University of Minnesota
Software Engineering Center

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CodeFreeze 2009: Afternoon Speakers

SUSAN STANDIFORD (Vice President of Technology for – Delivering High Value Applications through Great Partnerships between Business and Technology Delivery Teams.

Presentation slides are listed at the bottom of this page

BIO: Susan Standiford is the Vice President for technology and software development for Travelocity. She is responsible for the global shopping, merchandising and distribution platforms for the ecommerce travel site. Susan has been with Travelocity for two years focusing on delivering and supporting high-value and high-volume consumer web and marketing applications. At Travelocity she has developed the site shopping, data warehousing, CRM, social media, global content, and intelligent relevance platforms and applications for global markets and business partners. She has technology teams in North America, Europe, Asia, and South America to support the global business. For over 15 years, Susan has been building commercial software applications and infrastructure. After spending 10 years in the retail software space working for Retek and Oracle corporations - focusing on merchandising, supply chain and forecasting/optimization systems - she developed innovative risk management and intervention systems for consumer facing software for health care. Susan graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaing in 1989 and now lives in Grapevine, Tx.

ANDY MILLER – Why I don’t estimate with "points" (and how you too can be delivered from the tedium of repetitive estimation)

Presentation slides are listed at the bottom of this page

ABSTRACT: Repeated estimation can be one of the most unpleasant tasks for any project -- and getting it wrong can hurt. I will present an easy(-ier) estimation method, a method that doesn't take too much time and has a built in feedback loop for increasing it's accuracy. Developer value is maximized by using simple methods for staying on top of construction progress and the changing requirements while keeping it all in sync with the estimation model. I have used and refined this technique for more than a decade and I have found that is it repeatable, easy to use, easy to teach, and most importantly, it is accurate. Using this model builds trust between development teams and sponsors. It is this trust that directly influences productivity. When done right these methods provide the data necessary for management without taking time away from actually constructing the system.

BIO:With 20+ years of software development experience Andy Miller's expertise is both technical and organizational. Though he started his computing career using TECO marcos to translate programs from PL/1 to VAX basic, today his work most often focuses around the java platform. He lives in St. Paul, MN and works as a Principle Consultant at Object Partners in Minneapolis where he helps clients throughout the region with software development, technical team leadership, development process re-engineering, and mentoring. He can be reached at

TOMO LENNOX – Want Faster Projects? Structure for Test

Presentation slides are listed at the bottom of this page

ABSTRACT: This paper proposes restructuring the software development effort to optimize testability by building test automation hooks into the product. It also proposes that the development of test cases is an optimal way to lead the specification process. This refactoring of the process results in several benefits: 1) It better uses the resources of the test team, which is usually under-used in the first half of a project. 2) It provides a concrete specification to the software development team. 3) feedback from the test effort comes very early. 4) Early test development allows continuous testing during the coding effort, which improves software development productivity. 5) Early test metrics better predict project completion.

BIO: Tomo was born in Cleveland to a MENSA puzzle master and a mad scientist. He worked at MCT, where he managed his own team of 10 programmers. The original programmers seem to be hackers, so the he hired the new people based on their Waterfall skills. But something shocking happened. The "hackers" had three times the productivity of the software engineers, and they had a lower bug rate too. Long before the terms Agile or Lean were applied to software, some people were using it, and it worked. Tomo became a full time consultant, when MCT fell apart.

PANEL - Building Business Value through Collaboration: An Experience Report

Presentation slides are listed at the bottom of this page

ABSTRACT: In this panel, you will learn how we positioned our organization for market leadership by building a cutting-edge product using agile practices. Scrum's structure helped us organize the work of delivering and demonstrating greater functionality every month - from proving the initial cross-country integration through linking each transaction with its internal systems to conducting externally defined acceptance tests with affiliated vendors. Each demo played to a larger audience that helped us add value to subsequent iterations and ultimately to the end product. Our monthly retrospectives helped us understand and improve our processes continuously, and our automated acceptance testing provided instant status reports and insights into defects. Every role in the development process was affected, so we've assembled panel members from business, IT, QA, and management to share their impressions of the project's ups and downs.

PANELISTS: Pam Rostal (Consultant, Perficient), Leendert (Leo) Bijnagte (Business Systems Analyst, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage), Bob King (VP for Business Process Automation, LPS, Inc.)