Tuesday and Wednesday this week I attended NDC 2008 in Oslo together with Naveed and Erlend from work. On Tuesday I attended the following talks:
- Thrashing by Mary Poppendieck
- What is Pull Scheduling by Mary Poppendieck
- Designing for testability by Roy Osherove
- Data related testing by Roy Osherove
Read more about the talks at the schedule for day 1.
On Wednesday I attended the following talks:
- Natural Laws of Agile Software Development (Part 1, 2 and 3) by Ron Jeffries and Chet Hendrickson
- Introduction to Behaviour Driven Development by Aslak Hellesøy
Read more about the talks at the schedule for day 2.
If you look at the schedule there was some stuff about ASP.NET, Silverlight, C# and more Microsoft related stuff but since I’m not too interested in any of those technologies I went for the more “generic” talks.
As a developer I already know that most of the stuff these guys talks about works (XP, Agile development, TDD, Coding standards ++), but it’s not that easy to make all parts of an organization understand that this is the way to go. I’m not saying that by following these methodologies and rules you will make killer stuff automagically but in the long run you will most likely end up with something allot more manageable and stable and it will most certainly be more easy for new employees to get up and running and a better understanding of your code base.
Again there are some talks that just don’t manage to get the point through (In MY opinion). Aslak Hellesøy talked about Behavior Driven Development and I honestly didn’t get the point of it. The talk only lasted for about an hour so it’s not much time, but I have read about BDD before and have seen some examples of it, so I didn’t show up completely empty handed, but still … I don’t get it.
To show an example Aslak used rspec which is a BDD framework for Ruby that enables you to write “stories” that you can use to test your code. These stories will act as a supplement for unit testing. While unit testing is for developers only, these stories can be read and understood by non-technical people as well. I guess writing these stories will make a pretty good specification for the software you are about to write but I found it hard to come up with “good” stories that makes sense. I think I just need some better examples! :)
Anyways, the conference was very good. Some of the speakers are probably the best you can get on the subjects they talked about. I met up with Olav Tollefsen (who I travelled to Zürich with for the Microsoft Live Services course in March) and had a chat with him. It sounded like next years NDC will be bigger and better, so if we are going there next year as well I will be looking forward to that!