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SPA Autumn Series - Programme

Software Practice: the State of the Art
BCS SPA Autumn Series 2008

Friday 19 September 2008
Developer Tools and Environments
Kevin McGuire (IBM Canada)

In this talk we look at trends in desktop and web development to see what lessons can be learned, and how these lessons are being applied in the development of E4 (the incubator code name for the next major version of the Eclipse platform, 4.0). Topics investigated include: declarative UIs (CSS, etc.), scripting (Javascript and others), DOM enabled RESTful architectures, more flexible resource models, and plugins written in other language. We will demonstrate preliminary implementions of some of these, and will also show early work at running Eclipse in a web browser.

Kevin McGuire (UI Developer/Architect, Eclipse Project, IBM Canada) is a committer on the Eclipse platform UI team and member of the UI Best Practice group. He was one of the original team leads/developers before the project went open source, in charge of the CVS and Team components, also in charge of the Core team for a spell. In between, he spent three years as UI Development and Design Lead for IBM WebSphere Integration Developer and IBM WSAD/IE. He's been a team lead and developer on many other IDEs such as VisualAge for Java, VisualAge for Smalltalk, Envy Developer. His area of specialty is user interface design and development. In his spare time Kevin has published numerous papers on generative art.

Kevin blogs at, see for more information on E4.


Tuesday 30 September 2008
Teams and Organisations
Joseph Pelrine (MetaProg)

The field of software development is slowly completing the quantum leap to agile processes and techniques. However, although we're increasingly aware that software is built by teams of motivated, self-organising individuals, this realisation outstrips the recognition and understanding of the dynamics of those teams. This talk explores the state of the art of team dynamics in software development, focusing on the use of leading-edge techniques from the fields of social complexity science, neuropsychology, and cognitive psychology in optimising team behaviour and performance.

Joseph Pelrine is C*O of MetaProg, a company devoted to increasing the quality of software and its development process, and is one of Europe’s leading experts on eXtreme Programming as well as Europe’s first certified ScrumMaster Practitioner and Trainer. He has had a successful career as software developer, project manager and consultant, and has spoken about it at such diverse places as IBM, OOPSLA and the Chaos Computer Club. His work focus is on field of organizational complexity and its application to Agile processes.

MetaProg is at


Monday 6 October 2008
Enterprise Architecture
Rob James (HSBC)
Eoin Woods (Barclays Gobal Investors)

In this talk, Rob and Eoin explain what enterprise architecture is (as distinct from software architecture) and discuss how it has evolved during recent years in response to trends such as agile development, software modelling, SOA and enterprise messaging. The talk will draw extensively on their real-world experience of implementing state-of-the-art architecture, and covers:

Robert James (Head of Information Architecture, CIBM, HSBC) has nearly 20 years experience in software engineering. This has included involvement in most aspects of the software development process but the primary focus has always been on modelling and design. He is currently global head of information architecture for the corporate, investment banking and markets business within HSBC. This role involves the creation and management of standards-based information models as the basis for large-scale systems integration. Rob is a regular speaker at BCS-SPA conferences and other events.

Eoin Woods works for Barclays Global Investors, where he is the software architect responsible for a new portfolio management system, supporting the active equity business. Eoin has worked in software engineering since 1990, for companies including Groupe Bull, Sybase, InterTrust and UBS Investment Bank, working in the areas of applied research, server product development, consultancy and application development. His main technical interests are software architecture, distributed systems, computer security, and data management; he is co-author of the book Software Systems Architecture: Working with Stakeholders Using Viewpoints and Perspectives, published by Addison Wesley.

More information on Eoin's work and publications at


Monday 13 October 2008
New Application Architectures: building for web, desktop and mobile
Andrew Shorten (Adobe)

The demand for rich experiences from consumers and businesses is ever increasing, with anywhere, anytime access to content and services fast becoming the norm. To meet this demand, new platforms, runtimes and architectures are required that enable us to combine the convenience of web deployment with the best practices of software engineering. In his talk, Andrew will discuss strategies for creating applications that can be deployed to the browser, desktops and devices.

Andrew Shorten is a Platform Evangelist for Adobe and is passionate about improving the quality, richness and value of computer-based experiences. Andrew developed web, kiosk and mobile user interfaces for government and enterprise customers whilst working at Fujitsu and has since worked for Macromedia, Microsoft and Adobe, where he has engaged with designers, developers, web agencies and organisations to help them deliver rich, engaging and successful web and desktop experiences.

Andrew blogs at, Adobe is here.


Monday 20 October 2008
Large and Complex Projects
Nick Ababurko (IBM)

The characteristics of a large and complex project are understood and reported widely, and include integration of disparate system elements, many people, many organisations, and new technologies. From a business perspective, a large and complex project is 'likely to fail' and 'likely to over spend or overrun'. This talk will explain how IBM is using a system engineering approach to specify, design and deliver large and complex projects. The talk will cover reasons for project failures, some key system engineering techniques and future scenarios for complex projects.

Nick Ababurko has over 30 years experience in IT, covering management consulting, IT strategy & architecture, systems engineering and integration of complex systems. Nick is a recognised technical authority, providing thought leadership to the technical community both inside IBM and in his client's organisations. Nick is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering & Technology and Master Certified IT Architect in The Open Group. Inside IBM, Nick is a Member of the IBM Academy of Technology and is IBM's world wide IT Architect System Engineering & Architecture Discipline Team Lead.

IBM Business Consulting is here.

All talks take place at BCS Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London WC2E 7HA


Registration for the Autumn Series is now open, at a cost of £75.00 (for BCS and SPA members) and £90.00 (non-members). Five talks by experts, for a fraction of the cost of a conference - the SPA Autumn Series represents incredible value to hear about the State of the Art in Software Practice. Numbers are limited, so register now to avoid disappointment!


Registration for the Autumn Series is now closed.

When and where

6:00pm - 8:00 pm September/October 2008
See calendar for dates of individual talks
Talks start at 6:30, with refreshments available from 6:00
BCS Davidson Building,
5 Southampton Street,
London WC2E 7HA

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