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Showing posts from June, 2013

EDUCAUSE presentations

I am delighted that Applications Division will be giving two presentations at this year's EDUCAUSE conference in California.  Traditionally we have found it hard to get proposals accepted, so it is good to have this opportunity to be recognised internationally for the quality of our work.

The two talks will be:

"Darwin, Finches and poker chips - an Agile journey", by Dawn Nicholls and Bill Lee"From Black Hole to Gold Mine - Adding Analytics to the University Portal", by Martin Morrey I've been closely involved with our adoption of Agile methods.  Dawn and Bill will be presenting what we have learned, especially regarding techniques for engaging users in the project prioritisation procedures.  They are aiming to use Agile techniques in the session itself, giving delegates the chance to vote on which topics to discuss most.

Martin has done great work on making information available about which tools our students and staff actually use.  As this is service …

On Technical Debt

I first came across the notion of "technical debt" in a web article about Agile development methods. The phrase instantly struck me as a pithy summary of all the problems that IT people experience with poor quality code that is rushed out to meet deadlines, code that will cause problems down the line.  We know the problems are there, waiting to hurt us, while our business partners tend to be oblivious to them.

So I was attracted by a local BCS Event on the topic.  I went along this evening to hear Ali Law lead an interesting and wide-ranging discussion.  Ali gave me a lot to consider.  I've always thought of technical debt in terms of maintainability, i.e. of code becoming harder to adapt as it becomes twisted out of shape.  Tonight's discussion suggested that technical debt could include defects, redundant functionality, mismatch with a changing environment, and complexity (of requirements, of design, of code...), as well as maintainability and supportability.  It d…