This weekend I had the opportunity to speak at Engineering World 2010, a conference dedicated to analyzing the next step in engineering maturity and productivity. This conference is organized by Sogeti
, an OutSystems’ partner, and was held at the Achmea Conference Center in Zeist.
I got there at about lunchtime, and the building entrance was filled with about 200 people getting ready to eat. I would’ve liked to attend the other presentations, but unfortunately they were all in Dutch… As soon as I got there, I was briefed on the proceedings of the conference and moved on to prepare the room; after I’ve gotten a typical dutch lunch consisting of sandwiches, that is!
By the time I started there were still a few empty chairs, but overall the room was nicely packed. My goal was to talk a bit about how Agile concepts and practices apply to the full software lifecycle, not only to software development. I gave particular attention to software maintenance, since it accounts for about 85% of the IT budget.
I started out by giving a short introduction on Agile, and quickly moved on to the juicy stuff. To illustrate my point, I picked a few examples of important or recurrent issues that occur when working in maintenance mode:
- Staging and Deploying
- Gathering User Feedback
- Cost of Change and Technological Debt
- Fitting Business Processes in an Application
For each of these issues, I talked about the problems they pose to both developers and management; I also showed how the OutSystems Platform addresses each of these challenges, to give a better idea of how you can apply Agile beyond development.
I was very happy with the audience’s reaction to my talk. There was a lot of nodding in agreement with the problems presented, and I’m convinced a lot of them had already experienced the troubles I was highlighting
! I also spotted a lot of curiosity about the way the Agile Platform helps decrease the burden of maintenance, and I’m guessing a few of the attendants will download the Community Edition
of the Platform to give it a try!