Better Software / Agile Dev Practices East 2011
SQE Home

Agile Development Practices East 2011
Tuesday Tutorials
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 8:30 AM
Deliver Projects on Time, Every Time New Full-Day Ken Whitaker, Leading Software Maniacs, LLC How do you help your team deliver quality results on time while striking a balance between letting the team self-organize and classic management command and control? Based on his software project experiences, case studies, and the PMI’s PMBOK® Guide, Ken Whitaker shares practical techniques to help project managers learn innovative scheduling techniques, make the right customer-focused decisions, reduce project risk, work more effectively with product owners and management, and transition their teams to become more agile. Ken pays special attention to projects that have not gone well and techniques to get them back on track. You’ll participate in exercises to: understand how you and your team really spend your days, estimate delivery dates more accurately, understand why multi-tasking is bad, and improve your communications skills. Ken illustrates key project management imperatives with case studies on why software projects fail, the impact of postponing quality validation, the impact of disruptions, and how to get a team to work in the “flow.”

PMI® members looking to keep up with PMP credential learning requirements earn 6 PDUs. Learn more about Ken Whitaker
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 8:30 AM
Sustainable Acceptance Test-driven Development with Cucumber New Full-Day Antony Marcano, RiverGlide Andy Palmer, RiverGlide Cucumber is a popular open source tool for automating acceptance tests that are written in plain text. Although it’s easy to get started with Cucumber, you can easily get into trouble if you do not fully understand the framework. Many teams soon find themselves with large, hard to maintain, and difficult to navigate step definition files—the code that connects the plain text tests to the system under test; automation code that is duplicated; regular expressions that are all but indecipherable; and more. Antony Marcano and Andy Palmer explain how working with Cucumber can start simple and stay simple. Learn how to avoid common problems implementing acceptance test-driven development. Take away new ideas for increasing the maintainability of Cucumber acceptance test suites while taking advantage of CukeSalad, an open-source Cucumber extension. Practice writing acceptance test scenarios and the code that automates them in ways that create highly maintainable automated tests.
Laptop required (one between two). Free USB memory stick provided with everything you need for the tutorial.
Learn more about Antony Marcano, Andy Palmer
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 8:30 AM
Continuous Delivery: Rapid, Reliable Releases C Full-Day Jez Humble, ThoughtWorks Rolf Russell, ThoughtWorks Businesses need to deliver new features to users as frequently as possible in order to capitalize on new business opportunities and create a competitive advantage. However, they also need to ensure that releases are stable and well-tested. Jez Humble and Rolf Russell discuss how to deliver features rapidly and reliably through an automated build, deploy, test, and release pattern called the deployment pipeline. First, start with the value proposition and principles of continuous delivery. Then, take the unique approach of moving from release back through testing to development practices, analyzing at each stage how to improve collaboration and increase feedback to make the delivery process as fast and efficient as possible. Spend the second half of the day discussing the continuous delivery ecosystem, including managing components, data, infrastructure, and organizational transformation. Learn more about Jez Humble, Rolf Russell
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 8:30 AM
Consultants’ Skills You Can Use Today New Full-Day Payson Hall, Catalysis Group, Inc. What do great consultants bring to an engagement—other than experience and expertise—that distinguishes them from their mediocre peers? A skilled consultant must hit the ground running, quickly grasp the situation, listen attentively, communicate effectively, gather and analyze data, present suggestions in a business context, and manage expectations. These are skills that effective consultants bring to every engagement. Payson Hall teaches you these consultant skills to make you more effective on the job, whether on projects, problem solving, or beginning a new assignment. Specifically, learn and apply techniques to better define problems and projects, learn an effective communication model that improves both listening and speaking/writing, gain data gathering and analysis tools to help model problems and potential solutions, explore the basics of meeting management to help avoid wasting time and improve the effectiveness of meetings that are necessary, and examine the advantages of seeking frequent feedback on progress. Learn more about Payson Hall
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 8:30 AM
Managing Successful Test Automation New Full-Day Dorothy Graham, Software Test Consultant Many organizations never achieve the significant benefits that are promised by automated test execution tools. What are the secrets to test automation success? There are no secrets, but the paths to success are not commonly understood by managers. Dorothy Graham describes the most important automation issues, both management and technical, that you must address and helps you understand and choose the best approaches for your organization—no matter which automation tools you use. If you don’t begin with good objectives for your automation, you will set yourself up for failure later. If you don’t show return on investment (ROI) from automation, your automation efforts may be doomed, no matter how technically good they are. Those who have contributed to her new book provide useful and sometimes surprising lessons from real and recent experience in automation. Join Dorothy to learn how to identify achievable and realistic objectives for automation, show ROI from automation, understand technical issues such as testware architecture, pick up useful tips, learn what works in practice, and devise an effective automation strategy. Learn more about Dorothy Graham
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 8:30 AM
Scaling Agile with the Lessons of Lean Product Development Flow New Morning Cory Foy, Net Objectives While first generation agile methods have a solid track record at the team level, many agile transformations get stuck trying to expand throughout the organization. With a set of principles that can help improve software development quality and productivity, lean thinking provides a method for escaping the trap of local optimization. While agile teams can use lean principles to improve their practices, the larger organization can embrace lean to solve problems that commonly plague company-wide agile endeavors. Cory Foy explores the lean principles of mapping value streams, creating visibility, managing work levels, and more. Together, these lean principles and practices can help your organization dramatically reduce the amount of waste in the work that teams perform. Cory introduces and explains Kanban, an agile method that has recently come on the scene, in terms of the lean principles it supports. Learn more about Cory Foy
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 8:30 AM
Essential Patterns of Mature Agile Teams C Morning Bob Galen, iContact Many teams have a relatively easy time adopting the tactical aspects of the agile methodologies. Usually a few classes, some tools introduction, and a bit of practice lead teams toward a fairly efficient and effective adoption. However, these teams often get “stuck” and begin to regress or simply start going through the motions—neither maximizing their agile performance nor delivering as much value as they could. Borrowing from his experience and lean software development methods, Bob Galen examines essential patterns—the “thinking models” of mature agile teams—so that you can model them within your own teams. Along the way, you’ll examine patterns for large-scale emergent architecture, relentless refactoring, quality on all fronts, pervasive product owners, lean work queues, providing total transparency, saying “No”, and many more. Bob also explores why there is still the need for active and vocal leadership in defending, motivating, and holding agile teams accountable. Learn more about Bob Galen
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 8:30 AM
A Visual Management System for Enterprise Agile Projects New Morning Arlen Bankston, LitheSpeed Bob Payne, LitheSpeed Many companies struggle when scaling agile methods to large, multi-team projects and programs. Enterprise-level agile adoption is especially challenging in environments that are not fully agile and where delivery cadences often vary wildly. A visual management system is a valuable tool to help teams and management overcome these challenges. Arlen Bankston and Bob Payne explore creating a Portfolio Alignment Wall, a simple and effective agile-ready coordination system based on proven implementations at widely differing companies. Learn how to track progress, visualize dependencies, and increase collaboration on large programs and portfolios through a powerful system combining elements of the Scrum of Scrums, visual management theory, value stream visualization, and a simple set of rules to balance simplicity and sufficiency. Participate in a simulation to craft a physical coordination board and leave with a draft plan for implementing a Portfolio Alignment Wall at your organization. Arlen and Bob describe and demonstrate both physical and virtual boards to address the needs of both collocated and distributed teams. Learn more about Arlen Bankston, Bob Payne
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 8:30 AM
CMMI® Crash Course C Morning Hillel Glazer, Entinex A model for implementing process improvement systems, CMMI® practices can apply to both traditional and agile development teams and environments. Although CMMI® does not specify how to develop software products or run projects, it does specify a set of practices for measuring, improving, and monitoring product development and project management practices and processes. This, and many other basic facts about CMMI®, are frequently overlooked, misunderstood, or outright misrepresented in what most people hear and read about CMMI. Hillel Glazer provides insight and no-nonsense information on where CMMI® came from and why it matters; what CMMI® and its appraisal process are and aren't about; the mechanics of how the appraisal works; and how to prepare for an appraisal. Hillel discusses key facts and addresses critical questions about CMMI®, including what can be expected in terms of costs, schedules and outcomes. Learn how CMMI® has been used successfully in traditional, agile, and hybrid development environments.

CMMI® is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by Carnegie Mellon University. The CMMI® Crash Course is not an SEI-Licensed course, nor is it a substitute for any SEI-Licensed courses and does not qualify for any rights, privileges, or benefits afforded by taking SEI-Licensed courses. Learn more about Hillel Glazer
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 8:30 AM
Usability Testing in a Nutshell New Morning Julie Gardiner, Sage Because systems are now more complex and competition is extreme, testing for usability is crucial for ensuring our products not only stand out from the crowd but even exceed our customer’s expectations. As testers, we often encounter requirements such as “The system must be user-friendly.” What does this mean? And, more importantly, how do we test against this vague notion? Join Julie Gardiner as she presents usability testing techniques to help evaluate system efficiency, effectiveness, and user satisfaction. Take back a toolkit full of usability testing techniques—heuristic evaluation, cognitive walkthrough, focus groups, personas, contextual task analysis, usability labs, and satisfaction surveys—for your next testing project. Learn how to define usability goals and how to get your development team to take usability issues seriously. If you want to improve your confidence in usability testing, this session is for you. Learn more about Julie Gardiner
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 8:30 AM
Understanding and Managing Change C Morning Jennifer Bonine, Up Ur Game Learning Solutions Has this happened to you? You try to implement a change in your organization and it fails. And, to make matters worse, you can't figure out why. It may be that your great idea didn't mesh well with your organization’s culture or a host of other reasons. Jennifer Bonine shares a toolkit to help you determine which ideas will—and will not—work well within your organization. This toolkit includes five rules for change management, a checklist to help you analyze the type of change process needed in your organization, a set of questions you can ask to better understand your executives’ goals, techniques for overcoming resistance to change, and the formal roles necessary to enable successful change. These tools—together with an awareness of your organization’s core culture—allow you to identify the changes you can successfully implement. Cultural awareness helps you align your initiatives with the objectives of the organization, make your team successful, and demonstrate the value of the change, which is increasingly important in these challenging economic times. Learn more about Jennifer Bonine
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 8:30 AM
Collaborating with Non-Collaborators C Morning Pollyanna Pixton, Accelinnova We understand the vital importance of collaboration among team members. However, how can we deal with non-collaborators—people who won’t work with us? Although we may not be able to change them, we may be able to work with them or around them. Pollyanna Pixton describes how to identify non-collaborators—a leader, team member, team, or even a process. She then examines the system within which the non-collaborators work: their success factors, motivations, measurement and reward systems, fears, hot buttons, and hidden agendas. Pollyanna teaches you how to assess the risks in dealing with non-collaborators. Using a trust and ownership model, she maps the traits of non-collaborators and considers tools and techniques to cope with each trait. Finally, if all else fails, learn the options for working around non-collaborators. Learn to deal with non-collaborators by building a strategy that empowers you and your team to get the job done no matter what. Learn more about Pollyanna Pixton
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 1:00 PM
Agile CMMI®: Yes, You Can New Afternoon Hillel Glazer, Entinex Ahmed Sidky, Santeon There is no longer a question of whether or not agile and CMMI® are compatible. The question is why aren't you using both to improve your software delivery? Perhaps you are struggling to fit agile into your current CMMI® practices. Or, you can't work out how to incorporate CMMI® key process areas into your agile practices. Maybe, you are concerned that agile will dilute your CMMI® practices or that CMMI® will calcify your agile approach. Perhaps, you're uncertain that you can achieve and sustain the right balance between agility and CMMI®. All of these concerns arise from one thing—incorrect information. Ahmed Sidky and Hillel Glazer set the record straight and share techniques that give you the power to make agile and CMMI® work together on any project. Ahmed and Hillel offer a hands-on experience for bringing agile and CMMI® together so you can go back to your workplace armed with a new understanding and a step-by-step approach to immediately apply to your projects.

CMMI® is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by Carnegie Mellon University. Learn more about Hillel Glazer, Ahmed Sidky
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 1:00 PM
Agile Estimation and Planning: Scrum, Kanban, and Beyond C Afternoon David Hussman, DevJam If you are new to agile methods—or trying to improve your estimation and planning skills—this session is for you. David Hussman brings years of experience coaching teams on how to employ XP, lean, Scrum, and Kanban. He advises teams to obtain the estimating skills they need from these approaches rather than following a prescribed process. From start to finish, David focuses on learning from estimates as you learn to estimate. He covers skills and techniques from story point estimating delivered within iterations to planning without estimates by delivering a continuous flow of value. Going beyond the simple mechanics of estimation and planning, David explores agile techniques to enable continuous learning and ways to prevent sprint planning sessions from becoming empty rituals. Join David and your peers to practice your agile estimation and planning techniques so they can become powerful tools within your project. Learn more about David Hussman
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 1:00 PM
A Test Leader’s Guide to Agile C Afternoon Bob Galen, iContact Much of the work of moving traditional test teams toward agile methods is focused on the individual tester. Often, the roles of test director, test manager, test team leader, and test-centric project manager are marginalized—but not in this session where we’ll focus on agile testing from the test leader’s perspective. Join experienced agile test leader and long-time coach Bob Galen to explore the central leadership challenges associated with agile adoption: how to transform your team’s skills toward agile practices, how to hire agile testers, how to create a “whole-team” view toward quality by focusing on executable requirements, and how to create powerful doneness criteria. Beyond the tactical leadership issues, Bob explores strategies for becoming a partner in agile adoption pilot projects, making changes to test automation strategies, and how to reinvent your traditional planning and metrics for more agile-centric approaches that engage stakeholders. Learn more about Bob Galen
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 1:00 PM
Starting Up Great Agile Teams—or Resetting Existing Ones C Afternoon Lyssa Adkins, Agile Coaching Institute Michael Spayd, Agile Coaching Institute What do you need to know before starting up an agile team? What do team members need to know about each other, and what is expected of them as a team? In this highly interactive session, you’ll experience a complete start-up agenda—full of learning activities—that you can use back at the office. Practice setting the stage for a high-performance team, creating a shared vision at multiple levels—individual, team, company, and world—and organizing activities that open the floodgates for healthy cross-functional and self-organizing behavior. To set a solid foundation for growth and continuous improvement, Lyssa Adkins and Michael Spayd empower you with new skills and knowledge to give your team a high-powered launch. Even if your current team did not get the best foundation, it’s not too late. They’ll show you how to use these same techniques to help reset your team and put them on a high-performance path. Learn more about Lyssa Adkins, Michael Spayd
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 1:00 PM
Design Patterns Explained: From Analysis through Implementation C Afternoon Cory Foy, Net Objectives Cory Foy takes you beyond thinking of design patterns as “solutions to a problem in a context.” Patterns are really about handling variations in your problem domain while keeping code from becoming complex and difficult to maintain as the system evolves. Cory begins by describing the classic use of patterns. He shows how design patterns implement good coding practices. He then explains key design patterns including Strategy, Bridge, Adapter, Façade, and Abstract Factory. In small group exercises, learn how to use patterns to create robust architectures that can readily adapt as new requirements arise. Lessons from these patterns are used to illustrate how to do domain analysis based on abstracting out commonalities in a problem domain and identifying particular variations that must be implemented. Leave with a working understanding of what design patterns are and a better way to build models of your application domains. Learn more about Cory Foy
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 1:00 PM
Make the Most of Refactoring to Improve Your Design New Afternoon Arlo Belshee, Microsoft The key success factor in an emergent design approach is to create an adaptable design that you improve through refactoring. Arlo Belshee explains refactoring and guides you through examples—both simple and complex—to help you discover different ways to improve code. These examples demonstrate the subtle, endemic problems that can make a system difficult to maintain and allow bugs to creep in. Studying refactoring examples leads to further improvement ideas and more refactoring. Arlo explores design topics including mocks, testing temporal systems, the Whole Value pattern, the Actor pattern, and functional decomposition. Learn how to recognize refactoring opportunities in your code and what to do when you find them. If you’ve got some nasty code that you could share, bring it along. Come prepared to participate as pairs of participants rotate through the “refactoring hot seat” while everyone in the session offers suggestions. Learn more about Arlo Belshee
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 1:00 PM
Configuration Management Best Practices C Afternoon Bob Aiello, CM Crossroads Robust configuration management (CM) practices are essential for creating continuous builds to support agile’s integration and testing demands, and for rapidly packaging, releasing, and deploying applications into production use. Classic CM—consisting of identifying system components, controlling changes, reporting the system’s configuration, and auditing—won’t do the trick anymore. Bob Aiello presents an in-depth tour of a more robust and powerful approach to CM consisting of six key functions: source code management, build engineering, environment management, change management and control, release management, and deployment. Bob describes current and emerging CM trends—support for agile development, cloud computing, and mobile apps development—and reviews the industry standards and frameworks that are essential in CM today. Take back an integrated approach to establish proper IT governance and compliance using the latest CM practices while offering development teams the most effective CM practices available today. Learn more about Bob Aiello

Top of Page
Send us Your Feedback