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SD Best Practices Day 2

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Day 2 of the SD Best Practices conference kicked off with the 1.5 hour sessions, which make for a more engaging day in my opinion than an all-day tutorial session. My Day 2 was focused more on the design and process side, as I went to three agile-related classes and one user interface design related class.

With Agile, I have researched and studied it extensively, including implementing pieces of it at the workplace, so with these classes I'm looking for the little nuggets that help further refine my understanding. For the UI design, I recognize that while I've come up with my own approaches to building better interfaces, hearing an expert speak on the topic will only help.

These are the classes I attended:

  • Introduction to Agile by Michele Sliger: Basic overview of agile principles and practices of iterative and incremenetal development, including a discussion of the different agile methodologies in use today.
  • xUnit and Test-Driven Development by Justin Gordon: While more Java and JUnit focused, this was a good talk on how to use TDD in your project, including how to start TDD with legacy and pre-existing code baselines.
  • Agile Estimating and Planning by Mike Cohn: A fun session on how to get better at estimating your releases and iterations in an agile project, including talk about story points, ideal days, and "Planning Poker". They even gave out a deck of Planning Poker cards to every attendee - enough cards for four people! Free stuff is good.
  • Designing for User Performance by Larry Constantine: Very entertaining presentation discussing how to create better UI designs by changing your philosophy from inside-out to outside-in thinking when designing interactions with software. Constantine is a great source for one-liner quotations that summarize his presentation, including "The more you try to organize, the more you degrade user performance", "Think from the user's perspective", and "Anytime something simple has a user's manual then you know something is wrong".

Again, once the conference is over, and I'm able to settle in I can provide more detail from my notes.

For Day 3, I'm attending sessions on Financial Engineering for SW Developers (sounds cool!), Quantitative Testing, and Code Metrics for Agile projects.

Cross-posted at Code.Implant.
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