david.segonds.org Chronicles of an Agile Software Development Manager


Gratin Dauphinois

Gratin DauphinoisHere is the recipe for my Gratin Dauphinois, which I call potato casserole around friends, and that is always liked. I found the recipe on TootToot but I slightly adapted it.


For 8 servings:
- 1 clove of garlic, halved
- 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups of milk
- 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 pounds of russet potatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 cup of gruyère cheese, grated


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Rub garlic over inside of 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Crush the remaining garlic and spread it in dish.
  3. Arrange potato slices in one layer in dish. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle some grated grutè. Repeat layering with remaining potatoes, seasoning
    each layer with salt and pepper and sprinkling with cheese.
  4. Mix cream, milk and nutmeg in a bowl.
  5. Add the mixture to the dish before adding the final layer of cheese.
  6. Bake until potatoes are tender and top is deep golden, about 1 hour 45

Successfully bootstrapping a large scalable Scrum practice at Royal Dutch Shell

Today, I will be presenting my paper at agile 2012. Here is the abstract for this work:

We will present the saga of a successful transformation from a struggling software development group to a scalable Scrum practice within Royal Dutch Shell. This group of sixty individuals encountered many obstacles on their journey to carry on the development of a large, 25 year old, legacy application. You will see how, over two years, we implemented a set of organizational, technological, procedural, and cultural changes to lead this group forward. Finally, we will present our vision to further strengthen and accelerate this value delivery system.

You can download the slide deck and the article itself.


The Psychological Consequences of Money


Today, I learned about the psychological consequences of money during the keynote presentation by Robert Sutton at Agile 2012. In summary, if you are posting pictures of money symbols or displaying Monopoly notes in a room where you ask people to collaborate, they will have a tendency to be more self-centered, selfish, and less willing to help others. This is the result of the work by Kathleen Vohs who published a paper on the topic.

Photo by images_of_Money


Bœuf Bourguignon

Here is my Bœuf bourguignon recipe that I adapted from this recipe. My guests seem to have appreciated it every time I made this dish over the years.


For 8 servings:
- 1 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 sprig fresh parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 10 whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 pounds cubed beef chuck roast
- 4 Tablespoon of Olive oil
- 1/4 pound bacon, cubed
- 2 onions, chopped
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 (10.5 ounce) can beef broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced


  1. In a large bowl, combine the wine, cognac, onions, carrots, parsley, bay leaf, garlic, peppercorns and salt. Mix well and add the cubed beef. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. The next day, strain the meat from the vegetables and marinade; reserve marinade. Dry meat with paper towels. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large tall pot over medium high heat. Add the meat and saute for 10 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Transfer meat to a separate medium bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. In the same pot, add the bacon and saute until lightly browned. Transfer the bacon to the bowl with the meat. Drain the pot and return it to the heat. Pour a cup of marinade into the pot to deglaze the pot, scraping the bottom to loosen up all the little bits. Return this liquid to the reserved marinade.
  4. Heat some olive oil in the pot. Add the onion and carrot from the marinade, along with the additional onion that you've chopped, and saute for 5 minutes, or until tender. Transfer this mixture to the bowl with the meat and bacon, again using a slotted spoon, and return pot to the heat. Add the flour to the pot, combining with the oil and stir until well mixed and brown, about 2 minutes.
  5. Now add the tomato paste, garlic, beef broth, reserved marinade and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and whisk to remove any flour lumps.
  6. Now pour the meat and vegetable mixture into the pot and cook for 6 to 8 hours on low heat, stirring occasionally and adding water as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. About 15 minutes before meat is done baking, melt butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. When meat is done, add the mushrooms to the meat mixture, stir well and let sit for about 15 minutes.

You can reheat the stew if you don't finish in one sitting. It only gets better over time.

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Houston Misty Bayou

Houston is a huge metropolis but sometimes, you encounter something special while cruising residential neighborhoods on the way to the morning coffee break.

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