Failure. Pragmatic Lessons Learned the Hard Way

Failure. Pragmatic Lessons Learned the Hard Way

The December 2023 Tech Talk was presented by Rick Kelly

Abstract

Rick Kelly will talk about lessons learned in systems engineering in weapons development. His lesson were informed by his life on the farm.

“I grew up on a small farm. On that farm, our deadlines were very real. We had to get the plowing done in time to plant. We had to get the hay in before it rained. And money was always tight so we couldn’t just buy our way out of problems. 

So, I grew up knowing that preventive maintenance was critical. That maintenance made problems less likely, but it didn’t eliminate them. When any piece of equipment broke, our approach to fixing it was very pragmatic. We would use what was on hand before we would ever go buy something new.

That pragmatic view informed his career and greatly influenced his ability to learn from failure. With that backdrop, this talk will provide a few of the key lessons he learned from the failures he has seen in his career.

About the Presenter 

Rick Kelly

Rick Kelly has pursued system engineering excellence over his forty-year career working for DOD and in the private sector as an Aerospace Consultant. Rick’s career has been focused on the “art” and “science” of “weaponeering” for the Department of the Navy to be able to deliver game-changing Weapons Systems for the Fleet.

Rick recently retired from his DOD position but continues to teach as well as consult on all aspects of System Engineering for DOD as well as industry.

Quality in Front – From a Mainframe Mentality to Agile

Quality in Front – From a Mainframe Mentality to Agile

The November 2023 tech talk was presented by Dave McKenna

Abstract

What do you think of when I say “mainframe”? Most think of a giant, lumbering dinosaur. If I ask you what animal you think of when I say “agile,” most folks respond with “cheetah.” My challenge at CA Technologies/Broadcom was to make that dinosaur more like a cheetah – or to at least make it dance a little.

The challenges were many. It’s no secret that most folks with mainframe knowledge and skills are getting close to retirement age. New mainframe developers want to use modern tools to work on the platform. This can be a challenge because historically, the mainframe has used very different tools and programming languages than what is used in non-mainframe development or even what is taught in colleges and universities. Testing and quality practices didn’t include much in the way of automated testing. Almost all testing was done manually. And DevOps was unheard of….

In this session, I will talk about what we have done to address these situations with agile and DevOps practices to substantially increase the quality of our products while increasing value to our customers.  Today, we are the “Dancing Dinosaur.”

About the Presenter 

David McKenna

Dave McKenna has been with CA Technologies/Broadcom for over 25 years. A U.S. Air Force veteran, Dave is a champion of Agile and Lean thinking within Broadcom and also does anti-bullying programs for youth in the Pittsburgh area, where he performs stunts such as ripping telephone books in half and folding frying pans. He published a book through CA Press titled The Art of Scrum and performed at the CA World™ 16 user conference as the World’s Strongest Mainframer.

From Sprints to Marathons – Sustaining Speed to Value

From Sprints to Marathons – Sustaining Speed to Value

The October 2023 tech talk was presented by David VanEpps

Abstract

Technology leaders know the pressure to deliver high-value projects with speed. When projects turn to portfolios, the game changes. The rules of speed-to-value still apply, but now there are different dimensions required to make that speed sustainable over the long haul. Delivering sustained speed-to-value isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon, and much like running a marathon, there are some clear guidelines that can be followed. 

Specifically, we’ll address the need for setting the right pace, managing a different set of metrics, balancing the needs of competing forces, managing enterprise expectations, and future-proofing the organization.

About the Presenter 

David VanEpps

David VanEpps is the VP of Engineering at Ursa Space Systems, where he brings a passion for software engineering excellence and exceptional leadership. Prior to his role at Ursa, he served as Senior Director of Delivery for Acxiom, a global marketing technology company, where he rapidly scaled technology teams while improving both client and associate delight. He has held numerous technology leadership roles at high-tech companies such as OnStar and Vynamic. David has consistently led technology organizations to deliver solutions that exceed expectations while delighting clients, associates, and shareholders. His cross-industry experience and principles of execution have enabled teams to drive exceptional speed-to-value and quality.

David graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a bachelors in Computer Science and a masters in Software Development and Management. He resides in Harrison Township, Michigan, with his wife, Charlotte. Outside of work, he actively volunteers and serves on several non-profits, and he enjoys running, cycling, writing, and speaking in his spare time.

Software Excellence through the Agile High Velocity Development℠ Process

Software Excellence through the Agile High Velocity Development℠ Process

Abstract

The Advanced Information Services Division of Ishpi Information Technologies, Inc. (DBA ISHPI) performs all aspects of the software development lifecycle using its High Velocity Development℠ (HVD) process. We have studied many methods and frameworks (including Personal Software Process, Team Software Process, CMMI for Development, Scrum, Kanban, CMMI for Services, ISO 9001 (Quality Management), ISO 20000-1 (Information Technology Service Management), ISO 27001 (Information Security Management Systems), Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, and more), adapted them, combined them, and made them our own. The result is an innovative, cohesive process that works for us—our agile HVD process. We have shown that diverse inputs need not be contradictory choices, but instead complementary building blocks. By evolving, implementing, and utilizing the HVD practices, AIS Division teams have achieved significant improvement in productivity and performance. ISHPI’s customers have benefited from shorter schedules, lower costs for development due to minimal rework costs, lower costs for maintenance, and an overall positive experience during each project.

About the Presenter 

Stephen Shook, ISHPI’s Vice President of Software Engineering & Quality, brings more than 25 years of experience in senior management, business development, development management, project management, software engineering, and implementing Capability Maturity Model® Integration (CMMI®). He is one of the principal architects of ISHPI’s award-winning Agile High Velocity Development℠ software development methodology, which is appraised at CMMI Development Maturity Level 5. As an experienced instructor, coach, consultant, and subject matter expert, he leads and mentors software teams to achieve exceptional cost, schedule, and quality performance in order to achieve customer business goals. Stephen has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Illinois.

Barti Perini, ISHPI’s Vice President of Software Process Improvement, brings over 25 years of experience in software engineering, software development process improvement, project management, and Capability Maturity Model® Integration (CMMI®) and ISO implementation. She leads ISHPI’s Software Engineering Process group, Configuration Management group, and the Quality Assurance group, working with senior management, software development managers, project managers, and engineers to initiate, define, track, evaluate, and implement new methods and technologies to continuously optimize the software engineering capability of the organization (currently appraised at CMMI Development Maturity Level (ML) 5 and CMMI Services ML 3). Barti holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute. Barti has a Master of Science in Computer Science from Northern Illinois University, a Master of Technology in Industrial Electronics from Mysore University, India and a Bachelor of Engineering in Power Electronics from Nagpur University, India.

The Real Cost of Bad Software Quality in the U.S. in 2022

The Real Cost of Bad Software Quality in the U.S. in 2022

Abstract

This presentation will introduce The Cost of Poor Software Quality in the US: A 2022 Report, published in December 2022 by CISQ. We highlight the rapidly growing costs of cybersecurity failures and software technical debt. The trends and enablers of these growing costs are discussed.

CISQ’s 2020 report estimated that poor software quality cost the United States economy over $2 trillion in 2020 due to operational software failures, poor quality legacy systems, and unsuccessful projects. Compared to the country’s projected Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $20.66 trillion, or the $1.4 trillion spent on employing IT/software professionals in 2020, it represents a staggering amount of wasted resources. This talk will share the updated results from 2022.

Author, Herb Krasner, will introduce the important findings in the report, which is full of facts, figures, case histories, references, and specific recommendations for how and where to find these burdensome costs and how to prevent or avoid them.

About the Presenter 

Herb Krasner

Since early 2017, Herb has had the luxury of getting involved in whatever sparks his interest or is stimulated by his professional expertise/contacts.  This led to his publication of the Cost of Poor-Quality Software in the US: A 2018 report, widely read and cited on the internet. This report has since stimulated podcasts, blogs, webinars, and other related opportunities. 

In 2017, Herb retired from his 18-year position as Professor of Software Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin (UT), where he taught undergraduate and graduate classes in software engineering, database engineering, agile methods, and software quality and process improvement. He also performed and supervised research in the science of software design, the economics of software engineering, and software quality/process improvement.  

As a research scientist, he is well known for his leading-edge work on modeling the cost/benefits of software quality and reporting the ROI data for software process improvement programs, as well as the reported results from his groundbreaking empirical studies of professional programmers performed at MCC.   He has published over 55 papers, articles, and book sections, and has spoken at many professional conferences and meetings.   As founder, Chairman, and former Director of the Software Quality Institute (SQI) at the University of Texas, he was largely responsible for creating and shaping the software engineering educational outreach organization into a successful business entity.  

Herb currently serves on the Missouri S&T Computer Science Department’s Academy of Computer Science. and is an Advisory Board Member for the Consortium for IT Software Quality He is active in both the ACM and IEEE Computer Society, and served as past chairman of several international conferences, as well as Director of the ACM Scholastic Student Programming Contest. He was a book series editor for the IEEE Computer Society Press and a member of their Publications Board. His professional awards include the ACM Distinguished Service Award and ASQ Golden Quill Award.

10 Key Things to be a Rocking Product Manager in an Agile World

10 Key Things to be a Rocking Product Manager in an Agile World

The June 2023 tech talk was presented by César Duarte

Abstract

Are you ready to know more about the challenge of being a product manager? This talk will cover challenges you will need to master to excel and become a product management superstar in an Agile world.

From your main responsibilities to skills that will make you crush the product management game, learn what this role is and what is NOT, along with its main challenges and some insider tips. As a bonus, we will also have a glimpse into the epic battle of the PMs and POs (Product Managers vs PROJECT Managers vs Product Owners).

About the Presenter 

César Duarte 

Entrepreneur at heart (former founder & CTO) • Software engineer turned to business with international project and product management experience • INSEAD executive education with the Product Management Executive Programme (PMEP) • Master in Informatics and Computing Engineering from FEUP (Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto) in Portugal • Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO) + Professional Scrum Master (PSM) certified by Scrum.org • Track record of helping organizations improve their processes, systems, and people with methods of continuous improvement, Agile, Lean, and Kaizen.