Sogeti Engineering World 2008
This saturday I attended (and spoke) at the first Sogeti Engineering World conference, an engineering event for software engineers with various technology updates and workshops.
Today's keynote speaker was IBM's Scott W. Ambler, the practiseleader in Agile Software Development. His presentation about an agile approach to developing software and projects was very inspiring, though at times a little blunt. On the other hand, that made his points come across very well. Here are some oneliners I picked up:
"Most software development is based upon false standards and don't work that well."
You have to step back sometimes and observe what works and doesn't work, rather than just do what we've been told what work"."
"Agile challenges the religion of traditional software development"
"Business isn't really interested in 'on time' and 'on budget' projects. Yet they ask for it in the contracts because they have so little faith in the software community."
"RfP's with long lists of requirements are meant to minimize financial risk, but do the opposite: They increase risk. 45% of development generally goes to functionality that's never used at all."
"The best timeframe for development iterations are usually 1 to 4 weeks. A 2-week iteration works best for its short feedback cycle."
A question from the audience: "How much time do you take between iterations?" "I usually call it the weekend."
"We don't want to have repeatable processes, we want repeatable results. Nobody cares how you do it if you do it over and over again."
"The worst possible time to do testing is at the end of a development phase."
"Testers don't need a set of specs, they need to break the system. The defects are your requirements."
"Every product works on powerpoint slides, but the longer you wait with actually starting coding, the bigger your risks are."
"At the beginning of the project we write big documents, but in the end when things go wrong we throw them out the window and we solve the problem. So why bother to write stuff that nobody uses anyway?"
After the Ambler's Keynote there were three technology update sessions with our partners Microsoft (on silverlight, linq, wpf etcetera) , IBM (on SOA Service Oriented Architecture and there Websphere and BPM solutions) and Oracle.
The afternoon was filled with break out sessions by Sogeti on various expert technologies, such as Microsoft, Security, Oracle and Java and yours truly did a presentation on Second Life again.
The first edition of the Sogeti Engineering World ended with a very interesting presentation by Playlogic, a Dutch gamemanufacturer on how the production of a game looks like and how they are starting to approach this in an agile fashion as well to make their development a lot more effective (whereas the old approach was very much like traditional software development)