XP/Agile Universe 2003 was held Aug. 10-13 in New Orleans, LA (NOLA). See my previous post regarding day 1.
The first session of the day was the Panel of Authors: Unit Testing Tips and Techniques by Gerard Meszaros, Shaun Smith, Jennitta Andrea, Rong Ou and Robert Wenner. Gerard and Shaun discussed their paper “The Test Automation Manifesto” where they discussed test automation patterns, test automation smells and discussed their experience writing automated tests. Rong Ou discussed his paper “Test Driven Database Development” where he describes the difficulties of testing database hosted functionality. The proposed solution of using an in memory database for tests is novel, but limited to applications using ANSI-SQL (i.e. no stored procedures, triggers, etc.). Robert Wenner discussed his paper “JNI Testing” where he described how he simplified the testing of the JNI layer.
Next was an Openspace that was a follow-up of Gary McGraw's security talk on day 1. We discussed some techniques for making code more secure, defining trust boundaries, and how XP practices might better address security needs.
The afternoon started with another Openspace titled “Agile Fusion Recap”. Agile Fusion was an event that Brian Marick & Rob Mee put together to bring together context-driven testers and agile programmers to build product together and learn from each other. The Openspace was meant to discuss the results of Agile Fusion and continue the dialog. The interesting points that came up were whether programmer/customer tests are really tests or something else and whether XP style testing is really enough. This is a fascinating topic and I'll be writing more about in the future. See Brian's blog as well.
I wrapped up the evening with another Openspace titled “Writers Roundtable”. The attendees were either published authors, or authors yet to be published (Micheal Feathers, Robert Wenner, Lowell Lindstrom, Mike Hill, Joshua Kerievsky and David Astels). An interesting discussion was how everyone got started writing, and almost everyone started because they were dismayed at the level of knowledge in their clients and co-workers and wanted to fix that. We also discussed writing work habits, when to edit, how to maintain your voice when editing, how to include beginner/advanced info without alienating the other, dealing with sample code in 1 or more languages, writing tools for book sized projects (i.e. not MS Word) and other sundry topics.
Openspace was new to me at this conference, but as you can see I spent a lot of time there on day 2. In fact I believe Openspace or something like it is required at a conference so that many can contribute their experience rather than just the speakers. Without Openspace the conference would have been marginally good. With Openspace the conference was excellent.