Conference Highlights: UX Design, Stage Presence, and DevOps | TechWell

Conference Highlights: UX Design, Stage Presence, and DevOps

In June we attended the Agile Development, Better Software & DevOps Conference West in Las Vegas, which featured more than a hundred networking and learning opportunities and three tracks to choose from.

We Are All UX Designers

Jeff Patton took the stage with his keynote, Lean UX: Turn User Experience Design Inside Out. Jeff discussed how lean UX turns product design into a team sport where everyone participates to build software that works.

If we haven’t had a positive impact on our users’ world, he said, then we have failed as developers, designers, and testers.

Jeff stressed the importance of actually watching people use your software and making friends with your users, because you wouldn’t want to disappoint your friends, would you? You will prioritize your backlog differently once you look your customers in the eyes. Getting out there and talking to your end-users not only helps clarify the requirements, you also get to see the product in action.

Delivering Your Best Presentation

In his tutorial Giving Great Presentations: The Art of Stage Presence, James Whittaker revealed the secrets to conceiving, building, and delivering a great presentation.

Whether you are pitching an idea, giving a presentation to stakeholders, or describing a bug, it all boils down to nailing the concept. Once you’ve done that, you’ve got your audience’s attention. Don’t do this, and even if you have the best idea, it’s just “death by a thousand slides,” James said—it’s the concept that wins the audience, not the details.

What’s the most interesting part of your presentation? What do you want your audience to remember? He recommends starting with that. To help nail down your core message, James suggests whittling it down to 140 characters (the length of a tweet) so that it is memorable and impactful.

Why DevOps Changes Everything

In his keynote Why DevOps Changes Everything, Jeffrey Payne discussed what you must implement to reap the benefits of this movement, which is not a passing fad.

DevOps helps us avoid GIGAD, Jeff said—garbage in, garbage automatically deployed—and this is the best thing to ever happen to testing. The goal of DevOps is to reduce downstream errors and replace costly manual testing with automation.With DevOps, he said, you avoid the frustration of “big-bang integration”—when you can't really finish testing until late in the lifecycle.

The term DevOps implies only the development and operations teams are involved. Instead, Jeff said, we should talk about Dev2Ops, where everyone plays a part. DevOps is a cultural shift toward collaboration and communication, and it can benefit everyone involved in the software lifecycle.

The next Agile Development, Better Software & DevOps Conference is happening from November 8–13 -2015 in Orlando, Florida.

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