Episode 146: Agile, Architecture and Technology with Rebecca Parsons

Tony and Craig are at YOW! Conference in Brisbane and catch up with Rebecca Parsons, the Chief Technology Officer at ThoughtWorks and the co-author of “Building Evolutionary Architectures: Support Constant Change” and chat about the following:

  • Rebecca’s keynote talk at YOW! “The Past and Future of Evolutionary Architecture
  • Evolutionary Architecture is the next stage on applying Agile practices to software development at the systems level and be able to respond to changes in the environment that affect the architecture
  • Need to determine for your system what constitutes good, fitness functions are the documentation and tests to ensure your system meets those characteristics
  • Need to move the needle on architecture, need to develop tools and techniques to decompose the role
  • Agile Alliance is looking at what it means to truly be an international organisation (there are now affiliates in Brazil and New Zealand), expanding conferences from the large North American conference to OnAgile and Deliver:Agile and member initiatives to support local events such as Agile Open Space, Agile Conference Sponsorship, Community Group Support Initiative and Speaker Reimbursement
  • YOW! CTO Summit talk “The CTO is Dead: Long Live the CTO
  • CTO role is more now to set technical direction by setting up communication channels to mine insights that can be rolled out and presented to the market
  • ThoughtWorks Tech Radar started as a hot technology list of what ThoughtWorkers would love to work on, became a visual radar that is now released twice a year, starts with 250-300 items and they try to get it down to 100 items, something will fade after being in the adopt ring more than twice, the radar is also available as an open source tool or radar as a service
  • Women leave technology at double the rate as men leave technology, mostly because they are not treated well in the environment
  • Anita Borg Institute Top Company for Women Technologists award
  • What does it mean to be Agile in new technologies like machine learning and data science?

TheAgileRevolution-146 (34 minutes)

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Episode 145: Working Effectively with (Legacy) Code with Michael Feathers

Craig is in Atlanta at Agile 2016 and catches up with Michael Feathers, author of “Working Effectively with Legacy Code” and they talk about the following:

  • Working Effectively with Legacy Code originally started as a book about Test First Programming but morphed into a book about the techniques for refactoring code in legacy systems
  • The Pinned Progress Curve – for many people there is no incentive to change so the mean gets larger between the status quo and good practices
  • Agile Alliance Deliver:Agile conference
  • Organisations that have technical founders have a very different character to their work internally, need to make knowledge of the quality of software more pervasive – the business need to understand more about the technical side, and the developers need to understand more about the business
  • Code that has excessive error handling typically has other design problems – benefit in thinking about whether certain things should be treated as errors or not
  • Entropy happens in all systems, including code, so technical debt is not a surprise, need to make the case for hygiene, putting a dollar amount on technical debt does not add much value
  • Use low impact probing to determine whether code is dead
  • Potsel’s Law – an implementation should be conservative in its sending behaviour, and liberal in its receiving behaviour
  • State of quality is improving and there is more recognition to build quality in
  • Property based testing is becoming more prevalent as we move from object oriented to functional languages
  • Holacracy was designed by a software person, Sociocracy talks about applying democratic principles to governance, these are all interesting experiments
  • It can be hard to recognise if something is intrinsically difficult or not something you are familiar with
  • We weren’t really battling waterfall, it was the lack of any process at all…

TheAgileRevolution-145 (33 minutes)

Episode 136: Water-Scrum.org-Falling with Dave West

Craig catches up with Dave West, product owner and CEO at Scrum.org, at the Agile 2016 conference in Atlanta. They talk all things Agile and Scrum including:

  • Water-Scrum-Fall came about because Scrum is often delivered in the context of a organisational waterfall lifecycle
  • Scrum implies a magical Product Owner that is empowered and understands the market to effectively create a backlog and manage it and the Scrum Guide provides very litte guidance around this
  • Nexus is a way of getting multiple teams working from the same backlog and provides an exoskeleton to Scrum
  • Scrum 21 Years and The Future” talk at Agile 2016
  • People don’t get Scrum, it is always surprising how few people have read the Scrum Guide
  • The Scrum Guide is in audiobook form (but not yet in Klingon)
  • The Sprint Review is not a phase gate, it is the opportunity to inspect and adapt at the boundary of the sprint, try running it with continuous delivery and production results
  • The way mono goes through a high school is the way in which Scrum should go through an organisation (according to Dave!)
  • Some of the initial ideas and avenues for Scrum include The New New Product Game, Agile Manifesto, Agile Alliance and Scrum Alliance
  • Scrum.org was created to push the focus of Scrum back to the delivery of software (rather than the world of work and LEGO) and to decouple the assessment from the classes
  • Scrum.org assessments include PSM I (I understand Scrum), PSM II (I practice Scrum) and PSM III (I am a coach / mentor around Scrum) to validate your learning as you grow into the role of a Scrum Master
  • Over a million people a day are doing a Daily Scrum!
  • State of Scrum – after 21 years the world is full of Scrum and software is being developed better, but the profession has not improved in the way we had wanted it to (we are not driving to value fast enough and we are not engaging the business correctly)
  • Software is the business now, Scrum cares about product delivery
  • Looking into Evidence Based Measurement in Scrum, how to help people do done (Scrum Delivery Kit)
  • Organisational change is almost impossible – it is hard to change the existing organisation to do Scrum
  • Software in 30 Days” book and section on Scrum Studio (how do you build a persistent studio that delivers innovation on a business level)
  • Pragmatic Marketing

TheAgileRevolution-136 (37 minutes)

Episode 134: Unicorns, Distributed Teams and Agile User Groups with Mark Kilby

Craig is at Agile 2016 in Atlanta and catches up with Mark Kilby, an Agile Coach at Sonatype and co-founder of Agile Orlando and Agile Florida. Along the way they discuss:

TheAgileRevolution-134 (30 minutes)

Episode 133: Rules Are For Pussies!

Craig and Renee are both in Sydney and catch up around the kitchen table to discuss a bunch of things happening in the Agile universe:

TheAgileRevolution-133 (76 minutes)

Episode 116: The Heart of Modern Agile

heartmodernagileCraig and Tony are sipping a sarsaparilla or two on a balcony in Brisbane and start trying to dissect the state and heart of modern agility:

TheAgileRevolution-116 (46 minutes)

Episode 48: Declan (Not Dexter)

Declan WhelanAt Agile 2012 in Dallas, Texas, Craig chats with Declan Whelan, a Canadian Agile Coach at LeanIntuit, the CTO and co-founder of a new startup called Printchomp and a newly elected member of the Agile Alliance board. Amongst other things we talk about pair coaching, running a Lean Startup, the direction of the Agile Alliance and the future of Agile.

His talk at Agile 2012 (with Alistair McKinnell) was entitled “Simple Design Applied: Spend More Time Creating Valuable Code“. Look out for a longer video interview with Declan on InfoQ.

TheAgileRevolution-48 (25 minutes)