Database Agility

September 23, 2008 — Posted by Jim Trott

Listen to the podcast Database Agility

Databases are central to almost any software development project of any size. Developers have been gaining big improvements as they adopt Agile approaches: higher quality, more satisfaction, delivering more value to customers. It seems time for database developers to begin to experience the same gains!

But database development is special. It is not like just copying new bits into the environment. Databases need to retain their identity and the data that are in them. They have history and investment and must survive. Transitioning change is much harder and requires more care.

Is it possible to use iterative, Agile approaches with databases?

Yes it is. This podcast describes the landscape for doing so. Early adopters of this approach have learned the key principles involved and tools for testing and transition management are now available. Training is also available to equip teams with the new skills and ways of thinking that are required in order to be successful.

This podcast features a conversation with Max Guernsey, an associate trainer with Net Objectives. He has been developing professionally for 10 years and been consulting in Agile database development for the last year. He has turned this expertise into a course - really an on-site, practical boot camp - to help teams successfully incorporate this approach into their development practice. It is called the TDD Database Boot Camp.

As you might expect, Test-Driven Development (TDD) is going to be as central to this approach as it is to Agile development in general. The trick is to see what what this means in the database world. As Max touches on in this podcast, it goes beyond UAT and unit to focus on testing how the database is changing. "Transition Testing" is a major part of the course.

This involves a new way of thinking about how databases are expressed: You want to design and develop based on transitions in the database.

About the Boot Camp

In this podcast, Max gives a quick overview of the TDD Database Boot Camp. Its goals are:

  • Teach the principles of database agility
  • Teach technologies that facilitate this approach. We help the team create the environment they will require including:
  • Focus on problems that the team is facing now

The boot camp is designed to be an on-site course so that conversations can be confidential and frank, (which is required with database work). It is best if the whole team takes the course - developers, QA, Scrum Master.

Recommendations - Online Resources

Recommendations - Training by Net Objectives

Music used in this podcast

For more information, contact info@netobjectives.com or visit us at https://www.netobjectives.com/

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About the author | Jim Trott

Jim Trott is a senior consultant for Net Objectives. He has used object-oriented and pattern-based analysis techniques throughout his 20 year career in knowledge management and knowledge engineering. He is the co-author of Design Patterns Explained: A New Perspective on Object-Oriented Design, Lean-Agile Software Development: Achieving Enterprise Agility, and the Lean-Agile Pocket Guide for Scrum Teams.



        

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