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Keynote - Mary Poppendieck

The One Thing You Need to Know… About Software Development Processes

Edsger Dijkstra, who gave the name to Structured Programming, once said:
“Those who want really reliable software will discover that they must find means of avoiding the majority of bugs to start with, and as a result the programming process will become cheaper. If you want more effective programmers, you will discover that they should not waste their time debugging – they should not introduce bugs to start with.”

Every software development process invented has had this as its primary goal: Developers should not waste their time debugging – they should not introduce bugs to start with. And yet, a typical software development process allocates 30% to 50% of a release cycle in various stages of “hardening” (finding and fixing defects) and no one questions why this should be considered an acceptable process. In fact, finding and fixing defects at the end of a process is the hallmark of a defective process. It’s time to get back to the basics and figure out how to build quality into software at every step of the process.

Who is Mary Poppendieck?

Mary Poppendieck has been in the Information Technology industry for over thirty years. She has managed software development, supply chain management, manufacturing operations, and new product development. She spearheaded the implementation of a Just-in-Time system in a 3M video tape manufacturing plant and led new product development teams, commercializing products ranging from digital controllers to 3M Light Fiber™.

Mary is a popular writer and speaker, and coauthor of the Lean Software Development book , which was awarded the Software Development Productivity Award in 2004. A sequel, Implementing Lean Software Development, was published in 2006. A third book, Leading Lean Software Development, will be published in November 2009.