Geeks In Sin City

June 3, 2009

Kevin Bitinsky and I have a somewhat challenging and unconventional task to accomplish starting this June. When we return from the 2009 Better Software Conference & Expo, it will fall to us to make sure that what happened in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas. The conference is hosted by Software Quality Engineering, a consultancy firm dedicated to helping companies ‘improve their software practices all along the development lifecycle’.

So why is Point2 going? Well, going through the conference schedule, it looks like a lot of the talks will deal with how to properly pick up Agile development practices – something we’re already doing. The conference will provide an excellent opportunity to find out what we’re doing right, what we’re doing wrong and what we can improve on.

I’m particularly interested in the QA and Testing streams. Dawn Haynes will be giving a talk on ‘What your QA Program is Missing’. I’m hoping that her insights will help bring focus to how we’re readying our work for release.

Not all of the conference will be technical. A great deal of the material looks to cover team leadership and management in an Agile environment. To this end, Kevin hopes to attend Michele Sliger’s tutorial session, ‘Expanding Your Discussion Toolkit for Better Communication’.

My goal will be to bring back as much information about the conference as possible, so we can decide if future attendance will continue to help what we’re trying to accomplish here at Point2. If you’re at the conference and you see me without my laptop, ask me just what I think I’m doing – it’s my hope to come back with several rough-copy presentations in the works, based on what I learn there.

I haven’t been to this sort of a conference before – and I know many of my colleagues here at Point2 are in the same boat. So one of the talks I’ll be working to put together is ‘How to Attend a Technology Conference’. From garden-variety travel tips to what to expect at the start and end of every session, it’ll all be there.

And finally, I’m hoping to see some of the stark, desolate beauty of the Nevada desert in early summer… ah, who am I kidding? I’m going to hit the Star Trek Museum and get my picture taken with as many Elvises as I can find. It is in Vegas, after all! If you’re going to be at the conference, or if there’s something you think I ought to see or do while in Vegas – leave a comment!

Kevin's the one on the left, Dave's on the right

Kevin's the one on the left, Dave's on the right

In Vegas, I got into a long argument with the man at the roulette wheel over what I considered to be an odd number. ~Steven Wright

By: Dave Kellow

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