Listening Tools

A great TED talk on how we are losing our listening…

Particularly interesting for me was the part on filters that we apply when we listen.  In a world where we we are increasingly broadcasting, Julian Treasure reminds us of the importance of listening, and shares five tools for improving our listening. Enjoy.


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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Martin Fowler’s Survey of Version Control Tools + Subversion Multisite

Check out this post from Martin Fowler. The sample size is 99 responses, but look at what tops the list. Look at the contrast between Clearcase and Subversion.

Subversion’s only downside is repository replication across different sites, a reality for our business where we have teams around the world working on the same code base, and the code base is BIG, so downloading the “whole ball of code” from a remote server just won’t work efficiently. The only solution I have come across so far is WAN Disco’s multisite solution. There is a video here describing it. I have never used it and would love some feedback from anyone who has experience with this solution.

Lots of good stuff on Martin’s blog. Including more details on the pros and cons of different source code repository tools.

Thanks, Martin!