Alistar Cockburn
Humans and Technology

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Alistair Cockburn founded Humans and Technology in 1994, after ten years in IBM Research and the IBM Consulting Group. He was special advisor to the Central Bank of Norway, and author of IBM's first OO methodology. He wrote the acclaimed "Surviving Object-Oriented Projects" and the Jolt Producivity Award winning "Writing Effective Use Cases," and the forthcoming book, "Agile Software Development." He likes to travel, dance and sit underwater. He is known for his ongoing research into the habits of highly successful software development teams.


The Cooperative Game Called Software Development


Software development is a cooperative game of invention and communication. It never was "engineering," despite all the advertising to that effect. Software development consists of nothing but ideas, made concrete. It consists of people inventing and communicating, working though a problem they don't yet understand, and which keeps changing, creating a solution they don't yet understand and which keeps changing, expressing their ideas using very restricted languages that they scarcely understand, to an interpreter unforgiving of error.
This talk will explore the idea and the consequences of the game; the primary and the secondary goals of the game; some of the new terms that are needed to understand the moves in this game.
In 50 years, other activities will be likened to developing software. In 50 years, we will be able to see how much engineering is really like software development.

Tutorial, Thursday 13 September
Designing a Light Methology, Half day

The methodology of an organization is a social construction that includes the roles, skills, teaming, activities, techniques, deliverables, standards, habits and culture of the organization as it develops software.

The tutorial starts with language and constructs needed to evaluate, compare and construct methodologies. These include precision, accuracy, tolerance, relevance, and scale, along with the nine basic elements of a methodology. Several examples of effective, lightweight and real methodologies are given, along with commentary on the social setting for each.

The tutorial examines the conditions suited to shifting from a lighter to a heavier methodology and the penalty for doing so. The tutorial ends with the presentation of a small family of agile methodologies, optimized for productivity, making maximum use of human, face-to-face communication. Considerations about success and failure in affecting culture are visited again at the end.

Learn to identify and diagnose the parts of your organization's methodology, and learn ways to make it more effective. This is an advanced tutorial that draws together lessons from experience.

Attendees should have significant software team experience, have used at least one methodology and thought about others.


The Cooperative Game Called Software Development (Keynotes, Managing Software Projects)
Alistar Cockburn, Humans and Technology
Wednesday [08:30 - 10:00] Conference Hall

Slides from this presentation

Title pending (Technology, Software Design & Architecture)
Alistar Cockburn, Humans and Technology
Wednesday [13:00 - 14:30] Tutorial Room

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