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Keynote Addresses

I've been honored to keynote at numerous conferences including OOPSLA, Software Development, SSTC, SEPG, SoftEd, CSEE&T, PNSQC, WinDev, ASM/SM, Technicon, and many others in North America and throughout the world. I have also given keynote for large software organizations' in-house conferences. Please contact seminars@construx.com to inquire about these talks.

I also give private, onsite presentations at private companies as well as occasional presentations in Construx's public seminar series.

Here are some of my keynote topics.

THE JOURNEY TO ORGANIZATION-WIDE SCRUM
Scrum practitioners know what a successful Scrum project looks like. After a few successful pilot projects, many organizations struggle when they try to roll out Scrum more broadly. What does it take to roll out Scrum organization-wide? How much does by-the-book Scrum change, and what stays the same? Where do you draw the line between ScrumBut vs. necessary adaptation? What are the common stumbling blocks, and how do you overcome them? Who has to be involved? In this presentation, award-winning author Steve McConnell shares a typical organization’s gap analysis between small-pilot-project- success and consistent-large-project-success. He describes the work needed from technical contributors, technical leaders, executive managers, and other business partners to implement Scrum. And he describes the path that has allowed Construx’s clients to realize the benefits of Scrum in larger teams, geographically distributed teams, and more complex organizations.

SEVEN UNBREAKABLE RULES OF SOFTWARE LEADERSHIP
Congratulations. You've earned a job as a software executive. Now what? Do you know what it takes to keep it? More important, do you know what it takes to excel? After more than 10 years of working with top software executives across a full spectrum of software-intensive industries, Steve McConnell has found a method for predicting which technical executives will be successful in their organizations and which will end up looking for different positions. McConnell describes the seven crucial rules that lead software executives first to satisfactory performance and ultimately to superior performance and superior results.

SECRETS OF WORLD-CLASS SOFTWARE ORGANIZATIONS
Construx consultants work with literally hundreds of software organizations each year. Among these organizations a few stand out as being truly world class. They are exceptional in their ability to meet their software development goals and exceptional in the contribution they make to their companies' overall business success. Do world class software organizations operate differently than average organizations? In Construx's experience, the answer is a resounding "YES." In this talk, award-winning author Steve McConnell reveals the technical, management, business, and cultural secrets that make a software organization world class. 

SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT'S CLASSIC MISTAKES
Classic mistakes are ineffective software development practices that have been chosen so often, by so many projects, with such predictable results that they deserve to be called classic mistakes. Steve McConnell first introduced this concept in Rapid Development in 1996. Construx recently updated McConnell's original list of classic mistakes and then conducted a survey to assess the prevalence and impact of these mistakes. In this executive briefing, Steve McConnell will share survey results--both expected and surprising--and analyze the survey findings.

RIGHT-SIZING AGILE DEVELOPMENT
Agile development has now been in use for almost a decade. Why use Agile methods? What are the strengths of Agile? What are some common failure modes? What other lessons has the software industry learned about Agile development? In this talk, Steve McConnell--author of Code Complete, Rapid Development, and other software industry classics and CEO of Construx Software--draws on Construx's extensive consulting work to dissect Agile development. McConnell names the Agile practices that have worked well for Construx's clients, describes the failure modes of Agile practices that have failed to live up to the hype, and explains how to right size Agile development for your organization.

THE LEGACY OF AGILE DEVELOPMENT
In February 2001 a group of software authors and consultants met at Snowbird, Utah, to explore areas of common ground. After much discussion, this group produced the Agile Manifesto and the Agile movement that followed quickly became the highest profile software discussion topic in recent memory.
     Ten years have now passed since the Snowbird conference. What contributions has Agile made to the software industry, and what lessons has the software industry learned about Agile development during that time? In this talk, award-winning author and Construx's CEO, Steve McConnell, draws on Construx's extensive consulting work to dissect the legacy of Agile software development. McConnell names the Agile practices that have worked well for Construx's clients and describes the failure modes of the Agile practices that have tended to fail. Finally, he puts Agile development into a historical perspective--making a few predictions about Agile's lasting contributions to the software field.

10 MOST POWERFUL IDEAS IN SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT
As software engineering approaches its 40th birthday, do we know which software engineering ideas matter most? In this talk, award-winning author Steve McConnell identifies 10 of the most powerful ideas in software engineering. McConnell explains how the 10 ideas form the foundation for effective software development, and he shows how practices ranging from the waterfall model to extreme programming measure up. He uses these key ideas to explain which currently popular software engineering practices will withstand the test of time, and which are fleeting fads. This talk will give software developers, QA specialists, and managers an opportunity to step back from the day-to-day rush of their work and gain insight into the key issues of software development.

SEVEN CRITICAL SOFTWARE INSIGHTS FOR C-LEVEL EXECUTIVES
Technical staff complain that "management doesn't understand software development." What are the critical bits of software development knowledge that top executives need to know to support successful software development? Is it even true that C-level executives don't understand these important ideas? In this talk, Steve McConnell presents 7 critical concepts that top executives need to know to support software project success. He explores common miscommunications between executives and technical staff, and he explains how to communicate these insights to C-level executives in ways that will maximize their acceptance.

CODE COMPLETE 2: MODERN REALITIES OF SOFTWARE CONSTRUCTION
For more than 10 years, Code Complete has been a computing-industry best seller. The past decade has seen the emergence of object-oriented programming, the Internet, the CMM, offshore outsourcing, Java, Visual Basic, and the Agile movement as well as staggering advances in computing power and numerous other developments. How have 10 years of advances changed software construction? Has the general state of programming improved? Are any of the old techniques still relevant? Has anything moved backward? Award-winning author Steve McConnell explores the software issues of yesterday and today and arrives at a few lasting truths about software development. This talk is based on Code Complete Second Edition.

10 DEADLY SINS OF SOFTWARE ESTIMATION
The average project overruns its planned budget and schedule by more than 100 percent. In practice, little work is done that could truly be called "estimation." Many projects are scheduled using a combination of legitimate business targets and liberal doses of wishful thinking. In this talk, award-winning author Steve McConnell presents 10 of the worst ways estimates go wrong, and presents time-tested rules of thumb for dramatically improving estimation accuracy.

TEN MYTHS OF RAPID DEVELOPMENT
The software industry commonly confuses high-energy motion with rapid, meaningful progress. Many projects are developed under intense schedule pressure and are still delivered late. This talk explores 10 myths of rapid development, digs into core issues of achieving short schedules, and explains how to lay the groundwork for truly effective software improvement. This talk is based on Steve McConnell's best selling books, "Rapid Development" and "Professional Software Development."

SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT'S LOW HANGING FRUIT
Everyone knows that better software development practices pay off in the long run, but what if you need improvements now? In this talk, award-winning author Steve McConnell describes strategies that produce improvements in schedule, quality, and development costs in the short term. McConnell identifies the specific technical practices that produce the highest returns on investment, the lowest risks of adoption, and the shortest paths to more successful software projects. McConnell describes the theory behind short-term vs. long-term improvement strategies and presents tips for maximizing your chances of success in adopting these strategies.

BUSINESS CASE FOR IMPROVED SOFTWARE PRACTICES
The average software company spends 2-3 times as much on each software project as best-in-class companies spend to deliver similar capabilities. The average organizations wastes 25% or more of its software budget on projects that are ultimately cancelled. Technical staff members are all-too-aware of the need for improved practices. But how do you make the case to upper management? In this talk, best selling author and industry leader Steve McConnell explains the dollars and cents of software process improvement and maps out the need for improved practices in a way that is meaningful to business executives.

KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL SOFTWARE PROJECTS: AN EXECUTIVE GUIDE
The causes of a successful software project are not a mystery. Leading organizations have been delivering software on time and within budget for years, but many other companies still fail on even simple projects. In this talk, award-winning author Steve McConnell describes 10 time-tested practices you can use to control your software projects. Battle-seasoned software veterans will find this talk an entertaining refresher course in effective software practices. Software beginners will find this talk to be an eye opening introduction to the factors that determine software project outcomes.

AFTER THE GOLD RUSH: ESTABLISHING A TRUE PROFESSION OF SOFTWARE ENGINEERING
Award-winning author Steve McConnell offers candid reflections upon and a look ahead at the software engineering profession. This talk highlights critical trends and calls for a more rigorous and standards-based profession. McConnell delivers a lively and provocative narrative that aims to help software developers step back from the day-to-day rush of their work and think about where their careers and the industry are going.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AT CONSTRUX SOFTWARE
During software gold rushes, commitment-based development and 24-hour hacking marathons prevail. During normal development periods, more sophisticated software engineering approaches are needed, and it turns out that these approaches work better during gold rush phases too. In the absence of widespread university education in software education, Construx Software has developed an innovative, industry leading approach to professional development of software engineers. Construx's program synthesizes reading, directed experience, classes, discussion groups, personal planning, mentoring, and other forms of organization support to bolster traditional forms of on the job training. By basing this professional development program on SWEBOK, Construx is able to leverage this investment in professional development into gains in recruiting, interviewing, performance evaluations, and skills inventory management.

KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL PROJECT OUTSOURCING
Outsourcing is a popular trend that is producing decidedly mixed results. Outsourcing can save time and money as well as freeing up internal staff for strategic work--or it can be a disastrous mistake. In this talk, Steve McConnell explains how to outsource, and, more important, why or why not to outsource. He quantifies the benefits you can realistically expect from outsourcing and how to outsource successfully, as well as identifying the best alternatives.

Please contact seminars@construx.com to inquire about any of these talks.

Email me at stevemcc@construx.com.