We're calling on Millard Ellingsworth. He is a member of the software development team for Rational Team Concert; a musician and golf enthusiast; and the author of Get ready to Sprint with Rational Team Concert, the featured article this week on developerWorks Rational.
What books have influenced your ideas and thoughts the most?
I'm going to lead with what may seem like an odd choice: Janet Kagan's Hellspark. It is dense with ideas that resonate for me, including understanding and respecting cultural differences in a team environment, particularly how to adjust your behavior to be more effective through that understanding. There's a character in the book whose culture highly values speaking accurately and truthfully, to the point that they award bracelets to individuals who have done so reliably over time. Rattling or shaking these bracelets while making a statement is a way to emphasize how strongly you feel that your words speak true – and to put some of your reputation on the line at the same time (bracelets can be revoked). As I write or speak I will sometimes ask myself if I would rattle my bracelets about the point I'm trying to make. It's an internal dialog that I hope keeps me clear and honest. Oh, and it's a heck of a good book, too.
From more of a technical book perspective, I was impressed by early work around analysis and design activities by Tom DeMarco, Structured Analysis and System Specification and Larry Constantine's Structured Design. In software construction, we still worry about coupling and cohesion – two of many concepts that developed from these early works. Pretty much everything that Gerald Weinberg wrote is worth reading. Ivar Jacobson's Use Case Driven Development is another one that injected truly new thinking in this space. You can check out my developerWorks blog for additional books I like.
How do you handle defeat and/or failure?
It's all a learning exercise and you learn the most when you stumble. That old saying is useful to remember during difficult moments: Success is a poor teacher. The important thing is being able to review your goals, intentions, actions and results and determine what you might have done differently and consider how it might have changed the outcome. Even more important is incorporating that understanding into future efforts. The only real failure is to not be improved by the lessons life hands you.
How do you handle obstacles and roadblocks?
You have to lean into the pain. If something is difficult for you, you need to do more of it until it isn't so difficult any more. Most things can be mastered if you care to. And that's the other side of the answer: you need to consider the obstacle and decide if it matters. Perhaps walking away or looking for a different path is better than powering through. Sometimes when you step back and take a broader view of your goal, you realize there are better ways than the one you had been focusing all your attention on.
What interests you outside of your job (hobbies, activities)?
Music is a big part of my life both as a listener and creator. I was in several different bands when I lived in Southern California (if you look hard enough you can find stuff I've worked on as both a musician and producer on Rhapsody and iTunes). These days golf is a bit more of an obsession. I started playing again (with the IBM Beaverton Golf Club) after many years away from the game and am very much enjoying both the physical and mental aspects of playing a good round. The rainy Oregon winters leave plenty of time for some woodworking projects – my wife is expecting me to build her a “pie safe” over the upcoming holiday.
What do you see as the top driver to Application Lifecycle Management tools?
The same as the top driver for any tool: Value. An important part of the agile mantra is delivering value quickly. For tools to play well in that space, they have to support exactly that -- they must help teams do more, do it better and get it done and delivered. I've been an unabashed supporter of Rational Team Concert since the very beginning because I believe it brings together a remarkable suite of capabilities and integrates it beautifully. That suite has expanded on both ends with Requirements Composer to help organizations do a better job of being clear what needs to be done and how it should behave and Quality Manager to traceably prove that we've passed the tests that matter. Any organization not considering adopting these tools does not yet understand the value they provide.
If you haven't yet used Rational Team Concert customizations to help improve your practice, did the article give you some ideas on how you could do that? Leave a comment here or connect with Millard on both Google+ and Twitter (@millard3)
Say "Hello!" to the Agile Transformation community
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Visit the Agile Transformation community today!
Innovate 2012: Register early and save $200
Early-bird registration for Innovate runs through March 14, 2012. By registering early you can save $200 (USD) off the regular conference registration rate of $1995 (USD)! Visit the conference website for more information and spread the word!
The call for papers is open for IBM Innovate 2013
. This year there are two streams: The Technical Exchange @Innovate and Team Directions @Innovate. Full descriptions for these streams and their areas of interest are on the conference website
. The submission deadline has been extended to January 21, 2013!
So, think about ideas for your paper. If you have general questions about submission ideas, leave a comment on this post or use the message board
UPDATE: Information about all conference tracks is available on the call for papers site
, but track chairs for the following subjects have offered ideas about what might make a good paper topic -and- they are eager to hear any ideas that you have for these tracks:
When you have your idea, take a look at these tips for creating an abstract that gets noticed
(good advice for many conferences):
- Show measurable results: There is a big difference between saying “This worked for us” and “We achieved a 35% Return on Investment”. Measurable results are a great way to prove the effectiveness of your strategies to your audience.
- Use real-life examples: There is no substitute for experience. Audiences love to hear directly from people who have implemented winning strategies. If you’re an IBMer or an IBM Business Partner, team up with a client to bring your story to life. If you’re a client, dedicate some of your time to letting your audience know how things really worked, or didn’t!
- Avoid sales pitches: Infomercials are not welcome. Audiences want to learn how to be successful; if that includes a mention of a specific product or service, then great. If that focuses solely on a given product or service, then audiences will tune out. If you came to advertise, you should participate in our solution center.
- Explain the big picture: how your organization collaborated: Software delivery is a team sport. And while your presentation may focus on a specific aspect of software delivery, it likely has impacts on other areas of, or individuals within, your organization. Don’t forget about those impacts, tell us how you integrated and collaborated with other tools, areas or individuals. We want to understand the full impact of your strategies.
- Speak to your industry: Sometimes your successful strategies will be dependent on circumstances unique to your organization. Consider generalizing your guidance so that it will apply to others in similar industries or more generic situations.
Sometimes I wish I had a crystal ball so I could see what you want to read on developerWorks. But I don’t, so I turned to what I do have: History. I went through all of the reports and identified the 12 most popular articles in 2012. I chose twelve articles because, well, it was 2012, although I don’t think I’ll use the same method in 2050. In this instance, history didn’t prove very helpful. Perhaps it’s because there are, on average 590,000 of you who visit our site monthly. Or because we published 139 articles, which gave you a wide variety to choose from.
So, given that I don’t have a crystal ball and history isn’t showing trends, I’m going to the source. You. What would you like to see published on the developerWorks Rational site this year? Be sure to post your requests in the comments section. While you’re thinking about that question, take a look at the top 12 articles published in 2012.
- Create editable sequence diagrams with Rational Software Architect
By Bala Subramanian Vetrivel, Technical Specialist, IBM
Sequence diagrams play a key role in documentation. These diagrams easily depict the flow, interaction among objects, and message communication. Bala Subramanaian Vetrivel describes how to generate sequence diagrams for Java projects by using IBM® Rational® Software Architect for WebSphere Software, Version 7.5.4. He also explains the limitations of sequence diagrams that cannot be edited, the need for generating editable sequence diagrams, and steps to generate editable diagrams.
- Document and automate processes with Rational Method Composer and Jazz: Part 4. Create new process assets (be sure to read parts 1-3 too)
By Ricardo Balduino, Senior Software Engineer, IBM
This series of articles about the importance of documenting methods focuses on integrating Rational® Method Composer with Rational Team Concert™, which is based on Jazz™ technology. Part 1 explained the value of an integrated approach, and the subsequent articles use sample scenarios to describe how organizations use these integrated tools. Part 2 described how a team used a process included in Rational Method Composer, and Part 3 covered how they extended the process description to accommodate new process needs and then automated that process in Rational Team Concert. In this article, Part 4, Ricardo Balduino describes how the team starts with and then adapts existing practices from Rational Method Composer and creates a new process template in Rational Team Concert to get the team started and to run the project.
- What's new in Rational Software Architect 8.5 and Design Manager 4 beta: Improved collaboration, reuse, technology support, and easier adoption
By Steve Arnold, Senior Technical Consultant, IBM
IBM Rational Software Architect Version 8.5 introduces technology support for Spring, Hibernate, Struts, and Java 7, and makes adoption easier by providing a Microsoft Visio import option. This new version also includes the Design Manager Version 4 beta, which introduces simplified team working and improves reuse. Steve Arnold describes these and other highlights of this release.
- Representing nonfunctional aspects using TOGAF ArchiMate
By Fabio Castiglioni, Senior IT Architect, IBM, and Francesco Pedullá, Executive Architect, IBM
The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) and its modeling language, ArchiMate, are increasingly popular techniques for documenting and evolving the architecture of an enterprise. Several tools, including Rational® System Architect support them. However, ArchiMate lacks the elements needed to describe the nonfunctional aspects of the enterprise, thereby limiting the usefulness of the resulting enterprise architecture in environments, such as cloud, where service levels are primary business requirements. Fabrio Castiglioni and Francesco Pedullá show how to extend the ArchiMate metamodel to build a nonfunctional model extension that goes from business to technical architecture. They also provide a simple customization to download, so that you can use the new metamodel extension in Rational System Architect.
- Calculate your return on investment for software and systems
By Murray Cantor, Distinguished Engineer, IBM
The term "return on investment" (ROI) is frequently used to describe the benefit derived from investments in software and systems or other business investments. To better align software and systems investments, there are different kinds of ROI answers to different business questions: Have we received a good return on the investments to date? Should we continue to invest in the project? What will be the total ROI over the life of the software or system? Murray Cantor provides the different ROI calculations to answer these questions.
- Integrate Rational ALM applications with SAP Solution Manager: A unified approach to managing and testing SAP and non-SAP projects
By Bernd Eberhardt, Product Manager, IBM
Businesses with SAP environments that need to adapt to changing needs quickly will benefit from an open, extensible ALM (application lifecycle management) platform that is based on industry standards. With tools that scale existing processes, reduce costs, and use a quality-based approach, you will meet business objectives efficiently, too. Bernd Eberhardt explains how and why integrating SAP's Solution Manager with Rational ALM applications optimizes deployment for SAP and non-SAP projects.
- Reasons for resistance to enterprise architecture and ways to overcome it
By Jan K. Gravesen, Executive Industry Architect, IBM
Since the mid-1990s, enterprise architecture has been evolving as an independent design discipline in the area between strategy and architecture. Although interest has been growing in recent years, the discipline is still considered immature, and many enterprises remain ambivalent or skeptical. Jan Gravesen discusses the considerable value that enterprise architecture can bring and how it can be successfully implemented to overcome much of that organizational skepticism.
- Advantages and options of private cloud computing
By Sandra Sergi Santos, Software Engineering Specialist, IBM
When we think of computer resources in the cloud, we usually think of public clouds, such as the ones offered by Google or Amazon, with infrastructure or applications shared by millions of clients worldwide, through the Internet. Some organizations, because of their organizational cultures or for security or regulatory concerns, cannot move directly into public clouds, but they have the option of private clouds. Sandra Sergi Santos explains the advantages and ways to use them to optimize your investments, processes, and infrastructure.
- IBM PureSystems: A game changer in the development, deployment, and management of IT applications
By Steve Abrams, Distinguished Engineer and Chief Cloud Architect, IBM, and Timothy Hahn, Distinguished Engineer, Chief Architect for Enterprise Tools, IBM
IBM® PureSystems™ is the first offering in a brand new system category from IBM — a new class of systems known as "Expert Integrated Systems." The technology is designed to get IT organizations up and running in as little as four hours, cutting months off the time required to deploy new applications. PureSystems combines the flexibility of a general-purpose system, the elasticity of the cloud, and the simplicity of an appliance. This introduction by Steve Abrams and Timothy Hahn explains further and describes how application development tools and the Rational solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) complement PureSystems to provide a streamlined application development, test, and production environment.
- Continuous integration in agile development: How agile methods, continuous integration, and test-driven enhance design and development of complex systems
By Martin R. Bakal, Worldwide Offering Manager, Electronics Industry, IBM
Martin Bakal explores how agile development, continuous integration (CI), and test-driven development (TDD) techniques can be employed in embedded software development. When applied as part of an architecture-based approach, these combined practices provide both high quality and project flexibility.
- What's new in IBM Rational Rhapsody 8.0 and Rhapsody Design Manager 4.0: Introducing new requirements workflow optimized for systems engineers, guides for new users, kits for ISO 26262 and IEC 61508 safety-critical development
By Paul Urban, Senior Systems Market Manager, IBM Corporation
IBM® Rational® Rhapsody® 8.0 and Rational Rhapsody Design Manager 4.0 provide simplified design collaboration with new systems engineering workflow with a Jazz technology-based database repository that unifies requirements and design. Paul Urban also gives you highlights of other additions or enhancements: A single source of truth based on OSLC integration; reference workflow with certificate from the TÜV SÜD for development under ISO 26262 Road Vehicles Functional Safety and IEC 61508 Functional Safety standards; enhanced user experience and productivity with solution-focused guidance to assist new users; updates for UPDM 2.0, SysML 1.3, and AUTOSAR 4.0 and 3.2; improvements for usability and performance improving systems engineering workflows and agile embedded and real-time software development. These new versions also add many usability enhancements and improvements for systems engineering and safety-critical development.
- How early Integration testing enables agile development
By Monica Luke, Lifecycle Scenario Architect, IBM
It's hard to deliver on the agile principle of "done, done, done" for complex, heterogeneous systems. Monica Luke explains how service virtualization can improve team collaboration and align the independent test organization's focus on the same milestone as the development team.
We're calling on Bob Aiello, consultant, editor-in-chief of the CM Crossroads website for developers and co-author of Configuration Management Best Practices: Practical Methods that Work in the Real World. This week, he is the author of our developerWorks feature article The true value of agile process maturity.
What is the one action you have taken that has accounted for most of your success?
Early in my career I combined Industrial Psychology with hands-on technical skills. This has allowed me to engineer the process along with implementing the tools to support it. Most of all, being a hands-on process guy has helped me to stay relevant and focused.
Who is your hero?
I was born visually handicapped and used a combination of braille, large print and tapes when I was younger while lasers were developed that could fix my vision. I see perfectly now, but my role models were the many blind and disabled activists that I worked with to help pass the first laws for the handicapped, including the handicapped parking permits that are now everywhere.
If you could change your life in one way, what would you change?
I would have tried harder to serve in the military. I actually did try to enlist in the marines when I was in college but I was still using a white cane and braille back then.
Which standards are seen as important for the future?
I believe that we need to improve the software development standards and IT controls in place for regulatory and compliance purposes. I am on the management board of the IEEE software standard group and I help oversee standards working groups
Why and how can agile and architecture co-exist?
Agile and architecture have a reciprocal and synergistic relationship. Architecture needs to handled in an agile, iterative way. Agile, itself, also needs to be architected, and mature agile process needs to embrace adequate structure.
When we asked Bob how he keeps up with changes in the industry, he responded, "I search the internet and use search engine alerts to find articles relevant to my interests. More than that, I enjoy hearing from my colleagues who read my articles, especially when they present a different perspective!"
In hindsight, we probably should have asked how he keeps up with his careers. Intertwined in his 25 years of dedication to configuration management practices and IEEE standards, Bob has also served for 20 years as a volunteer cop/EMT who helps patrol the NYC subway system in uniform.
To ask Bob a question about this week's article or anything related to his expertise, leave a comment here. You can also connect with him through LinkedIn.
I'm excited about our Birds of a Feather Session at Innovate in Orlando
this year. The title in case you're looking for it in the Agenda Builder
is - BOF-1770 Engineers can be social - A look at Collaboration without traditional boundaries.
you're interested in communities, collaboration, social learning,
social business, building your digital reputation ... or if you're just
curious to see what social engineers look like .. we'd love to see
you. We'll be meeting Monday June 4th from 12:45 to 1:30 in the Dolphin
- Oceanic 1.
In the spirit of collaboration without traditional
boundaries, I'd like to start our BOF session now - If you are
interested in this topic, we'd love to hear your thoughts ... even if
you're not going to be in Orlando on June 4th at 12:45PM in the Dolphin -
Oceanic 1 - see how I'm trying to collaborate without regard for those
Some conversation starters ... Click HERE
to join the discussion. If you just want to leave a quick comment, please feel free to add a comment here on this blog.
- Identifying the domain or interest area is a key component of successful communities. What topics are you most interested in seeing us bring people together?
- We think we know what makes a community valuable to you ... but would like to hear from you what you think.
- If you're one of the small percentage of people who actively contribute, let's talk about what motivates you to contribute and share your experiences.
- If you're part of the majority of people who just want to listen .. we'd like to listen and hear about what types of topics would you be interested in "listening to"
- Coming together (even online) is critical to people getting to know each other. Let's discuss the types of events that you would like to see.
- What kinds of things/conversations do you NOT want to see when you come to a community?
Is it a constant struggle to keep strategic goals, objectives, projects connected and aligned? Traditional software development methods don’t help. Programmers can work separately for days or even weeks on the same code without realizing how many conflicts (and perhaps bugs) they are generating. Because they are producing robust code with each iteration, agile teams find that they are slowed down by the long resolution and debugging sessions that occur at the end of long integration cycles. For these reasons, agile teams often choose to use continuous integration.
Join us on September 12, 2012 at 11 AM EDT / 4 PM BST / 3 PM UTC for a complimentary webcast where we'll discuss one IBM customer experience with mapping continuous integration concepts that are used in distributed development to the IBM® System z® domain – the successes and the remaining challenges. You’ll learn how the IBM Continuous Integration Solution for System z enables distributed and mainframe teams to build and test an end-to-end, cross-platform application continuously and at low-cost. We’ll also discuss how it can help manage change and address persistent bottlenecks during testing.
Register now by visiting http://ibm.co/PcxVOz
Stay after the webcast for a live question-and-answer session.
UPDATE: This webcast is available for replay. Go to the registration page to access the PDF, webcast recording and mp3 audio.
The Jazz Plan Jam opened this morning. I've been browsing the ideas submitted so far and believe me, there are some really good ideas, but these are the ones I think are really cool:
- Transform a storyboard into usable code (Tools doing work for me is always welcome. Well, at least tools that effectively help me get ahead.)
- Create a work item via email (I also like convenience.)
- Edit work item comments (Because we all goo make mistakes)
OK, so I'm leaning towards the practical stuff. Nothing wrong with that. The beauty of this jam is that you get to vote for the ideas that mean the most to you. Will "practical" win? I have until June 6th to make it happen. ;-)
I also noticed that the ideas submitted so far are focused on RTC, but it's only day 1. There's time. The Rational Jazz-based tools help you perform tasks throughout the software development lifecycle. And I know you have wish lists in your mind for the tools you use the most.
No idea too big or too small. So get registered and start jamming today!
Thank you to all of our authors and community participants for making this a great year for developerWorks Rational
. We have enjoyed getting to know you through the following activities:
- Rational community roll call: Through weekly publication schedules, we get to know a lot about our article authors. We are always fascinated by the work that they do, both in and out of their day jobs. So some of them have volunteered to share their stories with you. Through this Q&A series, we hope you've learned something more about what motivates their dynamic and diverse technical minds.
- Content updates: Each week, our production team curates all updates on our "New content on developerWorks Rational" blog posts. If you value receiving technical information about using Rational software in this way, then join the community and subscribe to this blog. We'll keep you posted.
- New communities: We enjoyed watching new communities form, focused on application lifecycle management, agile, and product and systems engineering. Through these emerging spaces came new thoughts and ideas, all voluntarily run by enthusiasts with a common goal of helping you be more successful with software and systems delivery.
In 2013, we're looking forward to making developerWorks a more engaging and educational space for you.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
Robin, Patty, Jae, and Susan
Bruce MacIsaac is responsible for the method libraries included with Rational Method Composer, including the IBM Practices Library and the Rational Unified Process (RUP). He has over 20 years of software development and process development experience. Bruce has been a driving force behind the Rational Unified Process and the Eclipse Process Framework for the last 10 years.
What is the one action you have taken that has accounted for most of your success?
In 2000, I said to Philippe Kruchten that I hated process, because too often it imposed an unnecessary burden that detracted from getting the work done. So he hired me to help fix the problem!
How do you keep up with changes in the industry?
You have to pick areas of interest and focus on those. We have communities of practice within IBM for sharing information in specific interest areas. Many organizations have similar communities. There are forums, blogs, and newsletters. I use an RSS feed reader to consolidate information from various sources and periodically skim for topics of interest.
Which (future) standards do you see as important?
There are a number of standards that may be important to how we document and enact processes.
- The Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC) continues to evolve.
- We have been moving beyond the OMG Software Process Engineering Metamodel (SPEM) standard to allow organizations to define their own elements and rules for modeling process. These extensions may be part of a future standard.
- The SEMAT initiative is working on a new OMG Standard for an essential framework for software engineering.
- There is ongoing work to extend BPMN to address modeling concerns not yet addressed by that standard.
At some point, I expect these standards will start to converge.
What communities, forums, or user groups do you turn to for help or technical insight?
I recently created the developerWorks community for Rational Method Composer and Practices, and I support the two forums that we have on Rational Method Composer and Practices, as well as the Eclipse Process Framework community So I am more in the business of giving help than receiving help. That said, there are some excellent communities for agile both inside and outside IBM, although I am not an active participant.
What interests you outside of your job?
My passion is dance, including ballroom, folk, swing -- you name it.
In addition to his day job and passion for dance, Bruce co-authored the book Agility and Discipline Made Easy: Practices from OpenUP and RUP. His current focus is on providing complete solutions for such areas as agile development, systems engineering, and enterprise modernization, and enabling such practices to be automated on the Jazz platform.
This week, he strengthens this focus through his latest developerWorks article Document and automate processes with Rational Method Composer and Jazz: Part 1. The value of methods in an agile world. As you read, think about this: What process information is important to document to avoid misunderstandings, and what information should just be in people's heads?