Conference Day 2
Wednesday, October 26th, 2011 – Sessions
Registersoon before the conference is sold out.
09:00 – 10:30 Linda RisingLinda has wondered for some time whether much of Agile's success was the result of the placebo effect, that is, good things happened because we believed they would. The placebo effect is a startling reminder of the power our minds have over our perceived reality. Now cognitive scientists tell us that this is only a small part of what our minds can do. Research has identified what Linda likes to call "an agile mindset," an attitude that equates failure and problems with opportunities for learning, a belief that we can all improve over time, that our abilities are not fixed but evolve with effort. What's surprising about this research is the impact of an agile mindset on creativity and innovation, estimation, and collaboration in and out of the workplace. Linda will relate what's known about this mindset and share some practical suggestions that can help all of us become even more agile.
11:00 – 12:30 Process Track – Room 1 Michelle D'Souza, Amit UttamEvery technology organization eventually comes face-to-face with the decision to replace or make significant business changes to their current legacy system or codebase. Using well-known, core Agile principles, we have found that this transition to software that adapts to rapid business change does not have to be painful, nor expensive, nor technically dissatisfying. We will also describe how newer technologies can still be introduced into a ‘legacy’ enterprise, while still keeping key business data and core business processes unaffected, yet open to future change.
11:00 – 12:30 Technology Track – Room 2 Owen RogersDevops represents a different approach to IT operations -- an approach based on the principles of collaboration, visibility and automation. For developers it means a better understanding and greater visibility into the environment that the production system is running; for operations it means closer collaboration with development and a greater focus on frequent deployment, monitoring tools and automated system provisioning. The result is more supportable, scalable systems with a streamlined deployment process and a lower cost to operate. This presentation covers the principles, practices and tools that we have found help nurture and sustain a devops culture.
11:00 – 11:45 Team Track – Room 3 Robert ReppelIf Agile works, why isn’t everyone doing it? Or, as Agile has become fashionable of late, why all the lip service without the expected amount of real change? This presentation makes the argument that it comes down to trust and presents tools and examples of how to build trust among the various stakeholders involved.
11:45 – 12:30 Team Track – Room 3 Chad HoldorfOne of the first steps in an Agile adoption is the formation and organization of agile teams. Leadership often struggles to figure out how many people should be on each team, what skill sets should included, and whether the team should be focused on solution components, feature delivery, or a mix. In this tutorial, you’ll hear how the 98th largest company in the Fortune 500 is optimizing their software development process by forming feature and component teams that deliver value continuously, while minimizing interdependencies.
13:30 – 15:00 Process Track – Room 1 Steve RogalskyThis presentation aims to address the elephant of agile adoption – specifically in context of the following two that were identified by the group at the 10 year reunion: a) Commercial interests censoring failures and b) Elitism as a defence against failure. One of the hallmarks of the agile community in Winnipeg over the past years has been to hold agile Q&A fishbowls at conferences and user group meetings – an open community discussion on any agile topic. The most consistent topic over the last few years has been the question of agile adoption – just how do we implement these practices so that we can help our companies improve? As a result of this, we have shared our stories of failure and success. In this session you will hear four agile adoption stories from the ‘peg, including the long slow failure of the local ‘elite’ and the success of the agile newcomers. We’ll examine and compare the contexts for these stories and discuss how honesty and openness has helped shaped agile in Winnipeg. To end the session, we’ll have an open discussion to compare your agile adoption stories and questions with those of the Winnipeg community.
13:30 – 15:00 Technology Track – Room 2 Scott BellwareWe've lived with a Test-Driven Development orthodoxy for ten years. It suggests that all code should be written test-first. In practice, it literally means that all code should be written with a coded, automated test first. While TDD adherents would say that this approach should always be used, doing so turns a blind eye to circumstances where automated testing can be deferred without loosing any productivity, and in some cases, increasing productivity. This presentation examines the inflection point where automated testing becomes necessary and beneficial, and challenges many TDD assertions that we've maintained over the years. It also provides the context for why these assertions and have been so important and asks whether current conditions still justify TDD orthodoxy. In this talk, a long-time TDD practitioner and teacher talks about lessons-learned on recent agile projects and how Lean Development principles can change perspectives on TDD practice when they are considered solely on the basis of "productivity".
13:30 – 15:00 Team Track – Room 3 Michael VaxThe Agile movement started out of frustration from long running, slow, and inefficient projects. As Agile defined itself as an opposite of Waterfall, it is not surprising that most of early Agile efforts were focused on switching our thinking from big to small - from months to weeks, from upfront design to evolving architecture, from meters long MS Project schedules to SCRUM boards, and from long requirement documents to cards and stories. And it worked! Switching from the Waterfall to the Agile process felt like getting a grasp of fresh air after leaving a stuffed room where you were locked for a long time. Because Agile proponents saw their main objective to prove that small works, little effort has been spent on discovering limitations of the "think small" approach. This presentation will explore limitations and pitfalls of a purely iteration focused approach and discuss different ways to address them while still retaining the speed and flexibility of the Agile approach. We will discuss:
- What needs to be done before the iteration to ensure its success
- How to balance resources between delivering the current iteration and nurturing the future stories in the backlog
- How to see and understand the big picture while delivering in small batches
- How to organize activities that happen after the iterations, for example, performance and regression testing
- How to incorporate customer deadlines, release planning, and external dependencies into the iteration flow
- How to find a balance between minimum necessary design and making all design decisions upfront. It is not always feasible to refactor yourself from an early mess.
- How to fit a big feature into multiple iterations
- Overhead of iteration in continuous delivery
There is nothing wrong with the long term planning. The waterfall process gets in trouble by trying to define every little detail in it.
15:30 – 17:00 Process Track – Room 1 Jeremy LightsmithAgile isn't the destination, it isn't even everything you need to get there, at best it's a set of ideas that will help you find what you need along the way. At this session, we'll explore other sources for some of the things you'll need. We'll look at a sampling of techniques, tools, and ideas from outside of agile that are extremely useful to agile teams:
- What's the next action? - from Getting Things Done (GTD)
- A/B Testing - from Lean Startup
- Paper Prototyping - from Interaction Design (IxD)
- Current Reality Tree - from Theory of Constraints
With an introduction on Agile Testing Quadrants
15:30 – 17:00 Technology Track – Room 2 Janet GregoryMany teams have tried to implement agile software development practices and failed. When you read about transitioning to agile development, it sounds so easy. Why don’t all of them succeed and why do so many agile adoptions go so badly? In particular, testing seems to get off track. Iterations turn into mini-waterfalls, stories are never quite “done”, and testers worry that they’re losing control or being set up to fail. Customers keep changing their minds and complaining that their requirements weren’t met. Obviously, some teams succeed with testing on agile projects, and others don’t. What do they do differently? Janet Gregory will share some of the lessons she has learned when working with teams that help agile teams be successful. She will introduce the agile testing quadrants which is a model for testing that involves the whole team. She will talk about what to avoid, what practices are critical, and some basic steps that can make the difference between success and failure. One example of a critical practice is using the whole team approach, and what happens when your team keeps your test team separate from the project team.
15:30 – 17:00 Team Track – Room 3 Fish Bowl Panel DiscussionFacilitated by Eugene Nizker Join us for one of our infamous fish bowl discussions, where you get to be part of the panel. We will start with some of the speakers and Junta members, and then anyone who wants to join in the discussion gets to trade places with one of the people on the panel. It’s a fun and lively way to debage issues, so drop by and join in.