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Alex DurkinAlex Durkin
Introduction to Agile Software Development

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Building 3 Auditorium - 11:00 AM
(Coffee and cookies at 10:30 AM)

Agile software development has become an increasingly popular methodology in the software industry, and there are some Agile implementations already under way here at NASA Goddard. Agile defines a set of principles that emphasize developing software with a short cadence, high team collaboration and frequent customer interaction. The Software Engineering Division (SED), code 580, developed the "Introduction to Agile" presentation to provide a baseline understanding of Agile fundamentals, including the roles and activities that make up an Agile approach (with focus on the Scrum Framework), common misconceptions about Agile, and its strengths and weaknesses. Scrum is one implementation of the Agile methodology, one that 72% (according to surveys by VersionOne Software and the Scrum Alliance) of Agile teams use some version of the Scrum Framework.

Since there are so many different ways to tailor Agile and Scrum techniques, Code 580's Software Process Improvement team was tasked with assembling a presentation to establish this baseline understanding of Agile fundamentals. The presentation was formed with input from code 580 System Matter Experts, division management and current Agile practitioners. The resulting product was the "Introduction to Agile" presentation. This training has been offered at both Greenbelt and Wallops locations.

The "Introduction to Agile" stands at a high level of detail and any lower level detail questions were deferred to a future offering currently in production. These questions mainly focus about how Agile here at Goddard and what tools were available to support adopting an Agile lifecycle. A second course will follow in the next few months to address the greater level of detail inquired about in a panel format. The panel will be composed of 580 members who are actively using an Agile lifecycle, and who have graciously volunteered their time to explain their tailored processes, Agile tools, and answer questions from an audience. Interest in the second course will determine the future offerings.

Alex Durkin is a Software Process Engineer at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, code 580, and a Telophase contractor. He holds a M.S. in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering and a B.S in Computer Science from University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He started out in the federal government as a high school work study in 2000 and switched to Federal contractor in 2001. He was a Software Engineer for 10 years but has been a System Engineer for the past 5, during both he had experience with Agile and traditional software development lifecycles.
IS&T Colloquium Committee Host: Keith Keller

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