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ALM Chicago’s presenters were industry experts and forward thinkers focused on how things can be done better today, not just tomorrow.  Assumptions were challenged and new ideas emerged.

Attendees heard amazing ideas and perspective from the presenters. But the event’s success came from the questions, hallway conversations and open space discussions where real, concrete examples were explored. We look forward to seeing you next year.

This event was held February 22 and 23, 2012, at the Microsoft Technology Center in Chicago. Dates for ALM Chicago 2013 will be announced in winter 2012. In the meantime, see what was shared and learned. Leave comments, ask questions. We look forward to seeing you in 2013.

KEYNOTE: Mike Gilpin [Forrester Research] ALM State of the Nation

Mike Gilpin of Forrester Research

Mike Gilpin

ALM – With power comes great responsibility. As software delivery becomes more important, so does the discipline for supporting it. ALM is that discipline, providing the structure, tools and practices to enable software to be planned, delivered and maintained. But as software delivery velocity increases and other factors take control, what of ALM? Has it stepped up? Or is it still a confused combination of discipline and tools?

 

Miki Kono [Microsoft] Agile UX Practices Applied

Miki Kono

Miki Kono

Working in 3-week sprints, Visual Studio ALM teams had to quickly ideate, develop and test user experiences within the sprint cadence.

Miki shows how the teams applied “Quick Pulse Studies” to put new ideas and designs in front of customers regularly. They require minimal advance planning, can have immediate product impact and can meet urgent needs. She uses rich examples to show how the team all works together toward one goal: getting user feedback consistently into working software during the Agile development cycle.

Venkatesh Rao [Ribbonfarm] Breathing Data, Competing with Code

Venkatesh Rao

Venkatesh Rao

Shortly after the first Internet bust in 2003, Nick Carr declared that “IT doesn’t matter.” It’s been nearly a decade, and a great deal has happened: the rise of Agile development, cloud computing, consumerization of IT, analytics and Enterprise 2.0 models. IT still doesn’t matter by itself, but we have been learning how to combine it with other pieces of the puzzle to turn ordinary competitive advantages into super-charged competitive advantages amplified by software. Rao assembles ideas and early empirical evidence to sketch out a preliminary theory of how a company can learn to breathe data and compete with code.

Benjamin Day [Microsoft] Scrum Under a Waterfall

Ben Day

Ben Day

It would be so easy if everyone just used Scrum–or at least Agile. But let’s face it: an all-Agile organization isn’t always possible. Agile teams frequently report into Waterfall organizations. Your team thinks “backlog” and your bosses think “project plan.” How do you make it work?

This session looks at how to use the TFS-to-Project Server to improve communication. Along the way we’ll discuss some of the difficulties with making Scrum/Agile work in a Waterfall-centric organization and what you can do to minimize the headaches.

Matt Nunn [Microsoft] ALM in Visual Studio vNext

Matt Nunn

Matt Nunn

Microsoft’s vision for ALM started back in 2005 with the first release of Visual Studio Team System. Now, the 4th version of Microsoft’s Visual Studio ALM tools is on the horizon, and with it comes even more new and expanded ALM capabilities. In this session you will understand the vision for Microsoft ALM and how the upcoming release of Visual Studio 11 goes even further to support your desire to continuously deliver high quality, differentiated custom software solutions that provide real business value in an agile, predictable and manageable way.

Scott Herman [Johnson Controls, Inc.] Scrum Case Study

Scott Herman

Scott Herman

This session explores the lessons learned, best practices and challenges of introducing agility and Scrum to a Waterfall-based manufacturing-centric engineering organization. Over a year ago, a brand new SaaS flagship offering began at Johnson Controls. Most developers on the team were also new to JCI, adding to the challenges of multiple team locations, including offshore. Scott shares his experiences in: 1) the rationale and motivation to “go Agile”; 2) the early challenges and successes with the smaller team; 3) recent lessons and continued opportunities to improve as the team has become much larger.

KEYNOTE: Ken Schwaber [Scrum.org] You Thought You Knew Scrum

Ken Schwaber

Ken Schwaber

Scrum was recently refactored into Scrum 2011. In earlier versions, we included practices to help people understand how to use Scrum. As best practices have emerged, we are in the process of removing them from Scrum and creating a best practices library.

Learn what Scrum is now, how it has changed, the Scrum maturity model, why your manager is going to demand you employ Scrum, and why he doesn’t like many of the existing Scrum tools.

Chad Albrecht [Centare] Agile Economics

Chad Albrecht

Chad Albrecht

The software development industry is embracing Agile in a big way, but why? On the development side, Agile allows a higher rate of success, encourages better collaboration and use of tools, and does a better job embracing change.

But why do these techniques also work from an economics and finance standpoint? If you are considering Agile in your organization and have any P&L responsibility, this presentation provides valuable tools.

Gail Swanson [Centare] User-Centered Design and Usability Testing for a Quality UI

Gail Swanson

Gail Swanson

The ubiquity of computing has changed the way everyone uses technology. Across all platforms, the differentiator between what’s widely adopted and what’s discarded is success in creating a positive user experience.

Learn how to quickly gather information about where, when, why, how and by whom your application will be used, and to apply it to your interface design. Once complete, understand effective ways to organize and execute a usability study to ensure its integrity.

Mike Schimmel [Microsoft] TFS in the Real World

Mike Schimmel

Mike Schimmel

This presentation follows a recent Team Foundation Server 2010 customer in their journey to become an agile development team.

Mike shares the story of a team that wasn’t so agile and how they adopted many Agile practices. As a real-world example of many organizations in the financial services industry, this team needed to make concessions to pure Agile methods due to constraints beyond their control, but overcame many of them. This is a success story about immediate impact.

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