I took the 26th of September, a Saturday, to attend MeasureUp, a free conference provided by ClearMeasure, a provider of custom Cloud (especially Azure) development services in Austin.
I have known Jeffrey Palermo for a while ever since we had a chance of briefly working together at Dell. Later he successfully applied his deep knowledge, discipline, and personal charisma (Jeffrey’s parties are famous) into entrepreneurship to create his own consulting company which became ClearMeasure.
The conference was an interesting combination of technical and business sessions, all highly relevant and cutting edge. While on site I I happened to focus mostly on the business related talks except for a couple sessions, but will later come back and watch the other technical sessions as well, as they represent leading trends going on in application development.
Here is a quick list of the sessions I attended, Hopefully my brief notes will help decide to go ahead and watch when they are available at UserGroupTV. I will be updating this post as recordings are released.
9:00 Enabling Continuous Delivery – Justin Mason
Justin went over the foundational concepts of CD using Humble and Farley's book as a reference, while adding his own extensive practical experience when providing practical examples of how the ideas might be applied. This experience has been extracted from working with hundreds of companies, which made his recommendations even more authoritative.
10:00 Success as a Remote Worker: Love your Job, Have a Life. – James Chambers
James works remotely for ClearMeasure out of a 35,000 person town, but he is on top of all things MVC6 so he pretty much interacts with the world through the window provided by working remotely from his home. That takes a lot of discipline and know-how, and this great talk explains some of the best practices he has achieved. The talk was so good that it made me look forward to his next one on MVC6.
11:00 Behold the Power of the PPO! – Kevin Hurwitz
Kevin started by spelling out why the emperor has no clothes, and explained that the biggest lie he had been hearing in the last ten years is that having a Product Owner in your project will solve all of your disconnects between what is asked and what is delivered.
After making the case for a PPO or a Proxy Product Owner, he explained why this person has to be:
- 50% Developer
- 50% Analyst
- 100% Owner
It bodes well with Scrum.org thinking itself when it recommends to developers that you should know the domain as well as the product owner themselves in order to make a valuable contribution. Kevin ideas reminded of the concept of Chief Programmers and Chief Architect in FDD, but the difference is that he achieved his definition of PPO in the course of working with 160 plus customers and asking what worked and what did not when interfacing with the PO and/or end user.
Again, another seasoned contributor so I could clearly see he was speaking out from a different kind of experience, forged in the reality of solving thousands of problems in the line of duty of customer satisfaction.
12:00 The Leading Measures of Velocity – Allen Hurst
Watch it at http://usergroup.tv/videos/the-leading-measures-of-velocity
Allen’s take on the concept of team Velocity expanded it into beyond the one commonly known to Agile, taking into account other factors that affect teams, including, for instance, morale and management styles.
To the end this talk was more about metrics in general, and how not to overdue their usage while gathering enough to be able to consistently plan your releases. As with some of the other talks, I will have to watch it again as Allen provided many interesting references for follow up.
2:00 Reshaping the Company- Continuous Deployment and Culture Change
– Gabriel Schenker
Watch it at http://usergroup.tv/videos/reshaping-the-company-continuous-deployment-and-culture-change
In Gabriel's presentation I could see my own experience when going from totally undisciplined production release habits in my earlier jobs, to the almost precision-clockwork sophistication of some of the teams I work with.
The take away was that without changing the culture, implementing CD will be only as successful as the cargo-cult teams ability to mimic improvements, but eventually if these practices are not internalized and become second nature, they will die under their own weight.
4:00 The DevOps Silver Bullet – Peter Siri
Watch it at http://usergroup.tv/videos/the-devops-silver-bullet
In this talk Peter took the commonly assumed concept that there are no “silver bullets” in software development, and moved it upside down by showing his own idea of what that silver bullet would be. I will not spoil the surprise by giving away what his analogy is, but as with any good vampire movie, it kept my attention to the end.
5:00 MVC6 – What You Need to Know When Moving to Next – James Chambers
Watch it at http://usergroup.tv/videos/mvc6-what-you-need-to-know-when-moving-to-next
James went over the latest and greatest on what is coming in MVC6 – and then I realized how much I need to catch up on my MVC knowledge. It was one of the richest presentations on an upcoming technology I have heard for a while. This one will I will definitely have to watch again, as soon as Shawn Weisfeld, our Microsoft Technical Evangelist for the Cloud, publishes it in his http://usergroup.tv/ website. Thank you Shawn for your contribution to this event.