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Monday, April 30

13:30 CDT

Dynamic Reteaming at Fast-Growing Companies (Heidi Helfand)

Team change is real, especially when your company is hiring like crazy and doubling in size. Your teams might grow and split - like mitosis. 20 people might arrive in one day. What feels like “tectonic shifts” happen as you morph structurally in an attempt to refocus work and people. How can we bring a humanistic stance to this dynamic reteaming? How can the people be empowered to own their own team changes? How do you integrate the new people in without losing your sense of “culture?" We will explore questions like these with an interactive format. Along the way, I’ll share case studies from 3 successful startups I’ve been a part for nearly 20 years.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Participants will learn:
  • -Patterns of team change including: grow and split, mitosis, and load balancing across teams.
  • -Techniques for enabling people to choose their own teams.
  • -Activities encouraging teams to experiment and reflect on team changes that they design.
  • -How to provide support and coaching for people going through team change.
  • -Techniques designed to bring openness to large-scale reteaming events.
  • -Practical tips to help teams gel and get up to speed after they change.

avatar for HEIDI HELFAND


Director of Engineering, Procore Technologies
Heidi Helfand is Director of Engineering Excellence at Procore Technologies, creators of cloud-based construction software. Heidi was on the “first team” at ExpertCity, Inc. (acquired by Citrix) where they invented GoToMyPC, GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar and AppFolio, Inc., a SAAS... Read More →

Monday April 30, 2018 13:30 - 15:00 CDT
Lone Star D

16:15 CDT

True Tales of Antifragile Code (Rob Myers)

Have you ever abandoned an innovative user story because it was deemed too costly to implement?
Leaders of software development teams want to be able to adapt their existing product to innovative ideas and shifting market conditions. This is often the reason organizations "go Agile," yet this ability to flexibly deliver rich business value is often frustratingly out of reach.
Agile teams and their leadership are also familiar with the value of individual development practices. For example, they know that Test-Driven Development can "catch defects early." What Rob has found by working with a number of teams, each for six months or more, is another much greater--and more rare--source of business value resulting from diligent attention to software craftsmanship, and the resulting two-way trust that forms between Development and Product.
You will hear a few of surprising (but true) first-person tales, each detailing a time when changing market forces, dramatic pivots, disruptive technological changes, or insightful requests were delivered by the team within a single week. Each of these "Black Swan User Stories" (Rob's term for powerful, risky, and unforeseen user-stories) resulted in multiplying user productivity, opening whole new markets, or delighting and retaining critical customers.
Rob will then share the retrospective findings regarding those successes; and the great news that these are obtainable by any team willing to diligently apply a few core incremental and iterative technical practices. Your Agile team can realize the long-held expectations for the delivery of greater business value.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Hear real examples of how maintainable, high quality code is critical to the rapid completion of innovative user stories.
  • Explore the surprisingly direct path between Agile software development practices and business value.
  • Learn why leadership would want to encourage, support, and defend a team's dedication to the use of Agile technical practices such as Test-Driven Development.
  • Learn why an early commitment to diligent technical practices is crucial to product longevity and innovation.


avatar for Rob Myers

Rob Myers

Principal Agile Instructor & Coach, Agile for All
Rob Myers has over 30 years of professional experience in software development, and has been coaching teams on TDD, Scrum, Lean, Agile, and XP practices since 1998. He has been delivering Agile-related talks and courses since 2002. His courses are always a blend of fun and practical... Read More →

Monday April 30, 2018 16:15 - 17:00 CDT
Lone Star F/G

16:15 CDT

Elixir: a potion for building scalable, fault-tolerant systems (Declan Whelan)

While microservices offer a way to easily compose and scale systems they pose some challenges. Designing our systems functionally with simple data structures and composable functions can help. Elixir is rapidly emerging as a language and ecosystem to build systems in this way. We will explore Elixir and show how it can be used to build highly scalable, performant fault-tolerant systems. I will demo a running example of an Elixir application that brings the main concepts together.

Learning Outcomes:
  • How to build evolutionary microservices with Elixir.
  • Applying Domain Driven Design to functional solutions.

avatar for Declan Whelan

Declan Whelan

Helping organizations improve value steams and their organizational structure.

Monday April 30, 2018 16:15 - 17:00 CDT
Lone Star E
Tuesday, May 1

10:20 CDT

Agile Schizophrenia: Consistent Agile is the Hobgoblin of Little Minds (Fred George)

Consistent Agile has one guarantee: Consistent failure, or mediocrity at best. Agile is no more a universal set of practices any more than Java (or Ruby or Fortran in my day) is a universal language, or Spring a universal framework, or Angular.js a universal UI tool.
In this talk, we will explore the behavioral purpose behind the practices, and assert that once the behavior is achieved, the practices serve as a barrier to success, or at a minimum, a barrier to further process innovation. Understand that these practices, radical in their time, were meant to break the chains of waterfall thinking. Unfortunately, these practices have too often become new, gilded chains.
We make two arguments for flexibility in team-to-team, project-to-project Agile practices. First, the type of problems we are solving today vary greatly. We will expound on that with Dave Snowden’s Cynefin framework.
Second, we will dissect several key Agile processes, making claims about the intended behavior for the practice. Once that behavior is achieved, the value of the process is largely gone, and sometimes even an inhibitor to further progress. As an Agile practitioner for nearly two decades, I will talk about my use and removal of these processes.
We briefly present several signs that your current Agile process is staid (ie, not Agile anymore!)
We wrap up by looking at a UK retailer, and how they have adopted different practices for different purposes.

Learning Outcomes:
  • The audience should understand rationale for various Agile practices, and the point at which the Agile practice becomes an inhibitor rather than facilitator. The material should also help justify new experiments in the processes in Agile teams in their companies.

avatar for Fred George

Fred George

Founder, Fred George Consulting
Fred George is an industry consultant, and has been writing code for 50 years in (by his count) over 70 languages. He has delivered projects and products across his career, and in the last decade alone, has worked in the US, India, China, and the UK. He started ThoughtWorks University... Read More →

Tuesday May 1, 2018 10:20 - 11:05 CDT
Lone Star F/G
Wednesday, May 2

09:25 CDT

Need for Speed: Accelerate Automation Tests From 3 Hours to 3 Minutes (Emanuil Slavov)

All automated tests except unit are slow for today’s fast paced, first-to-marked environment. This is the elephant in the room that every Agile practitioner ignores. With slow automated tests you’re just shipping problems to production faster.
At Komfo, we had automated tests running for more than 3 hours every night. The execution time just kept growing unrestricted, and the tests were getting more unstable and unusable as a feedback loop. At one point the continuous integration build for the tests was red for more than 20 days in a row. Regression bugs started to appear undetected in production. We decided to stop this madness and after considerable effort and dedication, currently the same tests run for 3 minutes. This is the story of how we achieved nearly 60x faster tests.
This was accomplished by using Docker containers, hermetic servers, improved architecture, faster provisioning of test environments.
Running all your tests after every code change, in less than 5 minutes will be key differentiator from now on. In 5 years it will be a standard development practice, much like unit tests and CI are considered these days. Start your journey today.
Learn how to do this by applying four steps strategy:
Tests should create the data they need.
Use dedicated automation testing environment.
Simulate dependencies you don’t control.
Run in parallel and optimize.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Being able to execute all your tests after every code change, in less than 5 minutes will very soon be your competitive advantage.
  • Apply our proven four step strategy.
  • Avoid the common pitfalls we've identified on this journey.


Wednesday May 2, 2018 09:25 - 10:10 CDT
Lone Star F/G

13:30 CDT

Developers Should Abandon Agile (Ron Jeffries, Chet Hendrickson)

In an interview format, Ron and Chet will discuss their current views regarding Agile Software Development, the opportunities and threats of certification and scaling, and how software professionals can best operate within current “Agile” organizations and projects.
Contents may include:
Why story points are a bad idea;
The need for better ways for developers to build skill;
Making the world safe for programmers;
The central role of Running, Tested Software.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Increased awareness of the essential elements of surviving and thriving in “Agile” teams and organizations.


avatar for Chet Hendrickson

Chet Hendrickson

Supreme and Ultimate Hyper-Chairman Emeritus, HendricksonXP

Ron Jeffries


Wednesday May 2, 2018 13:30 - 14:15 CDT
Lone Star B/C