Thursday, 30 September 2010

Iqnite Nordic 2010 - Day 1

The first day of the nordic Iqnite conference was a varied affair.

The morning kicked-off with a keynote from Mary Poppendieck with a talk looking at how "requirements" usually get it wrong - i.e. they are commonly not what the customer wants. I think I'd seen this message before but it was presented in quite a different way - it was looked at from the perspective of a new start-up, where there often aren't so many (if any) customers - and so the businesses that succeed are the ones solving a problem in a better way than the available competition. Examples used were the google search engine and eBay, amongst others.

The message that I took away was that the requirement handling is often too formalised and kept as too much of an internal activity - and that loses contact and feedback with the customers. An alternative is to develop a requirement capture partnership between customer and supplier.

The talk was finished with an illustration of the push vs pull production method that I've read about in a previous Poppendieck book, Implementing Lean Software Development.

My talk, Test Reporting to Non-Testers, was next up in that room. I had an interesting intro from the track chair (Pål Hauge) who used a Norwegian metaphor for my intro - as I was coming on after Mary (and so using some of her momentum?) - I was doing a "Bjørn Einar Romøren" (?? famous ski jumper) - however, I realised afterwards that a Brit being associated with ski jumping (Eddie the Eagle?) is maybe not the best association :-) I was glad that my cold-ridden voice lasted (it packed in by the end of the day). My message about not relying only on the numbers, with some example test reports, was understood, I think!

I attended other talks about requirement capture and team member make-up. The team member make-up alluded to a concept of "social capital" and emphasized the value of trust. I agree with the trust angle, whether in a team or as an individual and have pointed this out before in my encouragement for testers to build their brand.

I enjoyed meeting some interesting people and chatting about problems in daily work, some points about agile, scrum and kanban which I'll explore another time.

The speaking-part of the day was rounded off with a keynote from Gunnar "Gurra" Krantz, a swede who's competed four times in the round-the-world yacht race - his talk on team and process dynamics was very interesting. Not having any walls around the toliet (or even a curtain) in order to save on weight! Plus, it was placed next to the galley so they could always lend a hand!

Yes, software is a different world!

(I won't make the second day - customer meetings call :-(  )

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