I found out how close we really were from the IRS building that was hit by a plane. I was first surprised to find out that the hotel we stayed at was right across the street from it. The thing that surprised me most was the location of the event itself – just across the parking lot!
Although my coworker and I left Saturday night to go back to Houston, the sessions I attended in Saturday were, as always, really interesting. I’m going to try and regurjitate what I have in my memory from the weekend. I’m going to review Sunday’s sessions to see what I missed.
Overcoming resistance to Adoption of Agile methods
The more important problem here isn’t actually selling Agile methods, but instead how to sell it. There seems to be a huge language disconnect between software developers and their (non-technical) managers. Software-development-English is really different than business-English. One way to bridge this gap is to start learning about seeing things in another point of view. In my case, I need to learn about how to explain problems and solutions in such a way that it impacts revenue, profits, and basically the bottom line.
Books mentioned: Release It! | Ship It!
What does it mean to be a software architect in an iterative world
As some of you may know I’ve been promoted to Senior Software Architect. Honestly, I had no idea what an Architect is or does, so transitioning into this role was something I was determined to find out. People in the session collectively put it best:
Architects are responsible for putting that dot on the horizon and guiding/zig-zagging the current software project(s) there like a sailboat.
So the goal is to iteratively make changes of the zig-zagging to make sure we don’t stray too far from that dot on the horizon since that is also a moving target.
Books mentioned: The 5th Discipline and Fieldbook | Enterprise Architecture as a Corporate Strategy
Open the Kimono
Although I’m not a web developer, I went to see what Jimmy Bogard had to show off. He’s a really sharp guy and definitely has some things to show from his project.
Branch/Release per feature
Basically, branch per feature is something that Martin Fowler is against since it allows for the merge points to become difficult and painful the longer the points are from each other. Despite this problem, the argument for this is that it allows for half-completed features to be excluded from the release of fully-completed features. Martin Fowler definitely has a valid point, but by making features small and iterations short, managing the merge points will definitely be less painful.
Discriminated Unions explained with poker. I’m going to start a Project Euler repository with F# solutions, but we’ll see how far I really get.
Books Mentioned: Real-World Functional Programming with examples in F# and C# | F# Wikibooks