Northern Virginia Software Symposium
November 7 - 9, 2008 - Reston, VA
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David teaches and coaches the adoption and improvement of agility as a delivery tool. His work includes helping companies of all sizes all over the world. Sometimes he is pairing with developers and testers, while other times he is helping to invent, evolve and plan the delivery of all types of products and projects. David also spends a great deal of time helping leaders at all levels find ways to pragmatically use agility to foster innovation.
Prior to working as a full time coach, David spent years building software in a variety of domains: digital audio, digital biometrics, medical, financial, retail, and education to name a few. David now leads DevJam, a company composed of agile collaborators. As mentors and practitioners, DevJam focuses on agility as a tool to help people and companies improve their software production skills. DevJam provides seasoned leaders that strive to pragmatically match technology, people, and processes to create better and cooler products in competitive cycles.
Along with teaching and coaching, David participates in conferences around the world. He is the recipient of the Agile Alliance, 2009 Gordon Pask Award. David continuously contributes to books and various publications.
For coaching information, presentations, and more, visit www.devjam.com
With the growth of agile comes the need to add a new line to the Agile Manifesto: Success over Dogma. The number of people who can say agile is growing faster than the number of people benefiting from agile practices. There are now many successful agile projects, yet there are also a growing number of projects claiming to be agile but not seeing any of the benefits agile methods provide. This session will discuss successful adoptions of agile, dumb things you can do to muck it up, and more.
Just saying you are an agile project does not mean you will benefit. If agile methods are going to work for you, you will need to make them work in your culture. This session will review the healthy and no so healthy use of agile methods. Drawing from a wide variety of examples across many companies and domains, the session will provide guides for adopting or tuning agile methods that will work within your company culture and not simply in some text book. We will also cover near misses and common landmines that many agile projects encounter.
Being agile does not mean living life one iteration at a time. Agile projects without a long view can run into the common design problems of the past. Planning iteration by iteration is often foolish and feeds the myth that agile projects do not think beyond a few weeks. Successful agile projects plan within iterations and across iterations. The later planning is called release planning and it is the forum where agility first engages architecture and other cross cutting concerns.
Architects who think that agile projects evolve code one test at a time are only partially correct. Agile projects review and evolve architecture with unit tests, acceptance tests, architectural spikes, and continuous review of the system's ability to adapt and respond.
There is a home for architects and architecture on agile projects, and other traditional roles, but the there are some new variations. This session will talk about the relationship of agile methods and architecture and design and how they can work together to make stronger products and systems. The session will draw on information and anecdotes will come from projects of all sizes within companies of all sizes, including some large and complex systems.
Management and agility are not mutually exclusive. Many managers are already working in an agile manner as a means to improve, produce, or simply survive. Other managers hear about projects using agile methods and struggle to find a place in the project community.
This session provides a new way to think about managing projects. Some managers will find that their existing practices and skills are supported and enhanced by the forums and metrics provided within an agile project while others will be challenged by some of the principles and practices.
From product definition to project chartering to planning, estimating, and tracking, this session will discuss practices of agile managers working on agile projects of all sizes. The session will contains a collection of interactions meant to teach, challenge, and immerse you in the managing and leading an agile project.
Agile methods have cut through the noise and lighten the burden of crafting requirements documents. While this is good, it also shows clearly see that defining and guiding the creation of software products is challenging work. Most agile projects use a product backlog as a place to hold anything that will improve the product.
Creating strong product backlogs is less defined than many of the other agile practices. Backlogs contain many items: user stories, architectural spikes, investments in updating and maintaining development and other environments, and more. While it is clear that developers primarily code, it is often less clear who adds to and grooms the backlog.
The sessions covers the creation, prioritization, maintenance and grooming of a product backlog. We will cover core topics like user stories and personas, and we will also dig into the challenges of keeping a backlog healthy. We will examine various ways that project communities contribute to and draw from a backlog, and we will examines several example projects and how they have learned the best way to collaborate around the backlog to make sure the product evolves in the most valuable direction.