It is commonly agreed that collaboration for Agile teams is best when it is face to face. However, in an increasingly global world and with companies and workers focusing more on saving on costs by looking abroad, face to face collaboration is not always practical or even possible. Thankfully, there are many applications these days that have made it possible to work effectively with distributed teams regardless of where they are located and make it feel as if you are almost in the same room. Below is a list of five of my favorite tools for working effectively with distributed agile teams.
After many years, my dream of having my primary work computer be a Macbook finally came true! I was so happy when I received my new 13 inch - Retina Macbook Pro and started to set up my desk with my new charger, keyboard, and mouse. Suddenly I realized there was at least one convenience I hadn't thought about when making the switch from the PC world: a dock that I could easily attach my machine to that would neatly organize all of my cables and provide all the ports I needed. I had never really seen any other Mac users in my office with a dock for their machines, but after a quick search on google I saw that there were at least two options with the more well known being the Henge Docks option. I was a little skeptical of a vertical dock at first since all of the other docks I had used previously were horizontal and the Henge Docks horizontal dock was super expensive. Ultimately, I decided to take the plunge on the vertical dock and see if it would be as useful as using the docks I had grown used to on the PC. Below I have included the pros and cons that I noticed while using the dock.
I absolutely love the iDOO V4.1 Bluetooth Headset! When I travel I currently use a pair of Wireless Beats Solo 2, but those can be bulky and honestly there's always a fear that such an expensive set of headphones can be lost, damaged, or stolen. So for my everyday movement I always carry a pair of the iDOO headsets. During my search for an affordable pair of bluetooth headphones (especially after I got an iPhone 7, RIP headphone jack), I tried many many pairs of headphones under $30. There were a few options that were ok, but there were always too many trade-offs to really be able to ditch my Beats or wired headphones completely. Finally after weeks of searching I found these Powerbeats- imitating headphones on Amazon that seemed to really hit the sweet spot on price, performance, and look. Read on to see why I loved these headphones and ended up buying a pair for all my family members this past holiday season.
Since the original Amazon Echo was announced, I have been so curious to see what all the hype with Alexa is about, but I was very hesitant to invest $180 dollars on what seemed like a pretty limited device. Amazon answered my prayers when they released the Echo Dot at a $50 price point, and although it was sold out for a bit, I was finally able to order mine and start to see what everyone has been talking about. Below I outline what I thought were the main pros and cons of the Echo Dot, but overall I was really impressed with how well Amazon has been able to execute on this vision and create a product that makes you feel like you are in the future.
I have recently been shopping around for a duffel bag that can double as a backpack for some of my longer trips where I want to pack everything into one bag. I had recently been using an eBags Weekender backpack, but I felt that a duffel bag offered a little more space and packing flexibility. I have always loved Incase bags so I was very excited to try their new line of Tracto bags (I went with the Small-40L version of the Tracto Split) and I have to say I was very impressed. Below I have included some of the pros and cons that I noticed as I was testing the bag out.
So how different is it to go from an iPhone 6s to a 7? Honestly, not that much, and thats a good thing as the 6s was an excellent phone. As it has been for the past couple of iterations of the iPhone, the changes have been mostly gradual: better camera, longer-lasting battery, faster processors, etc. These are always welcome changes, but definitely not a reason to rush to change if you are only one version behind. The iPhone 7, however, brings about some bigger changes than usual which I will discuss in a little more detail below and clarify how that affects the typical iPhone experience.
I have been curious to actually wear the Apple Watch since it was first announced by Apple last year. I have never had a particular impression of smart watches/wearables and I was curious to see if Apple would manage to change my mind as it had managed to do on so many niche products in the past. I was always to lazy to wait in line or make an appointment to try it on at the Apple Store (what were they thinking? smh), but when it was announced that the watches would now be sold at Best Buy I knew the moment of truth had come. Last weekend I ran to Best Buy and finally tried on an Apple Watch Sport.