Flash on the Beach: BYOC (Bring Your Own CEO)

Isn't it crazy how time flies? It seems only yesterday that we were sitting around in a comedy bar with John and Pete talking about Flash on the Beach. Well, lots of sweat and tears later, John's pulled it off and we're about to have our first international Flash conference in Brighton. Flash on the Beach is next week!

I'm going to be presenting a session called Memo to the CEO. This is the session I've wanted to present for the longest time but somehow I kept finding myself presenting on some technical aspect of Flash development or other (AS2, AS3, Flex 2, etc.) Don't get me wrong -- I love developing and I love Flash and Flex but there's much more to creating web applications than typing code till it's done. Much more, in fact.

In my session, I talk about the high-level decisions that development houses can take to make the development process a fun and relaxed experience. Topics covered include User-Centered Development, usability design, user interface design patterns and usability testing, agile development, eXtreme Programming (XP), and software design patterns and application architecture.

Anyone who has anything to do with development will benefit from the session but the person who will get the most out of it -- and the person who can actually implement these processes, by allocating a budget for them -- is the CEO. So, people, grab your CEOs and come down to Flash on Beach!

If your CEO resists, give her my memo:

From: Aral Balkan To: CEO, Web App Construction CO. (WACCO)

Houston we have a problem: According to recent studies, 50-70% of all IT projects fail. Development teams toil under unrealistic deadlines and implicit expectations for usability and accessibility that are impossible to satisfy. Many of us are stressed out and unhappy on a daily basis. And it doesn't have to be this way.

If you want happy developers and projects that succeed, there are three simple things you can ask them to do:

1. Use an agile development methodology such as eXtreme Programming (XP) and work in iterations.

2. Use a user-centered development process. Your teams must capture quantifiable usability requirements and you must budget to cover usability testing in every iteration of development.

3. Use software design patterns in the architecture of your applications to provide a common high-level language for your developers and take advantage of time-tested solutions to common problems.

All the best, Aral