Baby-Driven Development

Forget Test- or Behaviour Driven Development. Even forget Agile Development!

A while back I was doing a talk about the new workflow stuff in Alfresco. I had one sales guy in the room. It always helps if you have only some in the room, and the rest are developers. It is the perfect setting for some really good anti-sales/marketing/management jokes. That being said, this sales guy coined a term during one of my slides. Here’s the slide in question:

It is a slide I use to explain the history of the Activiti KickStart project. The first KickStart prototype was created in the parental leave period after my first son, Lars was born. You know, even if I had to recover from a long and enduring pregnancy (as a father, this is *really* hard), I still found some free time to throw some code together. KickStart was part of the Activiti distribution for a while, before we kicked it out again (the main reason because we wanted tro focus on our core strengths of Activiti, which is a powerful embeddable Java library for developers).

Fast forward to July this year, when my second son called Mats was born. Again, parental leave, and the KickStart idea itched again. But I realized there was a way better platform for it: Alfresco. The people that are using Alfresco everyday are a perfect fit for what I was trying to achieve with KickStart. I build a prototype (the one I demoed on the Alfresco Devcon) which I showed internally and everybody liked it. And hence it was put on the roadmap.

But I divert … So this sales guy in the room suddenly blurted out that I was actually doing ‘Baby-Driven Development’. You’ve got give it to them: these salesy guys know their PR. Brilliant term. I think I’ll patent it … The only downside: it doesn’t really scale well.

On a sidenote: Actually, my Activiti-colleague Tijs Rademarks also wrote his two books in the same periode when his both children were born. And if I’ve count it correctly Tom Baeyens his start of the jBPM project strangely aligns with the birth of his daughter.  Coincidentally, the remaining Activiti-colleague Frederik has just become a father last week. We at Alfresco have high hopes for what he will show us when he comes back after his parental leave.

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