Business of Software 2009: Session Lessons Day 3
The last day is like any other last day of a conference, you wake exhausted hoping to cram in just a few more nuggets of knowledge.
Talk sh*t, delegate, and know what you want - Michael Lopp
One thing that never impresses me is someone who talks sh*t, or bull sh*t. To me it means they don't really have something important or insightful, or don't know what they are doing. That is not what this session was about. Software development is a series of big and little decisions. The session is about his perspective on the real life software development cycle, and how you can use improvisation to reduce the amount of decisions needed because each decisions can be a bad one that will lead a project toward failure. In my opinion delegation is one of the hardest things to do in a small company. As you bring on more people you have to rely on their abilities to succeed. This is where the trust component is critical, because if you don't provide the tools for them to succeed and they are not natural successful people, you are likely to let down your customers. Michael took a slightly humorous and slightly vulgar approach to making the points of improvising, delegate work you don't want to do, and know what you want. Putting it all together gives you the best measure/structure and spec. All of this together will lead to successfully delivering the proper software to your customers.
Innovation Games: Creating Breakthrough Products Through Collaborative Play - Luke Hohmann
Instead of taking one of the "standard methodologies" used today to develop software, Luke has a different "fun" approach to collecting requirements, and developing software. To be perfectly honest, he lost me about 10 minutes into the session. I am sure it works for him and his company, just not my cup of tea.
Jam and Coffee: Resolving the conflict between power and simplicity - Joel Splosky
For those who read this and remember one of Whil Hentzen's many "User Hostile Interface" sessions at GLGDW past (for BoS2009 delegates who come across this blog for the first time, GLGDW is a FoxPro conference held in Milwaukee in the late 1990's and early 2000's ), this session was very similar to those. The difference is Joel was telling a story of why certain interfaces were bad and why software developers should be striving for simplicity in the software they create. Entertaining and thought provoking all in one session.
That was the end of the conference. I had to rush out to the SFO to catch a flight to Frankfurt because I was speaking the next day at the German FoxPro DevCon. I really enjoyed the sessions and I got a lot more out of this conference than I am able to share through the words of this blog. All the more reason you should consider going to the one next year.