Archive for June, 2007

Episode 60: Roman Pichler on Scrum

Filed in Episodes by on June 26, 2007 0 Comments
Episode 60: Roman Pichler on Scrum

This episode features Scrum, a very popular Agile software development framework. We interview Roman Pichler, a Certified ScrumMaster Trainer and independent consultant. Roman explains the principles behind Scrum, its roles and its key practices. He also answers FAQs. This episode continues our track on software development processes discussing an additional Agile method.
Roman is currently writing a book on Scrum in German that provides more in-depth information of the topics discussed in the podcast. The book will be available in autumn 2007 published by d.punkt (Heidelberg, Germany).

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Episode 59: Static Code Analysis

Filed in Episodes by on June 16, 2007 3 Comments
Episode 59: Static Code Analysis

This episode is a discussion with Jonathan Aldrich (Assistant Professor at CMU) about static analysis. The discussion covered theory as well as practice and tools. We started with an explanation of what static analysis actually is, which kinds of errors it can find and how it is different from testing and reviews. The core challenge of such an analysis tool is to understand the semantics of the program and reduce its possible state space to make it analysable – in effect reconstructing the programmer’s intent from the code. The user can “help” the tool with this challenge by using suitable annotations; also, languages could do a better job of being analysable. The conceptual discussion was concluded by looking at the principles of static analysis (termination, soundness. precision) and how this approach relates to model analysis.

The second more practical part started out with a discussion of how Microsoft successfully uses static analysis in their Windows development. We then discussed some of the tools available; these include Findbugs, Coverity, Codesonar, Clockwork, Fortify, Polyspace and Codesurfer. To conclude the discussion of tools, we discussed the commonalities and differences with architecture visualization tools as well as metrics and heuristics.

Part three of the discussion briefly looked at how to introduce static analysis tools into an organization’s development process and tool chain. We concluded the discussion by looking at situations where static analysis does not work, as well as at the FLUID research project at CMU.

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Episode 58: Product Line Engineering Pt. 2

Filed in Episodes by on June 6, 2007 0 Comments
Episode 58: Product Line Engineering Pt. 2

Variability is one of the key concerns in software product line engineering. The episode introduces the concepts of structural and non-structural (or configurative) variability. It also discusses how to find and model variability, and especially how to implement variability in the solution artifacts. Michael and Markus discuss a series of variability mechanisms that can be used with today’s programming languages and technologies.

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