Thursday, May 15, 2008

Getting Ready for ODTUG

It's been too long since I've blogged. I've been busy doing all the little things you have to do when you start a business over the past few weeks. You know, web pages, contracts, business cards, email, insurance, health care, payroll, bills, furniture, vacuuming the floor, more contracts, and so on.

Today I received a timely message from Mike Riley of ODTUG asking the speakers at the event to please blog about our upcoming participation in ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2008 next month in New Orleans. Excellent idea. I like ODTUG a lot, because it's a rare event that I attend where a lot of software developers get together. These are the people who have the most leverage over software performance, which is my life's work.

On Wednesday, June 18, I'll be presenting a paper called "Measure once, cut twice (no, really)." I had to put the "no, really" in there to make people understand that it wasn't a typo. I presented this topic for the first time at the Hotsos Symposium in March, and I was reasonably happy with it, as first presentations of a topic go. Here's the abstract, in case you don't want to click away from here just now:
“Measure Twice, Cut Once” is a reminder that careful planning yields better gratification than going too quickly into operations that can’t be undone. Sometimes, however, it’s better to measure once, cut twice. It’s one of the secrets behind how carpenters hang square cabinets in not-so-square kitchens. And it’s one of the secrets behind how developers write applications that are easy to fix when they cause performance problems in production use. The key is to know which details you can plan for directly, and which details you simply can’t know and therefore have to defend yourself against. In this session Cary will discuss some aspects of software development where flexible design is more important than detailed planning, using woodworking analogies for inspiration. Cary will describe some particular flexibilities that your software needs, and he’ll describe how to create them.
It's essentially an exploration of why I think agile development methods work so well (for some personality types), with examples both from work and from the home wood shop.

I'll hope to see you there.

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