Better Software Conference & EXPO 2006 Keynote Sessions
| Wednesday, June 28, 2006 8:45:00 AM|
Retrospectives: Five Years Beyond the Book
Norm Kerth, Elite Systems
Project Retrospectives: A Handbook for Team Reviews was published half a decade ago. Some organizations embraced retrospectives and recorded astounding results; others struggled with the concept. Norm Kerth, the author, developed a ritual of retrospectives to address a neglected aspect of the common software development process—learning from our experiences to improve the way we approach our next project. When a retrospective is carefully designed to a few key principles, it yields a positive experience loaded with many relevant lessons and a team committed to improving the way they go about doing their work. Following the steps outlined in his book, Norm explores the reflection process to see what worked, what we learned, and what we would do differently. Some of you will have little knowledge of retrospectives; some of you will be most experienced with the ritual. Join Norm as he both introduces the idea and searches for the wisdom of retrospectives gained in the past five years.
Norm Kerth is often called “The Father of Retrospectives.” Although he was not the first to promote the idea of a team learning from their experiences, his book, Project Retrospectives: A Handbook for Team Reviews, broke new ground by exploring how to lead a retrospective ritual and avoid the all too common pitfalls of blaming people, rehashing old arguments, and fearing to talk about the difficult topics. Norm is a leading expert and consultant in the areas of specification and design methodologies with emphasis on object-oriented technologies. He has a special interest in turning around failed projects and was one of a handful of people who helped develop the field and the community investigating Pattern Languages applied to software.
| Wednesday, June 28, 2006 10:00:00 AM|
Agile Productivity Metrics
Michael Mah, QSM Associates
Enough of the stories . . . Where is the quantitative proof that Agile methods like Extreme Programming (XP) deliver higher productivity and quality? Such data has been missing for years, perhaps because agile practitioners and metrics experts have never fully cooperated to crack this difficult problem. Whatever the reason, the wait is now over. Metrics expert Michael Mah will discuss how he successfully applied productivity benchmarking techniques on numerous real-world XP projects and how a company’s development approach was transformed using agile methods. He’ll give an overview of the projects, explain an approach to gathering “Agile Productivity Metrics,” review how the data was interpreted, and show what was revealed in the time-to-market and quality numbers. Michael concludes with a glimpse of the kind of agile management and measurement that is possible—when you collect the right information.
Michael Mah is a contributing author of IT Measurement, Advice from the Experts and the upcoming book, Optimal Friction, People Dynamics at Work in the Information Age. Michael also publishes his writings on-line through the Cutter Consortium. His areas of expertise include organizational development, IT negotiation, software project estimation, productivity benchmarking, outsourcing, risk management, and project "runaway prevention." Michael has been a keynote and featured speaker for the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Process Group Conference, the Cutter Summit series, the Better Software Conference & EXPO, and numerous Project Management Institute and SEI SPIN chapter meetings.
| Wednesday, June 28, 2006 4:30:00 PM|
Patterns, Influence Strategies, and Stone Age Legacies
Linda Rising, Independent Consultant
Struggling to help your team or organization become more innovative? Have great ideas but can't seem to get them off the ground? We all try to influence others, whether we want to move our department to a better development method or suggest a Friday night movie for the family. We discover new ideas to take back to our workplace but then struggle to make something happen. How can we successfully influence change? From her latest book Fearless Change: Patterns for Introducing New Ideas, Linda Rising will share stories of successful change agents including supporting research in social psychology—in particular, studies that focus on influence strategies. Even evolutionary biologists help shed light on why these patterns are so powerfully ingrained and hardwired in our brains that "You can take a person out of the Stone Age, but you can't take the Stone Age out of a person!" Although we can't change our DNA, we can use this information to help improve our organizations.
Linda Rising With a Ph.D. from Arizona State University in the field of objectbased design metrics, Linda Rising’s background includes university teaching and industry work in telecommunications, avionics, and strategic weapons systems. An internationally known presenter on topics related to patterns, retrospectives, and the change process, Linda is the author of numerous articles and four books—Design Patterns in Communications, The Pattern Almanac 2000, A Patterns Handbook, and Fearless Change: Patterns for Introducing New Ideas, written with Mary Lynn Manns. Find more information about Linda at www.lindarising.org.
| Thursday, June 29, 2006 8:30:00 AM|
The Complete Developer
Luke Hohmann, CEO, Enthiosys, Inc.
With the global availability of talented development people there is a growing trend toward the commoditization of software development. No longer is it enough to simply be a developer with knowledge of specific languages or algorithms in order to maintain your competitive edge in the marketplace. To compete, you must become a complete developer—someone who can, for example, write some code in the morning and in the afternoon update the requirements Wiki with the results of the latest customer review meeting with your marketing team. This talk explores what it takes to be a genuinely valuable complete developer in today’s world of agile development, outsourcing, globalization, and an increasingly complex business environment. It will include specific exercises, as well as information from qualitative market research conducted with CTOs and VPEs of large companies as to their definition of the “complete developer” they seek for their programming teams (and it isn't knowledge of Aspect-Oriented Programming or Design Patterns).
Luke Hohmann is CEO of Enthiosys, Inc., a Silicon-Valley based software product strategy and management consulting firm. An internationally recognized software product expert, Luke leverages over twenty years of experience in leading all aspects of successful software product development groups, including engineering and development, product management, professional services, business development, sales support, and customer care. Luke is the author of Journey of the Software Professional: A Sociology of Computer Programming, Beyond Software Architecture: Creating and Sustaining Winning Solutions, and Speed Boats and Jacuzzis: Innovation Games for Customer Understanding. Luke graduated with a B.S.E. in Computer Engineering and an M.S.E in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan and is a member of the ACM and IEEE.
| Thursday, June 29, 2006 4:15:00 PM|
Don’t Settle For Better Software—Make Truly Great Software
Joel Spolsky, Fog Creek Software
Too many teams create very decent products that, for whatever reason, fail to rise above the crowd and truly capture the popular imagination. They are surprised when their products are mostly ignored by the marketplace, which seems to be captivated by some other shiny geegaw that's functionally inferior and more expensive. In many product categories, from software to consumer electronics, the product with the most market share is often more expensive and less functional than the number two product. Joel Spolsky will explore why this happens and suggest some ways to design a "blue chip" product that people will love. After you get great software and products using the usual repertoire of debugging, usability testing, etc., you have to go still further and think about beauty, user happiness, and emotional impact. Let Joel help you figure out what makes truly great software—great.
Joel Spolsky is a globally-recognized expert on the software development process. Popular with software developers around the world, his Web site Joel on Software (www.joelonsoftware.com) has been translated into more than thirty languages. As the founder of Fog Creek Software in New York City, he created FogBugz, a popular project management system for software teams. Joel has worked at Microsoft, where he designed VBA as a member of the Excel team, and at Juno Online Services, developing an Internet client used by millions. The author of the books User Interface Design for Programmers and Joel on Software, Joel holds a BS from Yale in Computer Science. Before college he served in the Israeli Defense Forces as a paratrooper and was one of the founders of Kibbutz Hanaton.