Agile Development and TDD in Federal Government Projects - Part 1

by Administrator 23. November 2010 09:59


"A mathematician is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat which isn't there"
Charles R. Darwin (1809-1882)


Job Continent is wrapping up one of the project where we took the role of leading development team to deliver new version of federal budgeting software to a few government agencies. Names are not a point of this article, what we wanted to share with our readers is how Agile and Test Driven Development played main role in success of the final product ( just on a side note our prime was PPC, which is the great and honest company to work with if you are small business). Of course, the product itself needed a great visionary to promote it and we even happier that solution we have delivered helped him get solid base to secure over 20 million in funding for a next few years.

Let's  get to the software development part because it is more fun than blubbery about sales nirvana.

So just to give you quick overview we have inherited marvel of integration with diverse technology set that run on the Web with Microsoft platform, utilizes MS Office as it is core user data collection interface, adopts set of different technologies for data storage like XML, SQL, Content Management System and does our magic to create federal budget documents.

This does not sound different from average project that is pretty much could be found at any organization. What made this project a good fit to Agile and TDD is its ever evolving business logic, requirements that change on the fly and ridiculously low price tag... But hey, we are the Small Business that moves America forward, employs the Best Minds and proudly delivers so DOL Bureau of Labor Statistics could report to the whole world about our country's success.

What we have got at the beginning?

-          Some version of archived source code that did not compile. Parts of the code were in VB parts in C# and a few parts were missing, so developers would have fun cracking DLLs with Reflector;

-          Version of database that matched business logic somewhat, with old data and missing stored procs;

-          Wild time line with our estimates cut literally in half and totally unrealistic expectations on the client side.

Among  the good thing was that we were working from our office, we do not require developers to dress up like business models, could turn music as loud as we can, we could sit in quite room under keyboard whisper submerged in to our sought for hours or talk about coding until late at night all we want ...

Work in front of us was challenging, we knew that project required extra attention, it was late September 2009.


To be continued...

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