ACCU - Professionalism in Programming

2010 Conference

At the ACCU Conference 2010, I gave a presentation again, this time from my (relatively) new experiences in the field of Test and Quality Assurance. Here's the summary I sent in:

Adventures in QA

In this session, we follow the adventures of a software developer who unexpectedly finds himself in the role of head of quality assurance. Hilarity ensues as worlds collide and our protagonist realizes he doesn?t even speak the same language as his new colleagues.

This session will be exposing some of the gruesome details of real-life software testing. Courses for testers and shiny testing tools are readily available, but how widely are they actually used, useful, or even usable? Is there a need for a "professionalism in testing" initiative?

Also, while testing is widely accepted as a necessity, it isn't always seen as an integral part of the development process yet. So we will be looking into this and related (ongoing) struggles with management and development.

Lessons learned and a chance to exchange stories from the trenches will round off the session.

You can view and download the slides on slideshare.

2008 Conference

At the ACCU Conference 2008, I was giving a 45 minute presentation. Here's the summary I sent in:

Rewriting not recommended

- Why it's not a good idea to rewrite your application from the ground up

It would appear to be common knowledge that doing a complete rewrite of an existing application is a bad idea. Yet many developers still want to do it. Once an application has reached a certain point in its life cycle, a rewrite often looks like the only way out.

This session looks at the motivation for a rewrite and highlights the risks of such a decision, both from a technical point of view and considering what it could mean for your business. We will also be discussing alternative strategies and why your situation may not be as hopeless as you think it is. Rounding things off will be a list of tips on how to avoid getting into the same situation again.

You can download the slides here: Rewriting not recommended (PDF, 6.2 MB, last updated 2008-04-03) or view it on slideshare.

2005 Conference

At the ACCU Conference 2005, I was giving a 45 minute presentation. Here's the summary I sent in:

Bringing a C library into the future

Compart is a company specialising in software for high-volume document conversion, formatting, and processing. Most of the functionality required in this field is concentrated in a highly portable C library, on top of which the actual applications are built.

With the advent of new languages and frameworks, it is becoming increasingly important to make this functionality available in these environments. To bridge the gap, an abstraction layer based on an XML IDL has been developed. From this IDL, both bindings and code can be generated automatically, providing native objects in languages such as Java and JavaScript. It also offers the possibility to make the connection to e.g. the .NET framework.

The XML IDL has since become the de facto reference for the interface definitions, so that now the actual C header files for the underlying library can be created from the IDL. As an added bonus, the IDL is also used for documentation, with an XSLT script creating DocBook from the IDL.

You'll find the presentation on your conference CD, but here is an updated version: Bringing a C Library Into The Future (PDF, 82 KB, last updated 2005-04-18).

2004 Conference notes

I was asked by my employer to give a presentation on the 2004 conference and the presentations I attended there. This PDF (440 KB) is a slightly edited version of that presentation.

Please note that any factual or spelling errors are almost certainly my fault, not the presenter's. Corrections are welcome.

2004 Pictures

Some random pictures of Oxford on a rainy Sunday morning (the day after the conference) ...

Other Presentations

In case you're interested, there's also a list of presentations I gave elsewhere over the years.

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