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Dev's Guide to Feedback Driven Development

Posted by Marty Haught on Friday, August 13, 2010

This week I spoke at the Agile2010 Conference in Orlando, FL. This is a large software conference that focuses on Agile methodologies. This is my first time coming to a conference focused on Agile as I usually attend technical conferences only. I was inspired to submit a talk when I saw some requests on twitter that more technical presentations to be submitted. Given that I’ve been passionate about Lean Startup techniques it made sense to submit a talk on the technical angles of the approach. I figured it would be something new that no one else would likely cover. I was right and they accepted my talk.

My talk was on Wednesday and it went fairly well. I posted my slides on Slideshare here. My goal with the talk was to show 4 fundamental techniques that you use to collect feedback to drive your product’s direction. Eric Ries has talked about all these techniques a few times so my talk was hardly original. However, I did feel that there wasn’t a central, easy to understand, step-by-step guide to putting them together. That’s what I was shooting for. I did want to include more code in the talk but I only had an hour and still needed to give enough background to make sense of the practices.

The two things that I wish I had done differently was to do less bullets and focus less on the startup model. My audience was more corporate IT and thus don’t have the same circumstances as startups. That being said they do have plenty of reason to use FbDD to make their product development smarter. The trade-off of the bullets is that my slides are fairly useful on their own. Matter of fact, the slides are getting a fair amount of attention beyond the conference which I find flattering. Hopefully they’ll be useful.

As a follow-up, I plan to release my Net Promoter Score gem/plugin for others to use in the near future. I’m also happy to share other bits of code from my examples if you’re interested.

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