Monday, June 02, 2008

AgileScotland: Three Scottish Agile2008 sessions AND JUNE MEETING

Good news!  Adrian Mowat, Graeme Thomas and I (three AgileScotlanders) have each had sessions accepted at Agile2008 - THE premier international conference - to be held in Totonto in August this year.  I've been shepherding sessions for the conference for the last 3 years and I've gotta tell you that the competition is fierce (but friendly) and many, many more sessions get rejected than accepted.  So Yipee! for Scotland.  First the Steam Engine ...

You can find out details of the three sessions here, here, and here.
Adrian and I are both going to preview our sessions at AgileScotland during the next few months. 
1.  I will do an informal run-through of my session Critical Chain AND Agile - best of friends on Monday the 16th of June
I mentioned how I used Critical Chain in agile projects briefly during last months "Extrememly Profitable/Cobol" session im May, but in this session I'll go into much more detail of precisely how to use it along side Agile to deliver more work in each iteration, with less stressYou'll be able to use the technique when you get back to work.  I'll also show how the agile software development parts of larger projects can easily fit into bigger Critical Chain plans (which, on any decent project include far more than just software development tasks).  I'll also cover, briefly, how both agile and critical chain are almost always inadequate because they are single-project solutions which have to work in multi-project environments. 
I normally do this session when I train managers to teach their teams how to plan iterations  ... but it's also very useful for non-managers and for anyone working on a self-organising team. 
2. Adrian's session, on the 28th of July, is a far more detailed and technical version of his Fit4Data session earlier this year:

The tools and techniques needed to do Test Driven Development are extremely well documented for Object Oriented languages, but how do we do TDD data management and business intelligence projects using 4th generation ETL languages like Ab Initio?

In this talk, I will show you how to do TDD when transforming data is the sole aim of the project. The talk will be divided into two parts. First, the theory of TDD in data management applications and, second, the application of the practices using FIT4Data.

FIT4Data is a testing framework for data management applications built on the Java implementation of FIT. It allows developers to write FIT-like tests using the programming language of their choice. This is essential in the ETL domain where the key technical skills are UNIX scripting and the ETL language used on the project and most developers do not know Java (or any other OO language) so they are not equipped to write fixtures in the usual fashion. Furthermore, FIT4Data provides direct support for common ETL tasks like integrating with a UNIX shell environment and maintaining reusable data sets.

FIT4Data is available to download at it's home on Google Code -

In the first part, I explain how to break a typical set of customer requirements an business rules down into chunks suitable for TDD and then how to define testable scenarios around them. In the second part, I will show how to use FIT4Data to build and run the tests and build the application using TDD using practical examples.

(I'll send an announcement re Adrian's session nearer the time.)
Once again Napier University have kindly provided us with a meeting room in Central Edinburgh.
If you are interestd in this months session (Critical Chain) then please email me to book a place: