Cigna becomes more agile with behavior-driven development

When Cigna developers needed to improve their application testing processes, they teamed up with Red Hat Consulting to implement agile methodologies. Iterative development has helped Cigna prioritize features based on customers’ needs, and as a result, the quality of Cigna’s software has improved.

In the video below, representatives from Cigna and Red Hat Consulting discuss how working together to instill behavior-driven development principles helped Cigna:

• Increase speed to market by aligning application delivery with customer expectations.
• Reduce risk by engaging subject matter experts and stakeholders in regular reviews.
• Sustain application quality by identifying and fixing defects early in project life cycle.
• Ensure on-time delivery and predictable performance.

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Getting developers and IT operations working together

by Alan Hale (Red Hat)

This post originally appeared in DeveloperTech.

Today’s business leaders want more innovation, faster. They know that, in order to beat competitors and continue to thrive, their organisation must excel in bringing new products and services to market at speed and on consistently exceeding customer expectations.

That puts major pressure on those responsible for developing and delivering new and enhanced software functionality for the business to use. More frequent releases and shorter deadlines are increasingly becoming facts of life, but in the race to fast-track new pieces of code, IT teams often hit a roadblock.

That roadblock occurs at the boundary of application development and IT operations, an intersection where two very different cultures meet.

Conflict resolution

On one side of the boundary is the culture of the developer, where creativity, freedom to experiment and choice of tools are paramount. The developer is happiest using Agile techniques to produce a constant stream of software releases and upgrades that will get the business where it needs to be, in terms of innovation.

On the other side of the boundary is IT operations, where stability and control are what matters. Disruption is the enemy and frequent software releases can be complex to manage. IT operations agree that they want the business to move forwards – but not at the risk of critical systems falling over.

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Red Hat Training recognizes its top partners, resellers and instructors in Europe, Middle East and Africa

by Jessica Benton (Red Hat)

During this year’s Red Hat Partner Conference EMEA in Madrid, Spain, Red Hat Training gave an update on its new training and certification roadmap. The event covered new delivery methods and courses, including a three day exam marathon during which a total of 70 partner employees had a chance to take a free-of-charge certification exam. In addition, a training partner round table was held to discuss new opportunities for Red Hat Training and our partners. As is tradition, we also held an awards ceremony, recognizing those that have made the biggest impact over the course of the last year in training and certifications.

It is with great pleasure that I reveal the awards given that night:

Training Partner of the Year
Eastern Europe

Datascript, Czech Republic
Datascript is one of our oldest training partners in Eastern Europe and offers our complete training portfolio, from RHCE and RHCA up to the advanced middleware courses in the countries of Czech Republic and Slovakia. For the third year in a row DataScript has earned this prize.

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Catching up with New Horizons Computer Learning Centers of Southern California

Based in Southern California, with five offices in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego and San Bernardino counties, New Horizons Computer Learning Centers of Southern California was recently named Red Hat Training’s Ready Partner of the Year at the annual Red Hat Training Partner Conference in Las Vegas, NV. As part of the world’s largest independent IT training company, New Horizons Computer Learning Centers of Southern California is a learning solutions provider for the industry’s top vendors, and has been a Red Hat Training Partner since 2010. We recently caught up with New Horizons Computer learning Centers of Southern California’s CEO, Kevin Landry, for his thoughts regarding the state of the training industry today and how it will change tomorrow.

Who are you training these days?
The market we’re in is a little bit unique. 70% of our business is considered B2B or enterprise business, companies like Disney, Southern California Edison, and Ingram Micro. Working with Red Hat over the past several years, we’ve continually seen this business double year after year. Developers in training is the largest growth area, but the greatest area of interest we’ve seen increase has been in the consumer market, where individuals fund their own training. I’d say 30% of the individuals that we train fall into this latter group, and are funding training on their own or have alternative government funding, such as VA benefits or unemployment benefits.

What are the most common reasons people are getting trained right now?
Skill shortage is the main reason that individuals are seeking training, and being that it’s more likely these days to see Linux or Red Hat in a job description, we’ve seen a lot of growth in consumers seeking Red Hat Certifications.

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Five Questions with…Rich Heironimus, middleware practice lead, Red Hat Consulting

by Rich Heironimus (Red Hat)

It’s no secret that middleware is increasingly a critical component of integrating, automating and accelerating business. With the rapid development of new technologies and platforms, we caught up with Rich Heironimus for his thoughts as to the latest trends arounds middleware, and what it means for developers.

How are customers using middleware today?
Today, middleware is increasingly helping customers achieve business agility. The flexibility that a well-architected system brings to the customer ultimately translates into better business efficiency. Legacy systems are often tightly coupled and making changes becomes more and more expensive over time. Many customers are building an integration or SOA foundation that leverages BPM and BRMS to achieve business agility by deploying their key processes and rules in middleware platforms. As more customers become more globalized, many customers are trying to deploy standardized processes and rules across the region or globe with localized changes or differences. BPM and BRMS middleware is enabling this flexibility.

What are some trends happening right now in the middleware space?
Middleware is being used to reduce the time to market for new applications by leveraging the efficiency driven through integration and BPM/BRMS platforms. Customers are revamping legacy workflow driven applications by refactoring them on a BPM/BRMS platform and owning the changes. Big data is also driving Complex Event processing, rules and process adoption.

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WEBINAR: How Cigna builds better applications, quicker with agile testing

Date: Thursday, August 1, 2013
Time: 16:00 UTC | 12:00 pm (New York) | 6:00 pm (Paris) | 9:30 pm (Mumbai)
Duration: 60 minutes

Your business analysts and application developers need to be on the same page to model, automate, measure, and improve their processes and policies. Miscommunication creates delays in delivery, increases costs, and compromises innovation.
 
Behavior-driven development (BDD) is an agile, customer-driven software development method that brings together subject matter experts, testers, and developers to improve the speed-to-market and quality of rules-based applications.

Cigna increased productivity and quality with BDD
In this webinar, Red Hat Consulting gives and overview of the BDD method, and Cigna, a global health service company, discusses how adopting BDD helped them transform their DevOps practice by:

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