AGILE2012: Guess Who’s Speaking?

Come see James Waletzky and I give a talk about Agile with the an experience report called “Slow Down to Go Fast: Lessons Learned Shipping Bing Voice Search on Xbox” .

For more information on the conference go to the Agile Alliance’s Agile2012 website:

For a synopsis on the talk, keep reading…

Are you the tortoise or the hare?

Many software teams today practice “rapid development” techniques, and while it is true that some practices and methods produce results more quickly than others, slowing down and (potentially) building less, leads to higher quality and efficiency gains in the long run.

At Microsoft, “Slow down to go fast” was the mantra of the Xbox voice search team, taking on the persona of the “tortoise” to successfully deliver on our objectives with high quality. By adhering to the principles of Agile while being agile in our methodologies and practices, the team found a flexible but structured framework to work within. Paramount to this collaboration was the close partnership between developers and testers. Out of this collaboration grew a set of philosophies and best practices that lead to a successful product launch. Come hear a development lead and senior tester talk about went well and what they learned, with a focus on slowing down to go fast to early cycle – and ultimately shipping – quality.

In this session, participants will learn the what and why of our best practices, including: – The “Buddy System” employed by development and test – Code reviews, buddy building and buddy testing – Interactive design and documentation using OneNote – Driving crisp and test-driven “done” definitions – The right level of unit testing and test automation with feedback from code coverage Target Audience – Software engineers, particularly developers and testers, with a basic knowledge of agile development principles – Agile development teams that tend to ship with lower quality and large volumes of technical debt (e.g. bugs and refactoring work that never gets done) – Agile development teams that have to work with several dependencies to ship one product.

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