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Deliberate Practice in Software Development



In the nature vs. nurture debate, researchers have declared nurture the winner. People who excel are the ones who work the hardest; it takes ten+ years of deliberate practice to become an expert. Deliberate practice is not about putting in hours, it’s about working to improve performance. It does not mean doing what you are good at; it means challenging yourself under the guidance of a teacher.


Mary Poppendieck started her career as a process control programmer, moved on to manage the IT department of a manufacturing plant, and then ended up in product development, where she was both a product champion and a department manager. Mary tried to retire in 1998, but instead found herself managing a government software project where she first encountered the word "waterfall".

About the conference

Agile 2009 is an exciting international industry conference that presents the latest techniques, technologies, attitudes and first-hand experience, from both a management and development perspective, for successful Agile software development.

Recorded at:

Sep 11, 2009

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Community comments

  • Impressive

    by Eric Aguiar,

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    This presentation was one I enjoyed very much, which has an applicable nature to almost all aspects of life and not just a proper software development cycle. Currently I am in the process of giving myself feedback and challenging myself from my own perspective, and I would really enjoy a review by an outside perspective upon my own process and development.
    Personally this talk is an inspiration to create a performant online source code management interface for comments of diff check-ins, usable for multiple projects and scalable for collaboration and code editing using a Google Wave-like real-time text transformation protocol for team coding and revision tracking with status reports. Wiki-like editing environments, and back-end API's for translation amongst the command line source code management solutions I use now would be a beautiful experience for all getting involved in its use.
    Very good talk, I rate as one of the most valuable here.

  • Insightful

    by Frederic VERGEZ,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    No other words. All architects or people considered as experts in their field of competence should have a look at this presentation.

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