Conference Presentations

A Crowdsourcing Success Story

Today, many organizations are using crowdsourcing to develop and test their products. Anu Kak presents an overview of how eBay has applied this concept both internally and externally to improve their development and testing. Anu shares PayPal’s implementation of the crowdsourcing approach that helps employees gain insights into applications problems and solutions. With this knowledge in hand, they can quickly improve product quality and customer satisfaction. Anu and his colleague Venkatesh share examples of how eBay utilized their customers for crowdsourcing to improve overall buyer and seller experience. Learn how the crowdsourcing process played a big role in the pilot phase for the Shopping Cart product and how customer feedback, smart troubleshooting tactics, and proactive repair of defects helped tremendously as the pilot ran throughout the US and UK.

Anu Kak, PayPal, Inc.
The Essential Product Owner: Partnering with the Team

Over the past decade or so we've seen important new ideas added to the mix of software design practices to help us produce better software. Design Patterns help us capture the design solutions and reveal a rationale for using them. Refactoring allows us to improve system design after the code is written. Agile methods-and in particular, Extreme Programming-provide highly iterative and evolutionary development methods that are particularly well suited to fast changing requirements and rapidly evolving hardware and technology environments. Martin Fowler-a leading voice in understanding, honing, practicing, and promoting these approaches-offers up a suite of short talks on his recent thinking about how these design practices have changed software development. Join Martin to explore what’s new on the horizon to support the design and development of new, more complex, interconnected systems than the world has ever known.

Bob Galen, iContact
Building Great Teams

What allows some teams to deliver results that far exceed expectations? How do these groups differ from most others? What can group members and leaders do to enable these extraordinary experiences? Geoff Bellman, along with his partner Kathleen Ryan, spent four years diving deeply into self-declared fantastic teams. They interviewed people from sixty great teams, added their own experience as managers and consultants, and came to ground-breaking conclusions documented in their book, Extraordinary Groups: How Ordinary Teams Achieve Amazing Results. Geoff presents their discoveries about what makes for exceptional performance. Sharing the eight indicators that his study shows are key, Geoff offers up the primary needs people fulfill by interacting in groups and suggests ways of meeting those needs within work teams.

Geoff Bellman, GMB Associates, Ltd.
Risk-based Development with Standards-compliant Software

When challenged with designing and developing standards-compliant software using a risk-based approach, it is essential to understand regulatory law, industry best practices, and the consensus standards recognized by regulatory bodies (FDA, ISO, and the EU). Thomas Bento helps you sort through the challenges of regulatory expectations to move confidently and defensibly forward with risk-based development using consensus standards, including IEC 62304 and ISO 14971. Learn valuable ways to augment your existing software lifecycle processes with these standards, how the standards impact industry, how to demonstrate your process for compliance audits, and ultimately how to submit to the FDA with confidence. Apply critical thinking to determine the appropriate amount of rigor for software design and development with a risk-based approach that maps your context to the Processes, Activities, and Tasks required by the standard.

Thomas Bento, Certified Compliance Solutions
Carrot and Sticks: What Incentives Really Work?

It's surprising how little of the research around incentives has made it into regular management practice. Widespread belief is that the debate is first about carrots vs. sticks and then about the kinds of carrots or sticks. Cognitive scientists, however, suggest that carrots result only in temporary compliance. Rewards, like punishment, are ineffective in producing lasting change. Numerous studies show that offering incentives is not only less effective than other strategies but often proves worse than doing nothing at all. Organizations seem to focus on the effects of variations in incentives and not on whether performance-based pay has a real effect on performance levels. Managers often use incentives instead of giving workers what they need to do a good job: treating workers well, providing useful feedback, offering social support, and allowing room for self-determination.

Linda Rising, Independent Consultant
Faltering Projects: Getting Them Back on Track

Are you concerned that your project is in trouble? Perhaps the team has missed some deadlines. No one can show a demo. The testers are finding more defects that anyone expected. And, because you are starting to have delays, the stakeholders want more features in this release. You know that things are not hunky-dory with your project. Johanna Rothman first discusses the measurements you can take to evaluate progress-cumulative flow, fault feedback ratio, and defect trends. Next, she describes approaches she's used to rescue projects-time-boxing, working by feature, using demos to demonstrate progress, and managing scope changes that can slow down your project. You'll learn the options you have for getting the project back on track and keeping it there through this release and into the future.

Johanna Rothman, Rothman Consulting Group, Inc.
Teamwork Is an Individual Skill

Are you in this situation? You share responsibility with others to get things done, and, although you are not in charge of them and they are not in charge of you, your individual performance, credibility, and perhaps even your paycheck depend on what you accomplish with them. Knowing how to get things done with others over whom you have no direct authority may be your greatest leverage for career success-and your success in developing high-value software. Christopher Avery shares his communication framework for building and leading cohesive, high-performance teams. You don't need to be a smooth-talker or an extrovert to master this approach. The fundamental challenge is helping team members understand the differences between responsibility and accountability, and mastering the dynamics of everyone's assuming shared responsibility for success.

Christopher Avery, Partnerworks Inc.
Everything You Wanted to Know ABout Cloud Computing But Were Afraid to Ask

What is Cloud Computing?

Anthony Voellm, Google, Inc.
Reading the Tea Leaves: Predicting a Project's Future

What clues from a project's history and present status give us the best insight into its future? Realistically, can much be done to "fix" a project if the current signs aren't promising? Or are most projects' fate preordained? Payson Hall has participated in and reviewed hundreds of projects during his thirty-year career in software development. Without claiming mystical powers, Payson shares patterns of failing projects he's observed on large and small software projects in both the public and private sectors. Then, he explores key leverage points for taking corrective actions to get things back on track quickly. You'll discover ways to identify early "problem seeds" that can grow into larger issues over time. Take back a diagnostic framework-a systematic investigatory process-to help identify root causes of problems.

Payson Hall, Catalysis Group Inc
Deception and Estimating: How We Fool Ourselves

Cognitive scientists tell us that we are hardwired for deception-overly optimistic about outcomes. In fact, we surely wouldn't have survived without this trait. With this built-in bias as a starting point, it's no wonder that software managers and teams almost always develop poor estimates. But that doesn't mean all is lost. We must simply accept that our estimates are optimistic guesses and continually re-evaluate as we go. Linda Rising has been part of many development projects where sincere, honest people wanted to make the best estimates possible and used "scientific" approaches to make it happen-and all for naught.

Linda Rising, Independent Consultant


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