Event: Deep Agile 2009: Agile For Embedded Systems

Deep Agile 2009: Agile for Embedded Systems

Sponsored by Agile Bazaar, New England’s agile community hub

Join us for a two-day deep dive into Agile practices for embedded systems. We’ll get beyond superficial prescriptions and cookbook advice to understand how a methodology that demands extreme flexibility can work in an environment known for its rigidity. Jack Ganssle has the deep experience to pose the kinds of challenging questions all embedded folk want to ask, and James Grenning and Russel Hill have been practicing embedded agile programming long enough to give us answers grounded in experience, that is, *embedded* experience!

Host: Nancy Van Schooenderwoert, founder of Lean-Agile Partners
When: Saturday, April 25th – Sunday, April 26th, 2009
Where: Maxwell-Dworkin Building, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass
Cost: Regular registration: $545 through April 18th, 2009, Just in time: $685 through April 25th, 2009. Group discount, Hardship, Student and Academic staff (see the Deep Agile website). Save a further $50 by entering this discount code when you register: ABZlist_09.

Register at the Deep Agile website.


Session titles for Saturday April 25th, 2009

  1. Overcoming Embedded Challenges with Agile
  2. Agile Test Techniques for Embedded
  3. Continuous Integration as Foundation for Speed
  4. Jack’s Practical Tips for Building Real Time Embedded Systems
  5. TDD in C: Doing It!
  6. Test Driving Next to the Hardware

Session titles for Sunday April 26th, 2009

  1. Design by Contract
  2. Teamwork: the Prerequisite to Team Autonomy
  3. Incremental Delivery: Impossibility or Opportunity?
  4. Case Study: Keys to Agile Success at Key
  5. The big Hairy Monster: Legacy Code
  6. Things That Count Can’t be Counted – or Can They?
  7. Agile Do or Don’t

For details on the sessions, visit the Agile Bazaar website.


  • Jack Ganssle – One of the best-known authorities in the embedded world; veteran of over 100 embedded projects, author of six books, and hundreds of articles, Jack consults to NASA and to industry
    leading companies worldwide.
  • James Grenning – An original author of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development, James is a seasoned extreme programming coach and trainer, coaching his first XP team in 1999. James was trained by the guys that started it all. He has written many articles and speaks regularly at the Embedded Systems Conference and Agile conferences.
  • Russel Hill – Senior Software Engineer at Key Technology Inc., Russel has been applying XP and Scrum practices for 10 years in tough real-world embedded projects.


Gold Level Sponsors

Silver Level Sponsors

Bronze Level Sponsor

Another good reason to attend the Seminar — Get a FREE book!

All attendees receive a copy of “Best Kept Secrets of Peer Code Review”, a collection of practical essays from industry experts giving specific techniques for effective peer code review. Jack Ganssle describes it as: “A very well-written 164 page book that’s a fascinating read. The benefits of inspections are so profound that even the smallest outfits must take advantage of this technique.”

Are you unemployed? About to be? Hardship discounts are available for Deep Agile 2009 for those who wish to learn about modern embedded software development techniques and to network.

Due to strong sponsorship and great speakers, our Deep Agile event for April 25-26 has passed the “break even” point. As a community based non-profit professional group we can now afford to help more people attend this first of its kind event. In light of the current economic situation, we are offering discounted hardship tickets, priced at $75.00 for those who are unemployed, about to become unemployed, or who have some similarly difficult circumstance. Don’t wait – it’s first-come-first-served and seats are limited.  Please contact us via this link and include “hardship request” in the subject field to request a hardship discount. Continental breakfasts, lunches, and Saturday dinner are included in the price. (Note that Saturday dinner seats are limited and will soon be gone.)


Listen to Nancy Van Schooenderwoert and James Grenning.  Recently Nancy V caught up with James Grenning to find out what he’s planning to present at Deep Agile 2009. The conversation is captured in this podcast (see link above). James describes how he’ll get a whole room full of people doing TDD (Test Driven Development) together. He also discusses his experiences with real embedded teams transitioning to agile, including the issues they encounter trying to test with hardware in the loop.

Perfect Software

copyright Jack Ganssle, used with permission

Micrium, the company that sells the very popular uC/OS-II real-time operating system, now has versions of that RTOS for many processors that have either a memory management unit (MMU) or a memory protection unit (MPU).  I’ll get to some details about MMUs and MPUs shortly. But first let me paraphrase an interesting conversation I had with Jean Labrosse, Micrium’s president, about his philosophy about the use of a memory manager. For the rest of the story…. visit Agile Bazaar.

TDD Stepping Stones

Imagine you are trying to cross a mountain stream. You could make a running leap and get to the other side. Sometimes that works, other times you get wet. When there are rocks sticking out of the rushing water,  you can step from rock to rock and get across the stream without getting wet. Sure there are some streams you can jump across, go ahead and jump. Other streams require a more careful approach.TDD is like the more careful approach, hopping from stone to stone.  The diagram below represents the journey of two programmers, adding a new feature. The TDD approach means some effort is expended orthogonally to the ideal path, the straight line. Once on the other side you are done without the risk of being swept away by a mistake that leads to a long debugging session.  For diagram and rest of the article, visit Agile Bazaar.


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