Last Friday was my first experience of CukeUp! and it proved to be a lively and thought-provoking day.
First up was Dan North, who I had been looking forward to hearing. The theme of his presentation was how easy it is for the principles behind the Agile manifesto to become just another set of processes to be followed and documentation to be produced … everything in fact that is the direct opposite of what Agile is supposed to be … you have been warned!
There followed a couple of presentations, by Dan again and Matt Wynne, which touched on a subjects close to my heart; namely the importance of allowing thinking time, and time for exploratory learning and improvement. Matt introduced the concept of ‘Slow Software’ based on his experience of developing the latest version of Cucumber working just one day a week … and how that allowed more time to reflect on and think about problems and possible solutions, which ultimately led to better quality solutions and more robust software … he even managed to find time during his presentation to officially release Cucumber 2.0.
In another presentation Matt introduced some great ideas for working with examples to improve the three amigos conversations, and a cool game to demonstrate how difficult it can be to build the right solution if all you have to go on is your feature file. This then led on to a discussion of the relative benefits of examples and rules and how they can be used.
CukeUp! wasn’t really just about Cucumber and BDD either. Sure there were plenty of sessions and workshops on Cucumber skills and BDD, but it also covered aspects of Agile and Scrum, and ways of working and good practices which would be equally relevant whatever particular tools, techniques, frameworks and practices you choose to adopt.
Andy is a highly proficient cross-functional analyst and application designer, with a track record of delivering real, tangible business benefits for organisations in the Financial Services, Insurance, Retail and Aviation industries. He is experienced in all aspects of the development life-cycle including business analysis, testing and test management, design and development, with traditional and Agile methods. A specialist in web technologies, database applications, and business intelligence, he is currently specialising in Agile methods, Model Driven Development and Behaviour Driven Development.