devXero's blog

a blog about agile, development, and automation

Agile 2009 – day 4

Posted by Mike Longin on August 28, 2009

Last day of sessions.  I only really went to 2 sessions today and spoke at another.  The two I went to were two of the best sessions of the whole week.  Almost have to ask how these sessions could wait to the last but at least I got to see them.

Session 1 – Michael Bolton – Why is testing so slow

This was a very interesting session that examined the concept that testing is slow.  His site is http://www.developsense.com/ and is one of those sites that if your reading this blog you should take the time to glance over.  His presentation really examined all of the issues that making testing slow and while I could not find his specific slides I did find these http://www.developsense.com/presentations/2009/06/WhenDoWeStopTesting.pdf.  The really explain the basis of his points.

However there were two additional points that he made that I wanted to reiterate:

  • Unclear requirements themselves do not slow down testing, instead it is the job of the tester to discover the unclear requirements
  • You never just test just to test, you test to provide information to others

I liked both points because they really do force you to look at testing from a different perspective.

Session 2 – Brian Marick – Eight Guiding Values

Brian Marick (http://www.exampler.com/) gave a presentation that at any other conference could have been a keynote.  He defined eight guiding values that all agile teams should follow:

courage
the ability to stand up against internal and external pressures and get the job done
working software
providing working software means that the powers that be remain happy
ease
what you need is there when you need it
being reactive
fast feedback
naiveté
need to be able to withhold judgment on the absurd (like TDD) until you actually try it
visibility
joy
  • courage
    • the ability to stand up against internal and external pressures and get the job done
  • working software
    • providing working software means that the powers that be remain happy
  • ease
    • what you need is there when you need it
  • being reactive
  • fast feedback
  • naiveté
    • need to be able to withhold judgment on the absurd (like TDD) until you actually try it
  • visibility
  • joy
    • the feeling that this is the greatest project you have ever worked on

Each action contributes to the overall success of the team itself.

One of the questions that Brian posed to the group and I wanted to repeat is why do teams seem to rely on the scrum master to take the bullet and put forth no effort to do it themselves.  If they are a team why is the scrum master the only one that shows risk…

Reading this does not give any appreciation for how good both of these presentations were.  Thank you to both of these gentleman for putting this together.

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