The scientific approach to increasing conversion

We wouldn’t dream of running an A/B or Multivariate test without a solid hypothesis in place. These little statements are the tiny hearts that power an idea through to completion.

But what is it about this statement that makes it so invaluable? And how specifically has it helped us? I’m hoping this article will give you an answer to these questions, as well as convince you to use them in your testing program (if you’re not already doing so, that is).

Best of all, I’ll be using a real example as a case study! Continue reading

Book Review – Patterns for Performance and Operability

A commonly overlooked area of many systems are the non-functional requirements and the design to meet those requirements. Patterns for Performance and Operability by Ford, Gileadi, Purba and Moerman provides everyone involved in the software life-cycle from development to support with a good foundation in understanding why non-functional requirements are important and real examples of how to capture, develop, test and operate with these requirements. Systems fail when non-functional requirements have not be considered and it is everyone’s role in the SDLC to consider them.

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Accelerated Agile – comparing theory to practice

I recently attended a training session run by Dan North (@tastapod) called Accelerated Agile. This blog post summarises what we learnt: Dan argued that some organisations/teams using Agile practices have lost sight of actual achievement and are unconsciously going through the motions, too comfortable in the fact that they are ‘doing Agile’? Why might this be happening, and how can it be avoided?

Dan North at Foo Cafe

Dan North in full flow

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Engineering Day Feb 2013 – WebPerf, Service Versioning, Deployments, Chef, and more

We in the engineering team at thetrainline.com hold an ‘open day’ every six months to share what we do with other (less ‘techy’) teams in the company. The most recent Engineering Day, in February 2013, saw members of the HR, Legal, Commercial, Marketing, Finance, and other teams (plus our Exec) attend presentations and demonstrations from members of our tech teams covering: web performance, service versioning, deployments, infrastructure automation, testing, ticket retailing, and even a workshop on ‘How to build your own website‘. Continue reading

London Continuous Delivery meetup – January 2013

On 17th January the engineering team at here at thetrainline.com hosted a meetup of the London Continuous Delivery group at our offices in central London. About 50 group members were joined by 15 or so staff from thetrainline in a discussion led by Andy Hawkins from Opscode, originators of infrastructure automation tool Chef. We saw a demo of Chef working with ThoughtWorks GO to build EC2 instances, and there were interesting discussions on auto-scaling and organisational change.

Update: podcast now available…

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Feed Your Team – How Calories Correlate to Technical Excellence

pizzaIn theory, an Agile Dev team should be self organising and self motivated to continuously improve their development environment. Keeping up the motivation and learning needs dedication; here at thetrainline.com we’ve tried various formats with varying degrees of success but as a development manager I feel that the approach with the greatest success can be correlated to… calories. Continue reading