new and existing users and they can share it with their friends.


With this update, they can also create a shortcut to your app, so instead of saying "Ok Google, ask Forecaster Joe what's the surf report for the Outer Banks", a user can just say their personal shortcut, like "Ok Google, is the surf up?" to easily re-engage with your app.


While we're confident these features will help improve discoverability, our work is not done! We'll continue to add new features and improve the discoverability of your apps over time.

Updating the Assistant SDKLast month we introduceda preview of the Google Assistant SDK. Today, we're continuing to make it better by adding a number of new features.


With hotword support, developers can now build devices that are triggered by "Ok Google" rather than a button or some other physical action. We're also adding the ability to have both timers and alarms. So a user can now say "Ok Google, set a timer for 60 seconds" on any device with the Google Assistant built-in.


While we are still in the early days of the SDK and the platform, we're continuing to work on creating a more comprehensive developer experience. We're also looking to bring the platform to new devices, including those powered by the Google Assistant SDK.



Announcing a new developer competitionLast but not least, we're also launching the first developer competition for Actions on Google. As part of this competition, there will be more than 20 prizes for the best apps for the Google Assistant! So start building - we can't wait to see what you come up with.


We're excited for the road ahead and look forward to working with you to develop new apps for the Google Assistant.
Categories: Programming

Risk Management for Agile Software Development Projects

Herding Cats - Glen Alleman - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 20:46

It is popular to state that Agile IS Risk Management - but that is not correct. Agile software development is a software development process. Risk Management is a process as well. The two - agile and risk management - are well suited for each other. But Agile alone is not Risk Management.

First some principles:

  • All risk comes from uncertainty.
  • Uncertainty comes in two flavors:
    • Reducible - Epistemic uncertainty.
    • Irreducible - Aleatory uncertainty.

Risk Management has a set formal processes from the more detailed briefing below. These processes are able managing risk not developing software. They are about identifying, analyzing, planning, tracking, controlling and communicating risks. Agile - in the form of software development Scrum, XP, DSDM, Crystal, etc. contribute to these formal risk management processes. But Agile alone of NOT Risk Management.

Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 1.41.42 PM

Here's how Agile and Risk Management are joined.

12.0 risk management agile+evm (v10.2) from Glen Alleman Related articles IT Risk Management Essential Reading List for Managing Other People's Money Herding Cats: Process is King The Fallacy of the Planning Fallacy Herding Cats: How to Talk About Estimates Herding Cats: Book of the Month
Categories: Project Management

Risk Management for Agile Software Development Projects

Herding Cats - Glen Alleman - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 20:46

It is popular to state that Agile IS Risk Management - but that is not correct. Agile software development is a software development process. Risk Management is a process as well. The two - agile and risk management - are well suited for each other. But Agile alone is not Risk Management.

First some principles:

  • All risk comes from uncertainty.
  • Uncertainty comes in two flavors:
    • Reducible - Epistemic uncertainty.
    • Irreducible - Aleatory uncertainty.

Risk Management has a set formal processes from the more detailed briefing below. These processes are able managing risk not developing software. They are about identifying, analyzing, planning, tracking, controlling and communicating risks. Agile - in the form of software development Scrum, XP, DSDM, Crystal, etc. contribute to these formal risk management processes. But Agile alone of NOT Risk Management.

Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 1.41.42 PM

Here's how Agile and Risk Management are joined.

12.0 risk management agile+evm (v10.2) from Glen Alleman Related articles IT Risk Management Essential Reading List for Managing Other People's Money Herding Cats: Process is King The Fallacy of the Planning Fallacy Herding Cats: How to Talk About Estimates Herding Cats: Book of the Month
Categories: Project Management

Introducing the TensorFlow Research Cloud

Google Code Blog - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 19:59
Posted by Zak Stone, Product Manager for TensorFlow
Researchers require enormous computational resources to train the machine learning (ML) models that have delivered recent breakthroughs in medical imaging, neural machine translation, game playing, and many other domains. We believe that significantly larger amounts of computation will make it possible for researchers to invent new types of ML models that will be even more accurate and useful.
To accelerate the pace of open machine-learning research, we are introducing the TensorFlow Research Cloud (TFRC), a cluster of 1,000 Cloud TPUs that will be made available free of charge to support a broad range of computationally-intensive research projects that might not be possible otherwise.
The TensorFlow Research Cloud offers researchers the following benefits:
  • Access to Google's all-new Cloud TPUs that accelerate both training and inference
  • Up to 180 teraflops of floating-point performance per Cloud TPU
  • 64 GB of ultra-high-bandwidth memory per Cloud TPU
  • Familiar TensorFlow programming interfaces
You can sign up here to request to be notified when the TensorFlow Research Cloud application process opens, and you can optionally share more information about your computational needs. We plan to evaluate applications on a rolling basis in search of the most creative and ambitious proposals.
The TensorFlow Research Cloud program is not limited to academia — we recognize that people with a wide range of affiliations, roles, and expertise are making major machine learning research contributions, and we especially encourage those with non-traditional backgrounds to apply. Access will be granted to selected individuals for limited amounts of compute time, and researchers are welcome to apply multiple times with multiple projects.
Since the main goal of the TensorFlow Research Cloud is to benefit the open machine learning research community as a whole, successful applicants will be expected to do the following:
  • Share their TFRC-supported research with the world through peer-reviewed publications, open-source code, blog posts, or other open media
  • Share concrete, constructive feedback with Google to help us improve the TFRC program and the underlying Cloud TPU platform over time
  • Imagine a future in which ML acceleration is abundant and develop new kinds of machine learning models in anticipation of that future
For businesses interested in using Cloud TPUs for proprietary research and development, we will offer a parallel Cloud TPU Alpha program. You can sign up here to learn more about this program. We recommend participating in the Cloud TPU Alpha program if you are interested in any of the following:
  • Accelerating training of proprietary ML models; models that take weeks to train on other hardware can be trained in days or even hours on Cloud TPUs
  • Accelerating batch processing of industrial-scale datasets: images, videos, audio, unstructured text, structured data, etc.
  • Processing live requests in production using larger and more complex ML models than ever before
We hope the TensorFlow Research Cloud will allow as many researchers as possible to explore the frontier of machine learning research and extend it with new discoveries! We encourage you to sign up today to be among the first to know as more information becomes available.
Categories: Programming

A New Issue Tracker for our AOSP Developers

Android Developers Blog - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 15:51
Posted by Sandie Gong, Developer Relations Program Manager & Chris Iremonger, Android Technical Program Manager

Like many other issue trackers at Google, we're upgrading our Android Open Source Project (AOSP) issue tracking system to Issue Tracker. We are hoping to facilitate a better collaboration between our developers and our Android product teams by using a tool we use internally at Google to track bugs and feature requests during product development.

Starting today, all issues formerly at code.google.com/p/android/issues will migrate to Issue Tracker under the Android Public Tracker component. You may have noticed that we are already using the new tool to collect feedback on the O Developer Preview!

What has been migrated

Getting started with Issue Tracker
You can learn more about navigating our Issue Tracker from our developer documentation. By default, Issue Tracker displays only the issues assigned to you. You can easily change that to show a hotlist of your choice, a bookmark group, or a saved search. You can also adjust notification settings by clicking the gear icon in the top right corner and selecting Settings.

The mappings in Issue Tracker are also slightly different than code.google.com so make sure to check out Life of a Bug to learn more about what the various statuses mean.



Searching for component specific issues
Opening a code.google.com issue link will automatically redirect you to the new system. We've cleaned up some of the spam, but you'll be able to find all of the other issues from code.google.com in Issue Tracker, including any issue you've reported, commented on, or starred.

You can view all reported Android issues in the Android Public Tracker component and drill down to see reported issues for specific categories of issues, such as Tools and Support Libraries, by searching for specific components.
Filing a bug or feature request
Before filing a new issue, please check if it is already reported in the issues list. Let us know what issues are important to you by starring an existing issue.

Submitting a new issue is easy. Once you click "Create Issue", search for the appropriate component for your issue. Alternatively, you can just follow the correct issue creation link for each component listed in Report Bugs.

Here's some helpful links to get you started! table, th, td { border: 1px solid black; }
Topic Relevant Links

Navigating and creating issues in the Android component

Navigating Google Issue Tracker

Google Issue Tracker announcements for other products

Categories: Programming

Why you should localize your app or game for Middle East and North Africa

Android Developers Blog - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 15:46
@media (max-width: 480px) { .img-mobile-stack { display: block; } }

By Mohammad El-Saadi, Business Development, Google Play

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is a fast growing market for app and game developers on Google Play, and localizing is crucial to making the most of the opportunity. For example, the main grossing apps & games in Saudi Arabia have localized their store listings and their actual app and game on Google Play.

The British team behind the Skyscanner travel app had already localised it into more than 15 languages, yet the launch in Arabic was a huge milestone for them. Arabic speaking users really appreciated the localization and the app's average user rating increased from 4.62☆ to 4.77☆ after localization. Users engaged with the app longer, with an increase of 30% in their average session duration. Additionally 50% more travellers have been redirected to Skyscanner partners to book flight, hotel and car hire deals.


Skyscanner opening screen in English and in Arabic
But how difficult is it to correctly localize your app or game to Arabic?

The team at Skyscanner managed to develop Right-To-Left (RTL) Arabic language support within the app in two weeks: "Our initial fear was that we would need lots of manual coding for the layouts. However, the Android layout system handled all of the cases really well. We were already using *Start and *End margin and padding in line with guidelines, but there's also Android Studio support and Lint check to fix any issues automatically." says Mate Herber, Software Engineer.

Many other top apps and games developers are successfully investing in localizing for MENA users. For example, when game developer Pocket Gems localized War Dragons, the installs by Arabic speaking users tripled. Their percentage of revenue from Arabic language players also went from effectively 0% to ~1.5%.

We just refreshed the Now in Arabic collection (MENA only) with 16 newly localized apps and games, including titles like Netflix, Periscope and Transformers. It will be live until May 11 on Google Play in the following countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates.


Check our Localization Checklist for best practices when localizing for any language, and our Going Global Playbook. When your app or game in Arabic is ready, you can self-nominate to be part of future refreshes of the Now in Arabic collection by filling in this form.


How useful did you find this blogpost?
Categories: Programming

Quote of the Day

Herding Cats - Glen Alleman - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 15:41

The human understanding is no dry light, but receives an infusion from the will and affections; whence proceed sciences which may be called “sciences as one would.” For what a man had rather were true he more readily believes. Therefore he rejects difficult things from impatience of research; sober things, because they narrow hope; the deeper things of nature, from superstition; the light of experience, from arrogance and pride, lest his mind should seem to be occupied with things mean and transitory; things not commonly believed, out of deference to the opinion of the vulgar. Numberless in short are the ways, and sometimes imperceptible, in which the affections colour and infect the understanding. - Francis Bacon, Novum Organon (1620)

Categories: Project Management

Quote of the Day

Herding Cats - Glen Alleman - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 15:41

The human understanding is no dry light, but receives an infusion from the will and affections; whence proceed sciences which may be called “sciences as one would.” For what a man had rather were true he more readily believes. Therefore he rejects difficult things from impatience of research; sober things, because they narrow hope; the deeper things of nature, from superstition; the light of experience, from arrogance and pride, lest his mind should seem to be occupied with things mean and transitory; things not commonly believed, out of deference to the opinion of the vulgar. Numberless in short are the ways, and sometimes imperceptible, in which the affections colour and infect the understanding. - Francis Bacon, Novum Organon (1620)

Categories: Project Management

Calling all early adopters for Android Studio previews

Android Developers Blog - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 14:55
Posted by Scott Main, Technical Writer

If you love trying out all of the newest features in Android Studio and helping us make it a better IDE, we're making it even easier to download early preview builds with a new website. Here, you can download and stay up to date on all the latest Android Studio previews and other tools announcements.



Android Studio previews give you early access to new features in all aspects of the IDE, plus early versions of other tools such as the Android Emulator and platform SDK previews. You can install multiple versions of Android Studio side-by-side, so if a bug in the preview build blocks your app development, you can keep working on the same project from the stable version.

The latest preview for Android Studio 2.4 just came out last week, and it includes new features to support development with the Android O Developer Preview. You can download and set up the O preview SDK from inside Android Studio, and then use Android O’s XML font resources and autosizing TextView in the Layout Editor.

By building your apps with the Android Studio preview, you're also helping us create a better version of Android Studio. We want to hear from you if you encounter any bugs.
Categories: Programming

Android Things Developer Preview 4

Android Developers Blog - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 14:09
Posted by Wayne Piekarski, Developer Advocate for IoT

Today, we are releasing the next Developer Preview 4 (DP4) of Android Things, bringing new supported hardware, features, and bug fixes to the platform. The goal of Android Things is to enable Android Developers to quickly build smart devices, and seamlessly scale from prototype to production using a Board Support Package (BSP) provided by Google.
AIY Projects and Google Assistant SDK
Earlier this month, we announced a partnership with AIY Projects, enabling Android Things support for the Raspberry Pi-based Voice Kit. And now with DP4, the necessary drivers are provided to support the Google Assistant SDK on all Android Things certified development boards. Learn more from the instructions in the sample.
New hardware and driver support
We are now adding a new Board Support Package for the NXP i.MX7D, which supports higher performance than the i.MX6UL while still using a low power System on Module (SoM) design. Support for Inter-IC Sound Bus (I2S) has been added to the Peripheral I/O API, now enabling audio drivers to be written in user space for sound hardware connected via an I2S bus. The AIY Voice Kit sample demonstrates how to use I2S support for audio. We have also provided the ability for developers to enable/disable Bluetooth profiles at run time.
NXP i.MX7D System on Module
Production hardware sample
Android Things is very focused on helping developers build production-ready devices that they can bring to market. This means building custom hardware, in addition to the software running on the Android Things system-on-module (SoM). As a part of this effort, we have released Edison Candle, the first in a series of production samples showcasing hardware and software designed to work together. The code is hosted on GitHub and the hardware design files are on CircuitHub, and can be easily fabricated by many 3rd party companies.
Edison Candle sample with source and schematics

Thank you to all the developers who submitted feedback for the previous developer previews. Please continue sending us your feedback by filing bug reports and feature requests, and asking any questions on stackoverflow. To download images for DP4, visit the Android Things download page and find the changes in the release notes. You can also join Google's IoT Developers Community on Google+, a great resource to get updates and discuss ideas, with over 4,900 members. We also have a number of great talks about Android Things and IoT at Google I/O, which you can view via live stream or as a recording later.




Categories: Programming

Asking Questions: A Coach’s Super Power or Kryptonite

Asking Questions Imply Listening

As coaches, leaders, change agents and even parents, the act of asking questions can take on an almost magical power to guide and change behavior. As with any powerful tool, when the tool begins to take on magical attributes, the users of the tool begin to forget that a tool is just a tool.  At that point to quote, Ian Brown, “they just become a fool with a tool.” Questions are a useful tool for a coach because questions:

  1. Show a behavior that can be modeled by others.  When you ask questions, you are showing others that it is valuable to seek information rather than just to provide opinions, knowledge, and information.
  2. Facilitate active learning by encouraging participation. The process of asking questions tends to elicit a response (unless you are talking to yourself) from the people you are interacting with.  Responses can come in many forms ranging from answers to follow-up questions. Regardless of the type of response, a response requires engagement that provides a basis for learning.
  3. Avoid raising barriers due to defensiveness. Making a statement establishes a position; if the listener has a strong opinion, statements can generate barriers between the listener and others.  Questions (constructed correctly – there are bad questions) draw out what the listener thinks without raising barriers.
  4. Bust the bias that presupposes knowing the answer.  When confronted with a problem or an issue it is often easy to immediately jump to a conclusion based on our experience or predisposition.  Asking questions allow the asker to challenge what we think we know rather than to accept what we think we know as truth.
  5. Assume uncertainty. Making a statement presupposes certainty, most real-life situations are far from certain. Therefore, asking questions can help to expose the difference between what is known, what is unknown and most importantly what we think we know and really don’t.
  6. Expose boundaries.  Most organizations are a series of boundaries.  Holacracy uses the metaphor of circles within circles.  Asking questions helps the questioner to define where the real boundaries are rather than relying on org charts or blundering around in the dark.  
  7. Expose vulnerability in a controlled manner. One of the most important roles of a coach is to expose and help to disarm team members’ vulnerabilities.  Rather than rely solely on observation or the Vulcan mind meld, questions are a tool to help identify pain and vulnerabilities.
  8. Stop a coach from talking. If you are listening (and not talking), as a coach, you will get in a lot less trouble!

Questions are not an end in their own right.  Every great interviewer – such as Larry King?- understands that the question is important BUT the answer is what counts!  Asking questions is not an end but rather a means to an end!

 


Categories: Process Management

Quote of the Day

Herding Cats - Glen Alleman - Tue, 05/16/2017 - 22:11

Tennel_Cheshire_proof

Would you tell me please which way I ought to walk from here? asked Alice. That depends a good deal on where you want to get to, said the Cat. I don't much care where - said Alice. Then it doesn't matter which way to walk said the Cat - from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 

If you have no Plan, no Product Roadmap, no Release Plan, no assessment of what impediments you'll encounter along the way, no estimates of the effort and cost to reach your destination, no estimates of what performance and effectiveness attributes are needed to fulfill the customer's needed Capabilities, then you'll end up just like Alice.

On the path to nowhere

Categories: Project Management

The Career Path of a Scrum Master

Mike Cohn's Blog - Tue, 05/16/2017 - 17:00

I blogged recently on the question of whether a Scrum team can ever get so good that they no longer need a Scrum Master. In this post, I’ll address a closely related topic: Assuming that the role of Scrum Master does not go away, what is the career path for a Scrum Master?

In my experience, a Scrum Master’s career will usually evolve in one of four directions.

Multiple and More Challenging Teams

A typical career path for a Scrum Master will start with serving one team. After a while that team becomes less time-consuming to work with, as issues are resolved and the team takes on more responsibilities itself.

At that point, a good Scrum Master will seek additional challenges. Often the logical next step is to begin working with multiple teams concurrently or from working with more demanding teams or products.

When developing new Scrum Masters, I prefer to put the person in a position to most likely succeed. That will mean working with a team that has neither any difficult personalities nor unrealistic delivery expectations. But, to go from good to great, the Scrum Master will need to learn to work under more complex conditions.

This leads to the philosophy that success is often rewarded with additional challenges.

Mentor

A Scrum Master who has been successful in a variety of different contexts and teams, might choose to move into a role as a mentor to other Scrum Masters. This will especially be true and feasible as the Scrum Master gains skills and experience.

In many organizations, this role would be called an Agile Coach, with the most common job description being that an agile coach coaches Scrum Masters (and their teams).

Personally, I’m partial to such individuals mentoring rather than just coaching. Much of the benefit these experienced individuals provide comes through them offering guidance (“I suggest you do it this way”). Because of this, I think of these individuals as having become agile mentors.

This is an appropriate path for Scrum Masters who have learned that their true passion is the creative act of developing a product--largely independent of whatever the product may be. Some Scrum Masters enjoy the process of enabling creativity among development teams so much that it almost doesn’t matter what the product is.

Think about the radio DJ who just loves being a DJ and doesn’t care if he’s playing classic rock, the current top 40, or classical music.

The Scrum Master who loves the process more than the product is a likely candidate to follow a career path into becoming an agile coach or mentor.

The Scrum Master Becomes a Product Owner

Other Scrum Masters, however, learn that they love what their team is building more than the act of creating it. Those Scrum Masters become good candidates to become product owners.

I don’t want to imply that a product owner role is above the Scrum Master role in an organization. I consider the roles equivalent in a typical organizational hierarchy.

But some Scrum Masters learn that they care deeply about the thing being built rather than the process of building the thing. And from having worked with a team long enough, some of these Scrum Masters learn enough about the product, industry, users and such to become good product owners.

The Scrum Master Becomes a Manager

Scrum Masters are most assuredly not managers themselves. But through their Scrum Masters duties, Scrum Masters often work closely with those who are. And some will find that work intriguing.

Scrum Masters become adept at guiding teams without much authority to say, “Do it because I say so.” Because of this, many can move into management roles where they could demand compliance but because of what they’ve learned from being Scrum Masters, know it usually is best not to.

Especially if a Scrum Master has retained technical proficiency, moving into a role like QA director or development manager can be a fulfilling, logical step.

Scrum Masters often become coaches, mentors, product owners, managers or continue as Scrum Masters in more challenging situations.

A Scrum Master Has Options

There are many paths a Scrum Master may pursue. The skills learned in becoming a great Scrum Master will serve that person well whether they choose to become a mentor, manager, product owner or just work with more challenging teams.

In some ways, asking what is the career path for a Scrum Master is like asking what is the career path of a professional athlete.

Some professional athletes use their former careers as springboards to move into broadcasting. Others use the money they’ve made to start businesses--where I live in Colorado, car dealerships and pizza restaurants seem popular with retired athletes. Some athletes use their fame to enter politics.

Still other professional athletes would find the topic of a career path preposterous. They didn’t become athletes as a path to something else. Becoming a professional athlete was the goal itself.

And so it will be for many Scrum Masters. The role of Scrum Master can be an end itself. Doing it more and better can remain the goal. A professional athlete cannot perfect his or her sport. A Scrum Master cannot perfect that skill either. There is always room to improve. And so, for many Scrum Masters, there may be no career path other than the continuous improvement in themselves that Scrum Masters demand of their teams.

Where Are You Headed?

If you’re currently a Scrum Master, what do you think is next for you? If you were formerly a Scrum Master, what you done since leaving that role? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.