Conference Presentations

Essential Software Quality Planning

An old-yet still true-saying is "You can't test quality into a software product." By planning for the quality expected in your software, your team and management will focus on the big picture-integrating development methods, the test processes, and the customer and product requirements within the framework of a quality assurance perspective. Starting with the key element of quality planning and its benefits, Tony Raymond explains how to derive quality objectives from requirements using a "just enough" balanced approach. He introduces methods to confirm that the development lifecycle processes are consistent with quality objectives and discusses the relationship of the quality plan to the test plan. Take back examples of quality planning and test planning templates to use in your next project.

  • How to define "just enough" quality objectives
Tony Raymond, New Harbor Technical Management
Integrating Security into the Development Lifecycle

Software security is neither a development problem nor an IT operations problem. Rather, it is a paramount business problem requiring a multidisciplinary approach that minimizes organizational risk when delivering software products. By making a program-level commitment to security, IT organizations will be in the best position to defend their businesses from growing threats. Ryan English explores business management and the process components of defining, designing, instituting, and verifying secure development practices. He describes a broad set of principles that leading companies are adopting to improve the security of their software and outlines an application security program your company can implement. This approach requires a commitment to application security at all levels of management and offers the promise of a mature level of security without undue effect on the overall development process and delivery schedules.

Ryan English, SPI Dynamics Inc
Leadership - The Forgotten Element of Agile Development

We often hear about the difficulties and failures surrounding Agile methodologies. Articles describe everything from team and execution issues to the inadequacy of Agile methods on large projects and failures in large organizations. The root cause of these issues is often not a flaw in Agile methodologies but rather a lack of Agile leadership. A commonly held belief is that Agile teams are self-motivated and that leadership is almost evil. Quite the opposite is true. To succeed, Agile methodologies demand greater leadership skills at all levels. Learn from Michael Portwood about the differences between traditional and Agile leadership skills. Take away an Agile leadership model for team members, managers, and executives and proven techniques to foster and grow leadership skills development in your Agile organization.

  • Why leadership and management are diametrically opposed
Michael Portwood, Spectra Intelligent Marketing, Inc
Better Software Conference 2006: Software Production Line Automation

Traditional manufacturing employs extensive automation for maximum efficiency and reliability. Manufacturing organizations invest heavily in tooling and infrastructure to automate production lines and reap great cost savings. For certain software applications and technologies, the software development process can be optimized if it is thought of and run like a manufacturing process. With a focused tools group made up of architects, engineers, and technicians, you can build a software product line for your applications. Find out from Thomas Tyler what a software production line looks like and how it supports geographically distributed development teams with highly automated workflows. Learn to implement a concurrent development process with a flexible project management infrastructure that delivers more functionality per unit time.

  • The tools and supporting infrastructure of a software production line
C. Thomas Tyler, The Go To Group Inc
Common Scheduling Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

A project schedule is an essential tool for planning the project, monitoring progress, managing the impact of changes to scope and requirements, and ultimately achieving customer satisfaction. Unfortunately, three common mistakes can make schedules useless-or worse, even destructive to the project: (1) using date constraints when dependencies should be used; (2) using dependencies when resource constraints should be used; and (3) poorly structured work breakdown structures. Using a sample project schedule that has these common scheduling mistakes, Kenneth Katz illustrates their impact through different scenarios for handling them. He shows how revising the schedules with the right practices will result in benefits to the project and the team. Learn how project schedules can become a positive force in your projects.

  • Project schedules that easily accommodate scope and resource change
Kenneth Katz, DST Output
Web Services Interface Design - Pitfalls and Proven Techniques

Designing Web services is all about the interface. Although tools for Web services development have advanced to the point where exposing application functionality is simple, the ease of building Web services does not diminish the need for careful planning and a highly functional design. Dave Mount opens his presentation by spinning the cautionary tale of slapping together a Web services interface on a poorly structured application. This scenario serves as a reference point for a subsequent discussion of the pitfalls of a poorly designed interface. Dave illustrates techniques for correcting problems and improving the Web services interface. Looking at high profile Web services provided by Google, eBay, and, he shows how an external perspective that emphasizes consistency and conceptual clarity is key to Web services interface design.

Dave Mount, J-Soup Software, Inc
When the Customer Does Not Know Best

Failure to really understand business requirements, technical specifications, and schedule dependencies has embarrassed more than a few test teams. Before you assign the first test engineer to a project, sit down face-to-face with the customer and keep asking questions until you fully understand the scope of the system or application under test, how they will use it, and what success looks like through their eyes. A full needs analysis is the best preparation for designing a test strategy that will deliver exactly the data your customer needs to decide when they can ship or go live with their software. John Scarborough explores the critical areas of inquiry for conducting a needs analysis, using examples from projects he has worked on over the last five years. Learn to exercise deliberate, critical thinking while following a proven, systematic approach for conducting analyses.

John Scarborough, Aztec Software Inc
Building Secure Software with New Web Technologies

The latest generation of Web technologies-AJAX, improved client-side scripting, support for extensive DOM manipulation in browsers, content syndication, Web service APIs, and simple interchange formats such as JSON-are all driving new, powerful Web applications. Based on his work on real world "Web 2.0" applications, Ivan Krstic discusses the security implications of these new technologies. Ivan describes specific attacks such as Web-based worms, XSS, CSRF, and HTTP response splitting and offers advice on mitigating security risks during the engineering process. Learn how standard security guidelines such as The Confidentiality-Integrity-Availability (CIA) model apply to the modern Web and about the role of cryptography and crypto-engineering in Web security.

Ivan Krstic, Harvard University
Fishing for Requirements in an Agile Project

When you go fishing, you want to use the right lures, catch lots of fish, and avoid falling out of the boat. Developing requirements for an Agile project is similar-you need to use the right process, get the requirements you need with minimum effort, and introduce minimal risk and rework. Because every Agile project has different needs, goals, and constraints, a "one size fits all" requirements process does not work in every Agile project. In this interactive session, Jennitta Andrea shows you how to fine tune the requirements process based on a unique set of project characteristics. Learn to visualize the distinctive characteristics of a project to determine what work products to produce, how much detail to include, and which tools will provide a payback to the project.

  • Strategies for shaping your Agile requirements process
  • How much documentation you really need
Jennitta Andrea, Clearstream Consulting, Inc.
Into the Crystal Ball - Emerging Trends in Plan-Driven Development

Plan-driven development is challenged today by Agile methods, outsourcing trends, and a new emphasis on IT governance and program management. The days of straightforward software development projects are over as project managers must deal with delivery pressure from customers and the marketplace, teams distributed around the globe, and an increase in management and regulatory reporting. Using insight from her years of consulting, Carol Dekkers explores these challenges and recommends ways to adapt your practices. Learn how to realistically plan your future projects using benchmarking information such as ISBSG (International Software Benchmarking Standards Group) data together with knowledge about emerging trends. Take back a new appreciation of what constitutes “good enough” project planning today and learn to survive in this brave new world.

Carol Dekkers, Quality Plus Technologies Inc


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