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Methods & Tools - News, Facts & Comments Edition - October 2006

*** News ***************************************************************

* Consolidation in IT consulting industry continues

In 2006, the consolidation in the IT services industry continued in Europe and worldwide. Recently, LogicaCMG acquired WM-Data in a deal valued at 1.66 billion euros and Atos Origin bought Banksys. LogicaCMG already acquired the French company Unilog for 930 millions euros in 2005. Globally, other large acquisitions could be pending. Computer Science Corp (CSC) has been reported as a possible target by two different groups composed of Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Lockheed Martin associated to some private equity firms like Texas Pacific Group or Blackstone Group. The rumour these days is that Blackstone is negotiating to buy Atos Origin. These acquisitions are just other evidences of the continuous consolidation in the IT services industry. Companies doing large outsourcing deals, like those of Procter & Gamble with HP or Kraft with EDS, are looking for supplier with an important coverage in technology knowledge and geographical presence.

There is also a crossing of investment flows between Indian software house and their US or European competitors. EDS, IBM and Capgemini have recently announced that they will significantly increase their presence in India. This presence is already considered by some financial analyst as a quality criterion. A report by Morgan Stanley was worried because Atos Origin has only 6% of its employees in India compared to around 10% for competitors like Capgemini or LogicaCMG. Indian companies are also investing in the US and Europe. Tata Consulting Services, Wipro or Inforsys are all looking to acquire European companies that will contribute to their activity and drive work to their Indian base.

It is however interesting to notice that there will still be place for "niche" players and big companies also understand this. At the end of last year, EDS agreed to sell its AT Kearney consulting to its management.


* M&T Press Releases Forums

You can view the last product and company press releases from software development tools vendors on our forum

*** Numbers ************************************************************

* Agile, Ajax or Cobol knowledge and... ignorance

VersionOne recently conducted a survey sponsored by The Agile Alliance on agile adoption. This study saw the participation of 722 respondents. Among those, 84% of the organisations had adopted agile practices. Scrum was the most widely followed agile methodology. Respondents rated 81% of their agile projects as "somewhat or very successful", but only 29% of their non-agile projects were in this category.

The Ajaxian published a survey of 865 developers about the frameworks and languages most used to develop Ajax applications. The winners are Protoype and PHP respectively. It is interesting to note that more than 60% of the participants have Ajax application in production, up from 32% a year earlier.

Computerworld recently surveyed 352 IT managers and found that 62% of their companies were using Cobol programs. For a 53% of those using Cobol, 50% or more of their internally developed business application software is written in Cobol. This would mean that 30% of IT organisations have the majority of their internal applications written in Cobol.

Why are these unrelated surveys grouped together? Because I think that they help to see the diversity of our software development world. It is not that Agility, Ajax and Cobol could not coexist in the same company, but the reality is that there are Agile and/or Ajax organisations where you may think that the mainframe and Cobol died long time ago and companies where developers have never heard about Ajax, XP, Scrum or TDD.

The results of these surveys (and other surveys mentioned below, included those from Methods & Tools) have to be taken with care, as

  •  the bias toward their core topic could be important
  •  the difficulty to ask unambiguous/well defined but SHORT questions
  •  answers could not be verified

These surveys are contributing to our knowledge, but we should be careful if we try to transpose some results to the global software development universe.


Other sources of Agile adoption surveys:

Other sources of Ajax adoption surveys:


* Are you using coding standards?

Our current poll wants to know if programming standards are still in use in development organisations... and if they are controlled ;o)

Go to [polls] to participate and to see intermediate results.

*** Conferences ********************************************************

* Zend/PHP Conference and Expo October 31-November 2 2006, San Jose, USA

The conference, "Creating Modern Web Applications with PHP", will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in San Jose, California. The conference will include both business and technical sessions targeted at executive management and technical staff as well as keynotes from leading members of the PHP community. New this year is a Framework Pavilion in which API providers will showcase best practices for creating PHP applications for their web services.


* International PHP Conference November 5-8 2006, Frankfurt, Germany

The International PHP Conference from 5-8 November 2006 in Frankfurt, Germany, is the leading conference for PHP technologies serving as a meeting point and networking platform for the PHP community. You can choose from over 50 sessions and learn first-hand about the latest developments. Register today for this outstanding event!


* Open Source Database Conference, November 6-8 2006, Frankfurt, Germany

The Open Source Database Conference in Frankfurt, Germany, from Nov. 6-8, 2006 attracts IT professionals, over 15 quality speakers, including visionaries and luminaries, and over 20 businesses from all over the world benefiting from the eventís extensive visibility Donít miss this community event and register today!


* ProjectWorld & World Congress for Business Analysts, November 6-9 2006 Orlando, USA

Donít miss the annual ProjectWorld & World Congress for Business Analysts USA event, November 6-9, 2006 in Orlando, FL. Join over 1,000 of your industry peers as you learn how to combine the Benefits of Project Management with the Strategic Value of Business Analysis showcased by Real World Practitioners. Please visit & for more information. Mention Priority Code: XM1820CH


* Agile Business Conference 2006, 7-9 November, London

This 3 day event is a forum for agile software development professionals to network and share new ideas with others involved in the emerging agile movement in Europe. Established thought leaders on Agile are presenting at the conference so this will be a great opportunity for you to ask them the difficult questions.


* Software Test & Performance, November 7-9, 2006 Boston

With over 70 classes, you wonít want to miss the chance to improve the quality of your software, optimize your Web testing strategies, and network with other test/QA and software development professionals. Attend the Software Test & Performance Conference, Nov 7-9, 2006 Boston. Register today!


* XP Day Benelux 2006, November 16-17, Mechelen, Belgium

In the tradition of the XP Day conferences, XP Day Benelux 2006 is a two day conference on all things agile for business and technical people from all walks of life. This year's edition will be held in Mechelen, Belgium on November 16th and 17th.


* XP Days Germany 2006, November 24, Hamburg, Germany

The third XP Days Germany conference is an international conference about eXtreme Programming and Agile Software Development aimed at software developers, project leaders, IT managers, testers, architects, and coaches. Additional Tutorials at November 23.


* XP Day London 2006, 27-28 November, London, UK

Two day international conference about Agile Software Development suited for practitioners at any level of experience, with a strong focus on practical knowledge, real-world experience and active participation of all attendees. More than XP. More than one day.


* Javapolis 11-15 December 2006, Antwerp, Belgium

Once again JavaPolis will dominate the European Java landscape with its fifth edition. This 5-day conference will bring you the biggest names in Java, the hottest issues and latest trends. With a low-cost entrance fee and high-quality content, it has become the Apache of Conferences. Register now and donít miss JavaPolis 2006 from December 11th-15th:


* Software Practice Advancement conference 25-28 March 2007,Cambridge UK

SPA provides a high-energy learning experience thatís different and fun. Come and explore how to advance your software practice with the experts. Inspiring invited speakers: Brian Marick, Dave Thomas and Tony Hoare. More @ Super early-bird discounts available now".


* European SEPG Call for Speaker Proposals Deadline: 13th November 2006

Speaker proposals are invited for the twelfth annual European Systems and Software Engineering Process Group Conference, taking place in Amsterdam on 11-14 June 2007. We are also calling for European reviewers to assist with proposal selection.

Experience-based reports, workshops and panel debates will feature in this 4-day conference, presenting current thinking and practice in harnessing process improvement for advanced performance in IT and the business. The conference will also provide a forum for exploring the challenges presented to those implementing improvement programs in complex environments: multi-model and multi-domain, cross-cultural and systems of systems.

We invite you to share your insight and experience - view the Call for Proposals at

*** M&T News ***********************************************************

* Software Development Article Portal

Surfing on the Web looking for material for Methods & Tools, I often find many good articles published by other publications or only available on personal or company sites. I have now decided to create a site where this knowledge could be reached and shared more easily. On, you will find the initial results of this compilation effort and you would be able to add your own material, using an open source system that allows to classify an article in multiple categories. You contributions and comments are welcomed.

Some of our last additions:

* Using JavaServer Faces Technology with AJAX

Clear overview of Ajax with Java on the server side.

* Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Choosing Alternate Transports for Web Services

This article reviews scenarios in which alternate transports for Web Services may offer a better solution over HTTP.

* Building bug-free O-O software: An introduction to Design by Contract(TM)

This article introduces a method known as Design by Contract


* Future Issues of Methods & Tools

In future issues, you will find articles on:

  • Creating Domain-specific Modelling Language
  • Feature Modelling
  • Project Stakeholders Analysis
  • Database Testing
  • Process Improvement Ė Is it a Lottery?
  • Enterprise Architecture
  • Agile Architectural Reference Model
  • Software Release Criteria


* Professional Recruitment with Methods & Tools

Do you want to recruit software development professionals? Methods & Tools reaches each month more than 40'000 of them. You can place a job ad with us for $15 each line for the first five lines and $10 for additional lines. These ads will be visible in our text or PDF issues AND on our web sites for as long as three months. [Contact] us if you are interested.


The content of this publication cannot be reproduced without prior written consent of the publisher
Copyright (C) 2006, Martinig & Associates

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