Software – Artistic and Innovative Expression


Creating great software is a lot like creating great music. Both require skill, practice, and technical knowledge. Both require creative thinking, collaboration and involve good judgment. Both have an end-customer. Both have a user-experience.

As software professionals we have deadlines. So do musicians. I think about being in a studio, engineer behind the console, producer on the clock, and you gotta create. Pressure… You often hear about the emotional war that takes place between band members, in many respects similar to what software teams go through. You want to add that great new riff you invented, and you search for a place to insert it but sometimes, you just have to save it for another day because it adds weight without value. Similarly, code bloat also occurs because a team member wants to make something cool happen in the code that does not add value. We often hear the words that musicians should “check their egos at the door”. This was made famous by Bob Geldof during Band Aid, the huge Ethiopian famine relief benefit. Bob insisted that the event was not about the musicians, but about helping those in need. As software professionals we can all take a page from that book. Set our egos aside. Create something of value for our customers. Celebrate the success together. Learn from our experience and make the next one even better.

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Continous Integration and Testing Conference – by Jamie Longmuir


Field Report from Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina – April 16th-17th, 2010 – (CitCon – http://citconf.com/)

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”. – http://www.gartner.com

“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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