During a review of the records made by an ex-employee of the company where I'm working now, I found many records starting with "Spike on", such as:

  • Spike on how to detect new blobs in an Azure Storage account
  • Spike on how to trigger a job after a new blob is uploaded using Azure
  • Spike on replacing the DASH player with the Azure Media Player

The literal translation makes no sense or very vague in Spanish. I think that it means "research", or something similar.

What does it really mean?
Is it a common expression?

  • Did your ex-colleague work on or have access to site search analytics, by any chance? Would he or his managers find spikes in certain center terms or topics interesting? (Picture a simple line graph of how many people have searched for a particular topic over time; if a lot of people all of a sudden start searching for something they haven't searched for before, you'll get a spike in the graph, especially if interest wanes as fast as it waxed on the topic).
    – Dan Bron
    Oct 6, 2015 at 10:42

1 Answer 1


It may make not much sense until you read it in the context of Scrum or Agile software development.

According to Wikipedia, spike is:

A time boxed period used to research a concept or create a simple prototype. Spikes can either be planned to take place in between sprints or, for larger teams, a spike might be accepted as one of many sprint delivery objectives. Spikes are often introduced before the delivery of large or complex product backlog items in order to secure budget, expand knowledge, or produce a proof of concept. The duration and objective(s) of a spike is agreed between product owner and development team before the start. Unlike sprint commitments, spikes may or may not deliver tangible, shippable, valuable functionality. For example, the objective of a spike might be to successfully reach a decision on a course of action. The spike is over when the time is up, not necessarily when the objective has been delivered.

The use of Spike on { how to / replacing } in the records you found is just the use of spike as a verb, which basically means "research a concept or create a prototype". Your guess is really close!

  • Thank you very much! Indeed, the sentences were found in a scrum backlog. Oct 6, 2015 at 20:20

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