On 19 and 20 October I attended the Continuous Integration and Testing Conference in Brussels. CITCON brings together people from every corner of the software development industry to discuss Continuous Integration and the type of Testing that goes along with it. The conference is an open space event. This means the participants can suggests topics for the conference. Al topics are summarized in a schedule that consist about 5 times 5 parallel sessions. I attended 4 sessions.

The first session was about Concordion.The concept is based on Fit and Fitness. Fit allows customers, testers, and programmers to learn what their software should do and what it does do. It automatically compares customers’ expectations to actual results. Concordion enhances this concept by writing the requirements in plain English and having generic tests scripts for automating the test.

The next session was about “User Acceptance Test Driven Development in a Scrum Team using Fitnesse & How people use Fitnesse “. This session was great. Participants shared in great detail the way they used scrum and user acceptance testing during sprint planning, sprints and reviews. I have already uses some off the tips and tricks in my project this week.

After lunch I attended two sessions about the ’soft’ side of software development. The part that always seems the hardest ;-) . The first session was about changing team behavior. A great in insight was given why people will resist on change. How (big)changes will influence the team performance and why it is better to introduce small changes. This is in essence why scrum uses team retrospectives to make small changes in the next sprint. The book Agile Retrospectives, making good teams great from Diana Larsoen was a great tip.

The last session was about Karma For Continuous Integration. Karma is a tool to encourage people to write better code, without forcing them. They want to measure quality with some value: Karma. The question asked to the attendants is: do you think it is worth building such a tool? I rather prefer direct communication and confront team members on quality then invest a lot of effort in this tool. This tool will also create social acceptable behavior instead off having a team commit to quality.

During the conference I met a lot off ‘faces’ behind the Dutch Agile User Group. It was great to speak with them an share experiences. We will be organizing an Agile event in the near future in the Netherlands. I like to thank all participants for sharing the experience. Hope to see you next year in CITCON Europe 2008… in Amsterdam(???) ;-)

 

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