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[VanDev] Using Agile Methods For Safety-critical Software: A License to Kill?

  • May 7, 2008 · 7:00 PM
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In May we'll have a presentation by Dr. Jeffrey Joyce of Critical Systems Labs on "The Prospect of Using Agile Methods in Developing Safety-critical Software: A License to Kill?". Agile methods are designed to maximize productivity but are they suitable when failure is not an option? Join us as Jeff considers the risks. Following the presentation we'll have a door prize draw, round-the-room introductions, and then open the floor for networking.
About the Presentation: As suggested by its title, this presentation is intended to provoke a discussion about using Agile Methods in the development of safety-critical software ? or more generally, in the development of any software that has the potential to cause a significant loss of any kind, e.g., financial loss. The presentation will include an overview of how agile methods fall short of the general expectations of standards and guidelines for the development of safety-critical software. Beyond the matter of compliance with standards and guidelines, this presentation suggests how the use of agile methods might miss out some good opportunities to avoid problems that could contribute to unsafe system behaviour.
About the Speaker: Dr. Jeffrey Joyce is the president and co-founder of an engineering consultancy,
Critical Systems Labs Inc., that specializes in the specification, safety analysis and verification of software-intensive critical software. As a Senior Systems Engineer with Raytheon from 1994 until 2001, he worked on the development of the Canadian Automated Air Traffic System (CAATS) ? an advanced ATM system with 4-dimensional trajectory-based functionality. More recently, Dr. Joyce worked extensively with the Swiss Air Navigation provider, Skyguide, on their implementation of Eurocontrol?s safety methodology for software in ATM systems, ESARR 6. He is an active member of RTCA SC 205 which is updating DO 178B (Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment). Dr. Joyce earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cambridge University (UK) with earlier degrees from the University of Calgary and the University of Waterloo. He has authored or co-authored more than 50 articles, papers and other publications on software engineering, system software safety, formal methods and related topics. In 2006, Dr. Joyce was named "Engineer of the Year" by the International System Safety Society. Dr. Joyce is the general chair of the upcoming 26th International System Safety Conference coming to Vancouver August 25th to 29th. For more information see Stay tuned for further updates...

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  • A former member
    A former member

    The talk actually ended up being more about methods for Safety-critical Software. This was fine because it was what I was actually interested in.

    May 8, 2008

  • Loretta

    The speech was interesting, but I would have liked to hear a little more about exactly what Agile Methods are. The speaker didn't even let us read the manifesto.

    May 8, 2008

  • Bruce D.

    Presentation was interesting but had a bipolar disorder -- either agile methods or more traditional heavy engineering approach. I doubt that the choice is truly either one or the other but rather both at the same time. Either - or?? Come on, doc -- heal thyself.

    May 7, 2008

  • Evan

    I didn't get much out of this, as my knowledge was more advanced than the presentation content itself. Although Jeff is very knowledgeable and a true expert on safety critical systems, one can tell his experience and exposure to Agile is limited.

    May 7, 2008

  • Mike I.

    good presentation & discussion afterwards

    May 7, 2008

  • A former member
    A former member


    May 6, 2008

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