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Conceptual understanding in development

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Todays web and app projects are not just pieces of code.Every change a developer creates can affect performance, usability,stability and even the relationship to the customer.In this talk I will discuss the necessity for agile development teams to havea better understanding of what makes their product really great in the endand how recurring conceptual phases can help in this.

Presented at T3Con15 in Amsterdam

Published in: Technology
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Conceptual understanding in development

  1. 1. Improving conceptual understanding in development OR Would you make assumptions 
 about a dragon? presented by Sebastian Helzle
  2. 2. Who am I? 1990 Pen & Paper 1996 Geocities 2005 TYPO3 2007 Freelancer 2013 Neos CMS 2015 CSM Love hiking, mountains and baking
  3. 3. Chapters I. Dungeons & Dragons & Conceptual understanding II. A light through the fog of requirements III. Evade traps with agile methods IV. Gain experience and grow your strengths V. Slay the dragon of Golive and retrieve it’s treasures
  4. 4. Why is conceptual understanding important?
  5. 5. Our web projects are not Just pieces of code Fluffy mythical creatures
  6. 6. COMPLEX Websites and apps are
  7. 7. Idea & final result Can look similar but the result might behave unexpected
  8. 8. So, why are they complex?
  9. 9. People working together Team: „A group of people with individual views 
 on the same(?) thing“
  10. 10. Technology Dependencies Continuous delivery Performance Scalability
  11. 11. Next: The real complexity
  12. 12. People must actually be able to use your product!
  13. 13. The connection to Pen & Paper games
  14. 14. Parts of a Pen & Paper game Game master (Storyteller, Visionary, PO) 2-6 Adventurers (Different strengths and personalities) Space where everyone sits together Books describing the rules of the game Motivation Common goal Sounds like a project
  15. 15. How people play I. Game master describes the situation II. Everyone synchronizes their view III. Player do actions IV. Game master explains results according to the story and the rules V. Players evaluate result and adapt VI. Start again from step I. Sounds like a Sprint
  16. 16. II. The fog of requirements
  17. 17. From far a forest might look very nice It will lead you to your goal and reveal the dragon
  18. 18. Beware: There is always something lurking there! Shifting priorities Described workflows don’t fit anymore External dependencies Demanding stakeholders Technical debts
  19. 19. What makes a product usable? Customised solutions Well thought out workflows Good performance
  20. 20. Clients are used to bad solutions And sometimes ask for more of it
  21. 21. III. Evade traps with agile methods
  22. 22. Daily stand-up Synchronize
  23. 23. Reviews Do internal reviews and user testing Let developers present their work Invite the client Check for dents in your armors
  24. 24. Keep some slack in your planning Improvements need time too Sharpen your weapons
  25. 25. Don’t kill ideas with overcomplicated processes A process can be bent Frameworks adapted
  26. 26. Refresh a projects vision regularly Sometimes the trees block your view on the dragon
  27. 27. IV. Gain experience and grow your strengths
  28. 28. Retrospectives Talk about your processes Practise communication Grow as a team
  29. 29. Miscommunication is expensive
  30. 30. Every change can have undesired effects Performance degradation Usability Stability issues Relationship with the client
  31. 31. There are already some solutions Automated testing (stability & performance) A/B testing for user experience
  32. 32. Sadly, no automatic tests for editors efficiency or clients happiness :(
  33. 33. Many developers don’t know what clients are doing
  34. 34. Ignorance? I don’t think so 
 (maybe sometimes)
  35. 35. Fostering project ownership
  36. 36. Empathy Client has bad experience? Feel the urge to improve it Find sustainable solutions Work with the client Try to understand the client Get to know the client (he’s not the dragon)
  37. 37. As a developer you can See tasks as challenge Try to see your work from a different point of view Involve in shaping a project Defend your ideas and concepts Teach others Cooperate & ask for help Write down or draw what you know
  38. 38. Get coaching Enable developers Let coaches coach, not do the work Help developers not to depend on coaches
  39. 39. V. Slay the dragon of Golive and retrieve it’s treasures
  40. 40. Things might be different than expected Is the dragon hungry? Did he have enough sleep? Is he unhappy? Assumptions might be deadly!
  41. 41. Thank you!
  42. 42. Questions?
  43. 43. More 🐦 @sebobo ✉ me@helzle.it 📖 http://www.mind-the-seb.de

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