Last Monday I had the pleasure of participating in a Sogeti event dedicated to Agile Platforms and Tools. The event was organized by Samuel Ranzato and it was split into three talks: one about Visual Studio 2010, presented by Clemens Reijnen from Sogeti; one about the Rational tools, presented by Ton van Velzen from IBM; and one about the OutSystems Agile Platform, presented by myself.
Both the Visual Studio and Rational tools presentation focused mostly on project management, and the life-cycle of issues and change requests. Some tools were shown that help developers keep track of what they have to do, and what they need to test.
Instead of going for Project Management, I decided to take a different approach and focused on the tools that help developers do actual Agile development. Time was short, so I picked four key aspects of a project we believe are fundamental to ensuring project success when going Agile. These four points were based on the more than 600 Agile projects OutSystems has delivered, and for each, I demoed aspects of the Agile Platform to show how we can help:
- Time to market: For agile to work, you need to not only show working software, you also need to put it into production. The Agile Platform’s visual environment ensures development that’s fast and accurate; while 1-Click Publish enables work to be moved to production without a hassle.
- Flexibility to change: Also paramount to Agile is being able to respond to customer requests quickly. TrueChangeTM gives developers the trust they need to change the application without fear of breaking something else. To gather feedback from the end-users, ECT is the tool of choice; allowing end-users to pinpoint the exact part of the application they would like to change.
- Full-Control: Developers need tools that provide them speed of delivery, but being able to control the end result is also mandatory. During this section I presented Service Center, the Agile Platform management console, and gave a quick overview on how to monitor the platform for performance and troubleshooting. I also gave a quick overview of how to control security and the deployment process.
- Productivity: I started this section by explaining that it is important to have something to show the customer regularly, even if it means a bit more work for the developers. With this in mind, the new version of the Agile Platform includes the new IntelliWarpTM technology. This allows developers to build fully working first versions of an application in minutes! This first cut can then be presented to end-users and adjusted based on their feedback.
In the end I was very happy with the reaction of the 40 odd people that were in the room! I had the chance to talk with some of the attendees after the event, and I was really glad the Platform had once again made a great impression.
My only regret was that I didn’t have more time to talk some other Agile challenges. If you were doing such a talk, what Agile challenges would you pick?