Ivar Jacobson and Ian Spence presented the SEMAT approach at Google Tech talks in Zurich on July 17th. Google Tech Talks is a grass-roots program at Google for sharing information of interest to the technical community.
It’s part of an ongoing discussion featuring top experts in diverse fields. Presentations range from the broadest of perspective overviews to the most technical of deep dives, on topics well-established to wildly speculative. There are currently in excess of 200,000 subscribers around the world. The presentation is approximately one hour followed by a Q&A session. You can view the presentation and also download the slides via the links below.
Google stands for big thinking with big data. It has plucked fabulously rich and previously hidden information out of a sea of data and given it context to change the way people work and play. SEMAT and Essence are big thinking for Software Engineers. There are millions of software engineers on the planet in countless programs, projects and teams; the millions of line of software that run the world are testament to their talents, but as community we still find it difficult to share our best practices, truly empower our teams, seamless integrate software engineering into our businesses, and maintain the health of our endeavors avoiding embarrassing and unnecessary catastrophic failures.
The industry’s habit of constantly switching between no methods and the latest “one true way” (an affliction that sadly is even affecting the agile community) is not the way forward. As an industry we need to establish a solid foundation that will 1) enable teams to understand and visualize the progress and health of their endeavors regardless of their way of working, and 2) easily share, adapt, and “plug and play” with their practices to create the innovative ways of working they need to excel and continuously improve.
A foundation that SEMAT and Essence provides by establishing an actionable common ground all teams can share and freeing the practices from the shackles of big process. In the same way that Google map shows you where you are, where you want to go, and the best way to get there when making a journey, SEMAT and Essence can do the same for teams of engineers developing software. [Youtube video of the presentation](https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WNlERrVxYjs): Download the presentation slides (pdf)
Recommended reading: [The Essence of Software Engineering: The SEMAT Kernel.](http://queue.acm.org/detail.cfm?id=2389616) This paper gives an overview of the Software Engineering Methods and Theory (SEMAT) initiative that resulted in the new Essence standard. Published in CACM in 2012. [Agile and SEMAT: Perfect Partners.](http://queue.acm.org/detail.cfm?id=2541674) This paper describes how Agile is better when powered by Essence. Published in CACM in 2013. [Major-League SEMAT: Why should an executive care?](http://queue.acm.org/detail.cfm?id=2590809) This paper was published in CACM in 2014.