Tuesday, November 04, 2008
PnP Day 2
Today started with a keynote by Kent Beck - it was pretty high level but did a good job summarizing some of things that I now realize that were happening but didn't really acknowledge. For instance he talked about some Strategies; such as Leap, Parallel, Stepping Stone, and Simplification. Depending on the project size/scope and resources we use the 1st three heavily. Some projects we make a drastic leap forward and feel the pain of starting over, others we start in Parallel and have to split resources and finally we cherry pick features to update or move to better architectures or designs. Each has advantages and costs, but we did it based more on gut feeling than acknowledging the costs. I will have to think more about what strategies we use without acknowledging their presence.
Then Peter Provost did a great presentation on Architecture without Big Up Front Design. He also demoed the VS2010 Architecture Explorer. It was very cool to see the OO class diagrams and the sequence diagrams get reversed engineered from code. This is huge tool for code reviews and getting started with existing code. Sometimes things change so much in just a few months that getting comforitable is much harder then you would expect. Not to mention the huge help in finding sensitive areas of the code. Everyone will be asking how promiscuous your objects are once you can actually graph it.
Before lunch we heard about Distributed Agile which is interesting and challenging, but since we do all development in-house at one location it really doesn't help us.
During lunch Ajoy Kishnamoorthy lead a panel about Tools for Agility. It was interesting to hear what Kent Beck, Sam Guckenheimer, and Jim Newkirk thought of the tools. And lunch was really tasty...
After lunch Stephanie Saad talked about how Microsoft uses TFS. There dogfood numbers outrageous. It was interesting to hear about the different development cycles that Microsoft uses and how customized TFS is for them. We think scaling development with 50 devs is hard and they are managing the Windows team with 2000 devs. This really proves that you have to find what works and always look for process improvement. It was really good presentation. The new Excel integrated tracking speadsheets are going to be a huge plus for us - we love to track data. This session was very timely for us, since we are just now adopting TFS fully. We are currently working on our transisitons plans but some of our projects are ready and will be moved by the end of the year (keeping fingers crossed).
3 More sessions to go today - very interesting and a great conference.