2019 Sessions 2019-01-09T19:03:41+00:00

2019 Sessions


The Failure of Focus
Liz Keogh

We know that in our landscape of people and technology, aiming for a particular outcome doesn’t always lead to us getting what we want. Sometimes the best results come from approaching a problem obliquely. But in Agile our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through the early and continuous delivery of valuable software. We like to start with the outcome, meet the needs of our users, delivering high-quality working software with happy teams and true agility… but how might that focus be holding us back, and what are the alternatives?

In this talk we look at some different strategies for approaching complex ecosystems, starting from where we are right now, and allowing innovation to emerge through obliquity, naivety, and serendipity.

Tech Track

Attack of the Monorepos
Rupert Redington

While working with a large distributed team on behalf of a profitable US budget airline Neontribe investigated monorepos to solve some technical problems, but we soon found that we came to value them for social as well as technical reasons. We’ll get an introduction to the theory, explore some of the available tooling and then illustrate the changes the team experienced; we’ll not be shying away from some of the terrible mistakes made either. This talk will contain packaging systems, semantic versioning, Javascript, bots, guilt and love.

A Test of Strength

Chris Oldwood

A session about what it means to write good (strong) tests, but also how we need to be “strong” (in character) to make that happen.

Responsibiltity and the Dolphin Model

David Legge

Powering Data Science with AWS Athena & QuickSight

Matthew Bill & Danielle Ashley

In order to drive new data science functionality, we need data, lots of it and in a state where it can be used to train models and make decisions. Making sense of your big data for such research can be tricky, expensive and time-consuming.

Enter AWS Athena, which allows you to query multiple large data sets using SQL within seconds instead of days. When coupled with a data lake off the back of S3, it can also be a very cost-effective solution over traditional data warehouses. This data can then be analysed, exported and used to drive further investigations.

In this session, we will demo how you can use Athena and the complementary tool Amazon QuickSight to visualise data into a rich set of dashboards. This talk will benefit those who are trying to make the most of the data they store, as well as those who want an insight into how a multi-skilled data science team can use these tools to create new products.

Code Your way out of a paper bag
Frances Buontempo

Jeff Atwood bemoans many programmers not being able to code their way out of a paper bag [https://blog.codinghorror.com/why-cant-programmers-program/], so this is your chance to stand apart from the crowd.

We will start with a very simple example, and then use some machine learning techniques.

For a 45 mintue slot, this will be genetic algorithms. In Python.

If you want a longer slot, we can cover particle swarms and bee swarms too (and maybe other techniques if I condense them down a bit). Possibly in JavaScript, Python or C++.

You will gain a handle on a small part of machine learning, witness virtual cannon balls firing out of a paper bag and discover how you can learn or solve problems using a mixture of random attempts and sensible ways to assess if they are any good.

Session topics: Tech

Session length: Either 45 min presentation or 90 minute presentation

Technical level: begininner at machine learning, some experience of programming will help.

Suitable for intermediate programmers, and possibly beginners, though experienced programmers who are curious about machine learning will get something from this.

From Managed Hybrid Hosting to Self-Service Microsoft Azure

Andy Courtenay

A deep dive look at a lift and shift approach to migrating an existing infrastructure setup over to Microsoft Azure. The trials, the tribulations, the facepalms and the ultimate freedom to grow it delivered in the end.

Session Length: 45 minutes.

Technical Level: Beginner / Intermediate

Aspect-Oriented Programming in .Net: Logging with Interceptors with Microsoft Unity Enterprise Library

Adrian Pickering

Sometimes, we write the same code over and over again. Not just boiler plates that give us momentum on successive projects, but individual lines or clusters of code that crop up over and over throughout a single programme.

public void DoStuff(woo string; yay string)
Log.Info($"DoStuff is being called at {DateTime.Now} " +
"- woo='{woo}';yay='{yay}'");
Log.Info($"DoStuff finished{DateTime.Now}");
catch(Exception e)
Log.Error($"DoStuff threw at {DateTime.Now}: {e}");

Does that look even vaguely familiar? Do you have another two hundred and eighty eleven methods containing Log lines that are pretty much identical?

And wouldn’t life be that little bit rosier if Ops could tell you everything they will ever want logging before you commit changes to version control?

Aspects may help you to create more maintainable, more SOLID code and Unity Enterprise Library could possibly enable Ops to decide at run-time what they need to monitor.

In this talk, I will introduce you cross-cutting concerns, coding for them just once in your solution and explain how we can practice single-responsibility more responsibly.


Crack the motivation code!

Cassandra Andrews

Imagine if you knew precisely what motivated each member of your team, how motivated they were and what you could do to improve their motivation!  

Cassandra Andrews interactive workshop focuses on motivation in the workplace and introduces ‘motivational maps’, an incredibly accurate and user-friendly tool which enables us to unlock and measure employee motivation.

Understanding exactly what motivates individuals in an organisation can be used with significant impact to support business growth and profitability by maximising employee and team motivation, retain employees and recruit the right people to complement existing teams.

At the workshop you will discover how to create high performing teams by learning:

  • What motivation is, how it can be measured and how it impacts the workforce.
  • About the nine motivators identified in motivational maps.
  • How to increase team performance by identifying conflicts in motivation.

To enable all delegates to get their own ‘wow’ moment from the workshop, there will be an opportunity for four attendees to win a complimentary individual motivational map with feedback/insight session and discounted motivational maps available for other attendees.

Business Track

Are Coding Bootcamps Worth It?

Ed Perkins

What do you learn on a coding bootcamp? How easy is it to get a job afterwards? Should I employ a bootcamp graduate? Can you really learn to code in three months?

As a recent graduate of London’s prestigious Makers Academy, I will try to answer these questions and give some insight into the intensive training processes that focus not only on coding, but also around working with others, communicating, tech culture, employability and looking after your own emotional well-being.

Makers is ‘designed to turn people with no knowledge of web development into job-ready junior developers in 12 weeks’. So does it work? After a fairly major career change from being a musician and educator, I set about turning myself into an employable professional web developer. Find out if all the hard work paid off and discover what life is like for a bootcamp graduate one year after graduating.

Session topics: People/ Business

Session length: 45 min presentation,
Technical level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Business

Don’t fall over like Elon Musk did – How to stay energised and disrupt an industry

Ian Hacon

Elon Musk is one of the most famous workaholic cases in recent years. So much so, many others quoted him as a badge of honour when they too worked too hard. In 2018, his wheel fell off, forced to take a total break due to exhaustion. This session will help you understand how looking after your own energy is good for business and you will leave with some easily implementable steps to do so.

Session topics: I can fit this in wherever you feel is best

Session length: I can do this to suit a 45 or a 90 min workshop (latter probably works better)

Technical level: Buisness

What is Microsoft Teams and why do I care?

Tom Morgan

Teams is Microsoft’s latest communication and collaboration tool. If you already use Slack then you might think you don’t need yet another chat client, but you might be surprised at all the things Teams can offer your business to make you more productive. In this non-technical introduction, join Microsoft MVP Tom Morgan as he walks through how Teams offers a different approach to business communication, demos some key features not available on any other platform, and compares Teams to the competition in areas such as security, data governance, developer integration and more.

Session topic:  Business

Session length: 45 min presentation,

Technical level: Beginner

Orchestrated Mobility – Changing The Way We Move

John Fagan

By late 2030, its predicted that 95% U.S. passenger miles travelled will be served by on-demand vehicles owned by fleets, not individuals, in a new business model Transport-as-a-Service (TaaS).

Citizens will pay a monthly fee to go anywhere they wish, much like we do today using on demand services for music and video, like Spotify and Netflix.

TaaS will unify public, private & autonomous transportation into an efficient service and is predicted to deliver a largely carbon-free road transportation system.

In this talk i will…

  • Vision of Transport as a Service
  • Key Drivers (Technologies, Autonomous electric vehicles, ride sharing, costs and barriers)
  • Impacts on society, economics and the environment
  • Who should be the Netflix for Transport?
  • Examples of use cases and disruption happening today

About Axon Vibe

Axon Vibe is a location-based AI platform that detects and predicts real-world human behaviour.

We enable public transport operators to lead one of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruptions of transportation in history.

Lowering the Iron Curtain: Western and Eastern Europe Gamedev Culture

Chris Filip

Europe is divided. There are many axes that this statement can be split on. Each of the 50 countries in Europe have their own game development industries. Yet, culturally, there is one big divide: the former Iron Curtain, separating Western and Eastern Europe. And most of the 50 countries in Europe have their own language, history and culture. How does this translate in doing business, and, specifically, making games in Europe?

In his talk, Chris will provide the historical, cultural and educational contexts within game development which divide Western and Eastern Europe, as well as provide facts and statistics which will help game developers and studio managers make informed decisions about expanding or outsourcing to these countries.

At the end of this talk, the participants will have learned the cultural difference in the game development industry between Western and Eastern Europe. The participants will be able to better understand how to approach outsourcing to and opening new studios in Eastern Europe, what the advantages and the potential pitfalls might be.

Session topic: Business

Session length: 45 Minute presentation

Technical level: Business

The Schizophrenic Organisation

Sergios Tsagarakis

Session abstract: A look at agile transformation through the eyes of a fictional and slightly extreme organisation. Picking up on common problems and exploring what the reasons could be before drawing a conclusion.

Session topic: Business

Session length: 45 min presentation

Technical level: Business

Process Track

Title: Bug-First Development – Agile Software Development For User Story Prospecting

Adrian Pickering

The idea behind bug-first or bug-driven development is devilishly simply: Everything is a bug until it isn’t.

As far as a user is concerned, there is essentially no difference between a bug, a feature that hasn’t been delivered and one that is otherwise unusable, say through substandard user interface or user experience. Bug-driven development essentially asks the user what operation they want to do next that they currently can’t undertake. The benefit this brings is laser-focused story discovery and prioritisation.

45 minute Process session – beginner to intermediate.

Working remote vs Working colocated

Paul Boocock

We often talk about waterfall, scrum, agile and many other processes but these are often considered from a colocated perspective.

As demand for remote working continues to increase, we will discuss if our usual processes work in a remote environment and what changes or considerations do we need to make to support remote workers?

Session topics: Process

Session length: 45 min presentation

Technical level: Intermediate

One Team, Two Teams, Many Teams: Scaling Up Done Right (90 or 45 minutes, 90 preferred)

Giovanni Asproni

Scaling up software projects is one of the trends of the moment—many companies, big and small, try to do that  to increase the speed of delivery of their projects.

However, scaling up can be quite difficult (even going only from one to two teams),  especially if it is done focusing on the wrong aspects – most companies give too much weight to formal structures and processes (e.g., mandating the use of SAFe, LESS or other frameworks), and not enough weight to other aspects that would give a bigger bang for the buck: eg removing friction, improving communication channels, setting clear goals, delegating responsibility and accountability, etc.

In this session I’ll share my experience in successfully helping companies to do the right thing in projects ranging from two to about eighty teams, and I’ll offer some tools that you will be able to use right away in your projects.

The session, among other things, includes:

  • A description of what needs to be done right before scaling up
  • Strategies on how to decide when to add new people to a team and new teams to a project
  • Things to consider when deciding the structure of the teams (eg feature vs component teams), and its relationship with the shape of the system
  • How to use simple rules to allow teams to collaborate productively
  • An explanation on why each project has a upper bound in its ability to scale, and what to do about it

Jugaad: Bringing Troubled Projects Back On Track (90 or 45 minutes, 90 preferred)

Giovanni Asproni

What do you do when a project is not going well—e.g., the client is upset, the team demoralized, the quality of the product is low, the project is late—to bring it back under control and make the client and the team happy again?

How do you that in highly politically charged environments?

In this talk I’ll answers the questions above and more, by sharing my experience in doing that in several projects of various sizes (from small to quite big) using some jugaad—a Hindi word, which, roughly, means thinking in a frugal way and being flexible, which, in turn, requires the ability to adapt quickly to often unforeseen situations and uncertain circumstances in an intelligent way.

I’ll describe, among other things, how to:

  • Work in highly politically charged environments
  • Deal with difficult (and powerful) people and speak truth to them
  • Help the teams to improve their morale and motivation
  • Make progress with limited resources
  • Use different leadership stiles (including command and control)
  • Make your client happier
  • Deal with serious mistakes

Reengineering a Library

Burkhard Kloss

Session abstract: Over the last few years, I’ve been consulting on reengineering a quant library. As is wont, the library had originally accreted, rather than been designed; eventually, it had turned into a ball of mud, and maintenance was becoming increasingly problematic. We decided to rewrite the library from scratch, using best practices as we understood them, and eventually turned it into a piece of code we can be proud of – and maintain and extend without too much pain.

This talk is a personal retrospective on techniques and processed we applied; what worked, what did not, and why.

# Evolution from #NoProjects to Continuous Digital

Allan Kelley

Once upon a time there was IT, and IT departments had projects. Projects were always a bad fit for software development but somehow we made them work. As IT became Agile the damage caused by the project model became obvious and #NoProjects emerged to help teams go beyond projects.

Today growth businesses are digital. Technology is the business and the business is technology. Projects end but do you want your business to end? Or do you want it to grow? Growing a digital business means growing software technology.

In this presentation Allan Kelly will look at how #NoProjects came about, how it evolved into Continuous Digital and why it is the future of mana

People Track

## Tanzt Kaputt Was Euch Kaputt Macht!

Dom Davis

It doesn’t matter what language you use, what platform you code on, or what editor you prefer; there’s one underlying thread common to all code: people.
When it comes to people, you hear the phrase “neurotypical” quite a lot these days, but looking round the industry I do wonder how many of us are neuro*a*typical. So regardless of if you’re a techie person, or just work with techie people, this one is for you. We’ll go delving into the people aspect of software development, with some light abuse of the German language along the way. Don’t worry if you don’t speak it. I don’t either.

*CAPS LOCK ON: How language affects our world*

Tom Haczewski

Do our words really have that big an impact? Tom explores the impact of small changes in language and how we speak to others to help our teams be more open and inclusive, and our projects be more successful.
Tom has almost 15 years of experience in design, development and usability, for both client- and agency-side backgrounds. Over his professional career he’s worked with Virgin Money, ASDA, HMV, Arco, Econsultancy, BBC and RAC before starting The User Story. He’s spoken at international conferences and events, and has a guest lecturing position for BSc User Experience and Interaction Design courses at Norwich University of the Arts, inspiring young people into a career in user-centred design.