Get Faster - While You're Getting Better
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Get Faster - While You're Getting Better

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Presentation given 4/16/08 by Anthony Stevens at the Seattle Tech Startups monthly meetup

Presentation given 4/16/08 by Anthony Stevens at the Seattle Tech Startups monthly meetup

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  • 1. Get Faster – While You’re Getting Better Solving the Tension Between Speed and Quality in Software Product Development
  • 2. The Race Goes To the Swift and The Bread Goes to the Wise
  • 3. What’s the Right Product?
    • You may not know until you’ve tried and failed a couple times – which is why product development for startups is so challenging
  • 4. PayPal: “was really not founded to do payments at all.” Flickr: “…was kind of a lark. It was a side project we built while we were in the process of building [a game].” Hotmail started as a web-enabled database/PIM.
  • 5. Maximize Your Advantages
    • Flexibility
    • Speed
    • Lack of Bureaucracy
    … and Minimize Your Disadvantages
    • Time
    • Money
    • Uncertainty
  • 6.
    • “ Reduce. Do as little as possible to get what you have to get done. Do less of it; get it done. If you’ve got two things that you need to put together, take away until they go together. Don’t add another thing. Because you and understand it better; you can analyze it more cleanly. The UI will be easier. Doing less is so important. ”
    • -- Joshua Schachter, founder of delicious
  • 7. Cost of Defects
  • 8. Requirements Are Dead
    • Your product will change
    • You need to get to market fast
    • Your expertise is in technology or sales, not technical writing
  • 9.
    • The trick is not to try harder avoid problems in the first place, but increase your effectiveness and the efficiency with which you dispose of the problems that come up
  • 10. Long Live Agile
    • Lean and Mean
    • Release NOW
    • Short, Fast Iterations (aka “sprints”)
    • Talk To Customers
    • YAGNI
    • Simple >>> Complex
    • Measure Progress By Working Code
  • 11. Build Safety Nets
    • What’s a Safety Net?
    Hint: It’s not just a practice that allows you to sleep better at night.
  • 12. Source Control
    • Check in early and often
    • Leave nothing out
    • TONS of options: CVS, SVN, Git, TFS, Vault
    • Backing up to thumb drive is NOT source control!
    • Best Practice: Tonight, Before You Go To Bed, Set Up An Account With Unfuddle.com
  • 13. Issue Tracking
    • Set up a common, shared repository for bugs, issues, feature requests, tasks, etc.
    • Lots of freeware available to fill this need
    • Review often
    • Best Practice: Write ACTIONABLE items
    • in your lists.
  • 14. One-Click Deployment
    • Get as close as you can to being able to build and deploy your product in ONE CLICK
    • Source Code
    • Build Your Database
    • Insert Test Data
    • Deploy to Server / Create Install Files / etc.
    • Best Practice: Every Week, Remove One Manual Step From Your Build
  • 15. Continuous Integration
    • This is a software service that runs your one-click build - automatically
    • AKA “nightly builds”, “automated builds”
    • Cruise Control, Perforce, many others
    • Best Practice: Run Builds On Every Commit, and Fix Problems Immediately
  • 16. 91% of successful Meerkats use Continuous Integration
  • 17. Unit Tests / Automated Tests
    • Myth: Unit Tests Slow You Down
    • Myth: Unit Tests Are Only Effective If You Have 95% Code Coverage
    • Focus on the Squirrels
    • Like A Good Virus, Unit Tests Should Multiply Over Time
    • Best Practice: Include Unit Tests In Your Continuous Integration Builds
  • 18.
    • Moving From the
    • Tactical to the Strategic
  • 19.
    • Hire Selectively
    • Spread Ownership
    • Shared Vision and Goals
    • Be Honest
    • Have Empathy
    • Constant Feedback and Communication
    Peopleware: Good People Are Always More Important Than A Good Idea
  • 20. If You Aren’t Leveraging Other People’s Code, You’re Losing
    • “ Roll Your Own” = “ I’ll be looking for a job in 6 months ”
    • Use Frameworks
    • Find and Use Cheap IT Outsourcing
    • Use Good Tools
  • 21. Remoting
    • Do Distributed Teams Work For Startups?
    • It’s a Tradeoff between Expertise, Communication and Coordination –but which is most important?
    • There is no best answer
  • 22. Question Received Wisdom
    • “ You need a project manager”
    • “ You need to be solid and stable before you release”
    • “ Language ‘X’ is the only good choice”
    • “ You need a design spec”
    • “ You need to staff up”
    • “ You need funding”
    • “ You need to own your hardware”
  • 23. Thank You, and Good Luck! Anthony Stevens [email_address]