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Dan North

Dan North & Associates

With more than twenty years of IT experience, Dan North uses his deep technical and organizational knowledge to help CIOs, businesses, and software teams deliver quickly and successfully. Putting people first, Dan finds simple, pragmatic solutions to business and technical problems, often using lean and agile techniques. He originated Behaviour-Driven Development (BDD) and Deliberate Discovery, published feature articles, and contributed to The RSpec Book: Behaviour Driven Development with RSpec, Cucumber, and Friends and 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know: Collective Wisdom from the Experts. Dan is a frequent speaker at technology conferences worldwide and occasionally blogs.

Speaker Presentations
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 - 10:00am
Deliberate Testing in an Agile World

In the decade since agile has gone mainstream, testing has received more emphasis—and in many organizations an automated test suite is now a prerequisite for delivery. For the first time, testing is a core activity within an integrated dev team rather than a downstream activity to be commoditized or outsourced. However, when you scratch the surface of agile testing, it seems we have lulled ourselves into a false sense of security. In an era of “automate all tests,” testing on agile projects broadly falls into two categories: automated deterministic testing provided by TDD, BDD, ATDD, and friends; and manual exploratory testing, carried out by expert testers. However rigorously we apply these methods, entire classes of tests aren't being considered, and entire groups of stakeholders are falling through the testing net. Not all automated testing should be deterministic; not all testing should be automated. Dan North helps identify the gaps in your testing approach. By considering testing as a risk management exercise viewed through the eyes of multiple stakeholders, Dan hopes you will share his mild panic about how much testing we aren't doing.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015 - 11:30am
Special Topics
Deliberate Discovery

Modern software delivery involves the decomposition of a problem into packets of business and technical analysis, design, architecture, programming, testing, integration, deployment, documentation, and training. No matter how well-intentioned our iterative or sequential approach is to these activities, our success rate of software delivery is still far below what it should be. Advances in these disciplines haven’t reduced the unpleasant surprises that occur uncomfortably late in projects. Dan North thinks it's because we are focusing on the wrong things, which means that any software delivery is merely a happy accident. He explains why ignorance is the greatest enemy to success, and presents some strategies and techniques for deliberately reducing ignorance, increasing learning, and moving toward a more deterministic and lower risk software delivery. We don’t like hearing bad news and will happily delude ourselves into thinking that things are better than they are. So this session probably isn’t for you—except that it is.