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Tuesday, May 23 • 13:15 - 14:15
Lean Code

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Software development is full of waste. I have constant anxiety that I'm investing my time and energy into the wrong design. And I don’t think I’m the only one. So what processes could reduce that waste? Through validated learning, Lean methodologies have helped reduce waste in manufacturing and product development. Maybe Lean can help software engineers too. 

Lean Startup has a lot in common with Extreme Programming. They have very similar philosophies on value, waste, and responding to change. Of course, XP focuses more on engineering, while Lean Startup focuses more on product management. A bigger difference is that XP emphasized emotions, while Lean Startup emphasizes numbers. After exploring the combination, I’m convinced that bringing XP and Lean Startup together leads to sustainable innovation for software design. 

XP is a disciplined form of agile software development. Lean Startup is even more disciplined and goal-oriented. The heart of Lean is build-measure-learn experiments. We want to find out as early as possible whether we are going in the wrong direction. If we are, then we pivot. XP engineers can apply Lean by transforming the red-green-refactor cycle into a build-measure-learn cycle. We can think of our designs as hypotheses and our stories as users.

In order to foster good software design, XP needs the goal-oriented discipline of Lean. Kent Beck’s advice to “make the change easy, then make the easy change” is validated learning via pain. We don’t all experience pain the same way, though. In order to coordinate our design efforts, we need a shared understanding of “the easy change.” Once we have a clear goal, different opinions on how to get there become opportunities to learn. By experimenting and measuring the outcomes we can continuously improve our designs.

This talk explores one way to apply Lean principles to XP. I will share my experiences and the challenges I have encountered. I want the audience to come away from this talk eager to find new ways of blending the humanity of XP with the rigorousness of Lean.

avatar for Desmond Pompa Alarcon Rawls

Desmond Pompa Alarcon Rawls

Software Engineer, Pivotal
Software is my never-ending detective story. Come talk to me about the similarities between software architecture and org structures, putting problems before solutions, how to decompose a problem, the politics of dependency inversion, and why software engineering is hard.

Tuesday May 23, 2017 13:15 - 14:15 CEST
Belvedere 12th Floor