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A Technical Debtor Toward continuous improvement

The Denver chapter of the International Association of Software Architects (IASA) is holding an IT Architect Regional Conference (ITARC) in Denver on May 6th.

The speaker list for this conference is amazing. Paul Rayner, Dave McComb, Randy Kahle, Peter Provost, Randy Stafford, George Fairbanks – all great speakers, and from Colorado. Brandon Satrom (who also happens to be the president of the IASA Austin chapter) will also be speaking, as will some other heavy hitters (for example, Ted Farrell, Chief Architect and Senior VP of Oracle). This is an amazing line-up, and the conference is quite reasonably priced ($150 for IASA members until April 10th, including a catered lunch).

I also have the privilege of being a presenter at this conference. If you’ve ever heard any of the previously named speakers, you know that they set the bar quite high. Sounds like I’m going to have to step up my game.

What I get to talk about is really cool stuff. The company I work for – Colorado CustomWare – brought me on board nearly two years ago. To say there was some technical debt is somewhat… understated. Equally understated would be that management is committed to doing the right thing. Over the past two years, we’ve done significant architectural refactoring – including an effort that took the entire team offline for most of a month. We’ve reduced the application size by 50% without losing functionality. As you can imagine, this has reduced the complexity of the application, making development faster and less prone to bugs. We’ve made many other changes – moving to an agile process, training developers, moving towards a more OO architecture. The changes we’ve made reveal, in some ways, just how far afield we were.. and there are still more changes to be made.

Amazingly enough, our leadership team is eager for me to share these experiences with other architects. I’m really looking forward to being able to do so.

Posted on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 12:40 PM User Group Talks , Software Development | Back to top

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