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Industry Experience with Agile Development and SOA

Session Chair: Tim Duval, Health Net, Inc.
Agile development: Overcoming a short-term focus in implementing best practices
Karthik Dinakar, Carnegie Mellon University

ABSTRACT Agile development deemphasizes long-term planning in favor of short-term adaptiveness. This is a strength in a rapidly changing development environment. However, this short-term focus creates a temptation to neglect best practices that are essential to long-term success. This report outlines my experience as a software developer in a leading internet portal that thrives on agile development using SCRUM. It describes the problems that arose when best practices were ignored and how our team overcame them.

Keywords Agile development, SCRUM, sprint planning, agile infrastructure, agile teams

Making SOA Work in a Healthcare Company
Brian Nicks, Health Net, Inc.
Jay Blanton, Health Net, Inc.
Steve Leski, Health Net, Inc.
Traian Tirzaman, Health Net, Inc.

Making SOA work in a large and diverse healthcare company is not just about bridging the gap between business and IT. It is also about bridging the gap between the technologies of yesterday, today and tomorrow. As Health Net has grown by acquiring other entities, we have acquired a landscape of diverse assets written with many languages, hosted on many platforms. These range from Java on WebLogic to .Net to RPG on iSeries to CICS on zSeries to COBOL on OpenVMS. Integrating these systems goes beyond simple business services. Successful integration ultimately requires elevating IT teams to the vision of a SOA enterprise as defined by an enterprise reference architecture. Educating our IT project teams in the fundamentals of SOA design and development has involved special approaches and a commitment to mentoring and continuous education in the enterprise. This discussion covers some of the challenges, successes, and lessons learned that we have encountered in bringing SOA to Health Net.

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