Better Software Conference & EXPO 2007


Coaching: The New Leadership Imperative

The days of plan-driven command-and-control technical management are gone. Flexible software development and the adoption of agile methods are driving factors. Add to this the fact that the I-decide-You-obey paradigm never worked very well anyway. Today, a coaching model is replacing command-and-control within more self-directed teams. This shift drastically changes the skills required of today's leaders, many of whom are struggling with questions such as: If I don't make the decisions, what is my job? Is my position really needed?

Robert Galen, RGCG, LLC
Continuous Integration to Improve Software Quality

The practice of continuous integration facilitates early visibility into the development process by regularly incorporating new modules into the build much earlier than the classic "big bang" integration approach. Continuous integration helps reduce the time between when a defect is coded and when it is discovered, thereby making it faster and easier to repair. Software teams see their build process as much more than a simple compile and link process because the build exposes new bugs immediately.

Andrew Glover, Stelligent

Developing a Software Product Line

Today's tools and techniques for software development tend to focus on individual products. However, customer demands require most companies to offer a software product line portfolio-a collection of related products with variations in features and functions-rather than just a single product. This situation has led to the emergence of development methods, tools, and techniques focused specifically on the challenges of software product line development.

Charles Krueger, BigLever Software
Emergent Designs: Design Patterns and Refactoring in Agile Development

With the increasing deployment in agile development methods, many teams and organizations are learning about the practice of refactoring as an integral part of development. Refactoring is the process of changing a software system in such a way that it does not alter its external behavior yet improves its internal structure. Join Alan Shalloway as he discusses that, although refactoring is valuable in and of itself, it can be made even more powerful when complemented with the lessons learned from proven design patterns.

Alan Shalloway, Net Objectives
Establishing an Organization-wide Project Performance Baseline

Performance measurements have now become a mainstream management practice in many, often large, development organizations. Equally important to establishing strategic goals and objectives is identifying an appropriate set of measures to provide quantitative evidence that those goals and objectives are being achieved. David Garmus describes a project performance baseline that can be implemented throughout your organization or at the department level across multiple projects.

David Garmus, The David Consulting Group
First to Market or First to Fail: A General Systems View

Marketers often emphasize the enormous advantage of being first-to-market, but is being first really an advantage? Looking at some of the spectacular successes of products, brands, and technologies, you will see that, contrary to popular belief, so-called first-to-market products like Netscape Navigator, PalmPilot, and iPod were actually later arrivals that became more successful than the originals. Why did they succeed when their predecessors didn't, and why were they so widely perceived as revolutionary?

Michael Bolton, DevelopSense

How to Design Frustrating Products

In the software business, poor product design can lead to frustration and wasted time for our customers. Although we can ignore "usability" and "good design" without negatively impacting the initial success of a product, sales and customer satisfaction will suffer in the long run. Usability is a topic that has been discussed at great length, but many of the accepted design conventions either lack explanations of where and how to apply them, or they are entirely untrue.

Sanjeev Verma, Microsoft
Improving Code Quality with Eclipse and its Java Plug-ins

One of the features that makes Eclipse so popular within the Java community is the abundance of easy to use plug-ins. Many of these are freely available open-source tools. Plug-ins are available for virtually anything from implementing database connectivity to instant messaging. Because code quality is a critical aspect of production software applications, Eclipse has built-in tools that help developers write and deliver high quality code.

Levent Gurses, Stelligent

Is Web 2.0 a Hacker's Dream?

Web 2.0 promises to make Web applications far more usable and enjoyable than we have ever imagined. We have just begun to digest the host of exciting Web 2.0 technologies such as AJAX, SOAP, RSS, and "mashups." However, are we making a big mistake by increasing the complexity of Web applications without taking new security risks into account? Will Web 2.0 usher in the next great Internet expansion or turn it into a landscape where consumers are too frightened to pull out their credit cards?

Michael Sutton, SPI Dynamics
ITIL and You: The Perfect Match

ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) is a flexible framework for implementing IT Service Management within an organization. Since its introduction in the 1990s, ITIL has mostly been applied within IT operations and excluded from software development; however, more and more IT departments are now asking development to join in. ITIL offers an extensive set of management procedures that are intended to support businesses in achieving higher value for their money and improving quality across the breadth of the IT infrastructure.

Michael Giacometti, Sungard


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