March 29 2010 – Dinner with Jeff Sutherland

Monday, March 29, I had the opportunity to have dinner with Jeff Sutherland and other RTP leaders. The dinner was a fundraiser for CITCON, which came to RTP in April. This was an opportunity for Agile practitioners and experts to have an informal chat about the challenges and opportunities of using Agile in the world of work.

I was interested in learning more about Systematic, a CMMI level 5 company that implemented Scrum across its entire business. One thing that sets Systematic apart from other companies is that it has really good data to prove that Scrum works, and it is a software company that can execute perfect waterfalls every time. Systematic created hyper-productive teams, and by Jeff’s definition, they are at least 4 times more productive than industry average. They cut TTM in half and the development costs by the same as well.

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Continous Integration and Testing Conference – by Jamie Longmuir

Field Report from Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina – April 16th-17th, 2010 – (CitCon –

By:  Jamie Longmuir

Note from Raj: Jamie just returned from Citcon and he graciously agreed to share what he learned there with all of us. Thank you,  Jamie!

This conference was an excellent opportunity to hear from other designers, testers and release managers who had adopted agile, CI, TDD, and other practices.  While the attendees all brought different perspectives, they were all very passionate about improving their software development practices.

Note: The points raised in my notes below, are just that…my notes.  Feel free to discuss any points you disagree or have something to add to in the discussion page.

Interesting Quotes from the Conference…

“Gartner’s analysts (Thomas Murphy and David Norton) predict that by 2012 “agile development methods will be utilized in 80% of all software development projects”. –

“If you’re not doing TDD, you’re not doing professional development” – Paul Julius

Conference Format – Open Spaces

I found the open-spaces concept very effective for this type of conference.  When you have many people, from different backgrounds, looking to share their individual experiences this is a great format.  Unlike a traditional conference, where sessions are pre-scheduled and presenters lecture on a particular topic, open-space sessions are scheduled by the participants during the conference, and frequently turn into a round-table discussion, rather than a lecture.

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ICST Paris 2010 – Innovation in Test

Last week, the ICST Wednesday morning keynote was given by Patrick Copeland, senior director of engineering at Google. The talk was about testing, culture, and what Google is doing to improve TTM and quality through innovative approaches to testing. Productivity and Innovation in a hyper-competitive cloud computing world were the key themes of the talk.

There are those who are changers and those who are maintainers. Changers are people who are more likely to innovate. Maintainers will keep the existing running well. Innovators are changers who can take ideas and make them work in the real world. To innovate however, you need feedback mechanisms that let changers test ideas. Failing fast and early is the key. Mr. Copeland introduced the idea of “pretotyping”. A pre-prototype can give you early feedback. One example he cited in his talk was about voice recognition and dictation on a computer many years ago. You talk, the computer writes. The first demo of it was done with a microphone and a screen and as the subject spoke, the text would appear on the screen, but the text was being typed by a human who was listening in another room. What they learned from this is that talking into a computer is tiring and natural speech does not render well as written text. It provided some feedback that would have been obtained much later if a real prototype been built.

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A-TDD applied to a Congestion Control feature for Telecom & Data Networks

Congestion Control is a common telecom and network application to manage overload of data traffic through high-traffic Network Elements (NEs). Some slides offer an example of how to use A-TDD to decompose the requirements into User Stories, and develop scenarios for Acceptance Test in large, complex product development. You can find the slides on SlideShare here.

A-TDD as an Efficient Design Tool & Productivity Booster

Been thinking a lot about A-TDD these days with ICST and the TDD workshop coming up next week. A-TDD can help you do more than validate your product against Acceptance criteria. A-TDD asks you to think about the definition of Acceptance in Customer terms, and prepares you to be Ready-Ready. This represents the black-box product tests that customers will run. A-TDD covers not only functional tests, but also covers tests related to performance, stability, reliability, security, and other “-ility” tests. A-TDD can help you do the following as well:

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