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Laurent Bossavit

Laurent Bossavit
Institut Agile

A software developer with more than twenty years of development experience and a few years as an independent consultant, Laurent Bossavit heads Institut Agile which aims to help agile software development become better established as a disciplined development process. Passionate about helping people in agile communities network and support one another, Laurent is a former member of the Agile Alliance board, recipient of the 2006 Gordon Pask award for contributions to agile practice, and co-founder of the Coding Dojos. He is the author of The Leprechauns of Software Engineering: How Folklore Turns into Fact and What To Do about It.

Speaker Presentations
Monday, June 8, 2015 - 1:00pm
Half-day Tutorials
Avoid Number Numbness: Think Clearly about Measurement Claims

Numbers, models, and measurements are often used to describe. Just as often, they are used to persuade. Sometimes, they are used to intimidate. In order to avoid being fooled or bullied, testers must be able to examine information, claims, and evidence critically. They must apply critical thinking to their own observations, interpretations, and reports in order to avoid fooling themselves—or worse, their clients. Michael Bolton and Laurent Bossavit help you look thoughtfully and skillfully at reports, research, and common claims about testing and software development. Learn methods for analyzing those claims and a framework for evaluating them. Apply this approach to real-world cases and exercises, and refine your approach to collecting, assessing, and presenting data. Throughout, remain engaged as you look at the original data, assess the relationship between numbers and their representations, evaluate the methods of measurement and, in a nutshell, refine your current skills and build new ones. Caution: This workshop may interfere with your enjoyment of your daily newspaper.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 10:00am
Better Thinking for Better Software: Thinking Critically about Software Development

To paraphrase a famous Albert Einstein quote—We cannot solve our problems by applying the same level of thinking that we used when we created them. Although Einstein was originally talking about war, this also is applicable to software development, where one level of thinking—known as software engineering—has prevailed for the past four decades. Laurent Bossavit explores why several of the key assumptions are no longer—or never were—credible. These include the cost of defects curve, the notion of 10x engineers, and the origin of software bugs. Not stopping at debunking suspect claims and sharing techniques to expose them, Laurent goes on to explain the driving motivation which helped the claims become widespread―a misguided search for universal laws of software development―and suggests an alternative approach at a different level, hinted at by lean and agile practices. In this alternative approach each of us, backed by hard data and critical thinking, puts on the scientist's lab coat in search of local truths within our development organizations.