Saturday, December 13, 2008

Oredev

I have been at the XP Day conference for the last two days but before I blog anything about that conference I want to record a few notes about Oredev last month.

The first thing to note about Oredev is that it is big. About 900 people. While the topics cover, and type of attendee make it look a bit like ACCU Conference but it is more than twice the size of ACCU (usually about 300-350) and it felt it. While quantity has a quality all of its own I missed the intimacy of ACCU.

My own session was well received. Hard to tell how many people attended the session, I would guess 50 to 100, but in a room that could hold 1,000 it felt empty.

Still I met a bunch of nice people and heard some good talks. Bob Martin was on form, his keynote talk took more prisoners - “Professionalism is spelt TDD” and programmers should me more like the Boy Scouts of America. The Boy Scout have a rule: When you camp somewhere, always leave the campsite tidier than when you arrive. Bob suggests programmers should apply this rule to working on code.

While I enjoyed several of the other talks (Gabrielle Benefield, Diana Larsen, Dag Krogdahl stick in my mind) it was Luke Hohmann’s that explained something to me. Luke’s talk was about product management - and regular readers know this is one of my hobby horses - but in passing it answered a question I’ve had for years.

What is Enterprise Software? - or more to the point What is Not Enterprise Software? Luke gave 4 attributes of enterprise software:
1. Enterprise software is expensive: you don’t buy it for the home, only corporations buy it
2. Enterprise software is tended by people: system administrators, etc.
3. The software is critical to some aspect of the companies business
4. Enterprise software is more valuable when it is integrated with other enterprise software