Deeper Roots, Higher Branches – Agile in 2018

Agile continues to grow and develop. Today, Agile technical practices go well beyond software (think DevOps, UX, and safety aspects). Technical practices can’t get far without good interaction skills (think Mob Programming, pairing).  Agile has grown deeper roots in those early coding practices to address legacy code, difficult-to-test code, subtle aspects of learning TDD, and more. Agile has branched out higher to include continuous delivery, accessibility, risk management, and more.

Our deliver:Agile 2018 conference is the place to learn how to do new techniques, how to use the new tools supporting them, and how to improve your interaction skills. Here’s a sampling of the excellent sessions we’ve got for you:

 “Noisy Code: The SNR Conjecture” by Tim Ottinger.  Tim will lead a session focused solely on how clearly and starkly the code presents its intention: its Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). When you achieve this goal, your code is faster to skim, read, improve, and easier to troubleshoot.  You’ll see examples of code before and after its SNR was cleaned up, and take away ideas you can use immediately.

“Removing Duplication” by Llewellyn Falco.  When you start with something so simple as seeing duplication in code and correcting it in tiny steps, it leads to understanding emergent design. Well, it’s a lot more certain to lead there if you’ve got Llewellyn as your workshop leader!

“Test-Driven Development Guided by ZOMBIES” by James Grenning.  People new to TDD often struggle with what test to write. It’s hard to know where to start or what test to write next. It’s hard to know when you are done, and it’s scary to think you will leave some incomplete code behind. Okay, ZOMBIES is an acronym – but it will help you figure out where to start your TDD, and what to do now vs. what to put off till later.

“Mastering Legacy Code: Preventing Bugs in Code You Can’t Test” by Arlo Belshee.  If you’re stuck with code you can’t test due to bad design, and are unable to refactor because you can’t test, then this session of mostly live-coding is for you. Arlo will walk you through how to understand what the code does and derive a spec, then show you how to safeguard the code by removing hazards hidden in it.

“Home DevOps – Doing all the right things on a small scale” by Bryan Beecham.  If you want to build an app right, or you want to learn DevOps techniques using a one-person project, this may be the perfect session for you. Using python, git and Heroku, Bryan will demonstrate a simple way to quickly iterate on your ideas, moving code through tests and deploying right to production.

Data and DevOps: Breaking Down the Silos” by Elisabeth Hendrickson.  Trouble happens when data engineers, application developers, DBAs and Ops are in silos. Elisabeth is well qualified to show us how to safeguard data safety and integrity by applying DevOps principles to data services.

“Back-end Developer’s guide to UI and UX design: You have users too!” by Burk Hufnagel.  UX isn’t only for the front-end developers to understand. Burk will look at the three most common types of users that Back-end developers serve, what their user interface looks like, and ways to improve those interfaces and their user experience.

“UX in an Agile World” by Fadi Stephan.  Are you concerned that fitting UX into an Agile team’s development pattern might mean losing focus on the big picture and resulting in a fragmented user experience?  Fadi Stephan has plenty of experience trying different approaches to get Designers and developers to better collaborate on Scrum teams.

“Your Application Must be Accessible! Now What?” by PJ Gardner.  It is ignorance about what accessibility entails, not difficulty in implementation, that makes accessibility compliance seem so daunting.  Accessibility is costly to add at the end of a project, or to try to remediate after the fact.  PJ has been a go-to person for web accessibility long before it was “a thing”, and she will show you how simple it is to achieve when everyone on the team is committed to making it happen.

“True Tales of Antifragile Code” by Rob Myers.  In this session Rob will tell true episodes of “Black Swan” stories that teams implemented. Once implemented, the user story opened a whole new market segment, improved the flow of value in another area of the organization, or greatly aided in retaining critically important customers. In other words, it delivered exponentially more value than most of the team’s other user stories.

“Mob Programming Game” by Willem Larsen.  If you’ve ever been to one of Willem’s workshops on language learning, you know he’s a keen observer and a great teacher. He’s been working as a programmer with teams using Mob Programming – and of course, he’s created a great way to help you learn rapidly about all its aspects: his new Mob Programming game.  This is sure to be popular!

Technical Practices in an Agile Transformation” by Al Shalloway.  How to balance the demands of the technical side of an Agile transformation? Technical debt pay-down, risk, safety, and team structure changes all compete for your attention. Al’s advice for balancing all these forces is based on deep experience few can match.

The deliver:Agile conference will have 3 days packed with great sessions like these. Registration is now open, and I hope you’ll join us in Austin, TX for fun and learning.

This is an Agile Alliance community blog post. Opinions represented are personal and belong solely to the author. They may not represent the opinion or policy of Agile Alliance.

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Nancy Van Schooenderwoert

Nancy Van Schooenderwoert

Independent Agile Coach and past president of Agile New England. Electronics & Software Engineer for medical, aerospace, Industrial & defense applications; among the first to apply Agile methods to embedded systems work. Nancy has been coaching Agile teams and managers since 1998. She is a regular presenter at Agile-related conferences worldwide, and is co-author of the 2021 book “Agile Methods for Safety-Critical Systems: Case Studies of Medical Product Companies.”

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