Austin-SPIN - Archives - May08

May 28, 2008

Special joint meeting - Austin SPIN & Austin IEEE Computer Society:

Taking User Stories to the Next Step:
Solution Constraints and Requirements Refinement

Scott Bellware
Bob Million

Bob Million's slides are attached below.

Using the user stories gathered at the March User Story Writing Workshop, the speakers will discuss alternative solution constraints and refine the requirements with audience participation.  Details and background are described below, after the speakers' bios.

About the Speakers:
Scott Bellware
Scott Bellware is a software product designer and developer living in Austin, TX. Scott speaks at software industry conferences and teaches agile development practices in workshops in the US and Canada. He is the founder of the AgileATX community of agile software practitioners in Austin, and the co-founder of the Austin .NET User Group. Scott served as the chairman of the Speaker Committee for the International .NET Association, an industry-funded non-profit supporting software development community in the US, Canada, and abroad. Scott has served as the content chairman for the agile development track at the DevTeach conferences, and organized the ALT.NET Open Space conference in Austin. He has received the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award for C# in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008.

Bob Million
Bob Million is the founder of the Million Design Group (MDG) a website design and development company located in Austin. MDG focuses on using open source software to satisfy the needs of small-business and non-profit organizations. Most recently, Bob spent 12 years in high-tech software development as VP of Engineering with start-ups and as a Director of Software Development for Symantec delivering many of the Norton and Symantec brand-name products. Bob's background includes 13 years with Lockheed Martin Information Systems designing large system architectures for US Government customers. During that time he managed all levels of software development including serving as Technical Director for the design competition phase on multi-million dollar proposals. Bob holds a B.S degree in CMS, a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, 2 Web Master Certificates in Media/Design and Systems/Applications, and is certified as an Agile Scrum Master.

Based on a variety of comments heard over the past year, the leaders of the Austin SPIN decided early in 2008 to define a project to improve the opportunities for knowledge sharing and collaboration in the Austin software community. People were overheard to say things like this at various meetings:
  • PM items: As a project manager, I want to get more experience stories from local Austin PM’s with teams in India, so that I can try those ideas with my team. [heard after the Jan. IEEE CS meeting]
  • Developer items: As a developer, I want to carry on this conversation from the monthly meeting so that I can figure out how to use refactoring in my traditional software development (we don’t use agile methods yet). [heard after the Jan. A-SPIN/Agile Austin meeting]
The needs were globally described this way at the March A-SPIN meeting, which provided a User Story Writing Workshop led by Marsha Hughes:
The problem of inadequate means for the Austin software community to collaborate
affects those who have information to share and those who seek information
the impact of which is individuals don’t have what they need to address issues and new challenges.
A successful solution would provide lessons learned, examples, and catalogued local information that the community could access, share, and evolve.
With solution details yet to come, a vision of the future is being described as follows:
With our well-structured methods and tools for Austin Software Community collaboration, we, the members of the community, will be able to:
  • Describe software development and management experiences and insights
  • Provide examples of practices that succeed or fail
  • Find information to handle a problem, question, or issue in our daily work
  • Communicate with each other individually
  • Discuss issues and ideas with each other, leaving a shared record for later reference
Attendees at the March User Story Writing Workshop discussed the needs of 11 different roles in the Austin software community. Members of A-SPIN, Austin IEEE-CS and Agile Austin participated in the workshop. About 30 user stories were drafted and then sent out to the entire A-SPIN membership for prioritization.
Webmaster Austin-SPIN,
Mar 17, 2009, 12:40 PM