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 124: Talking Testing with Anne-Marie Charrett

16069825102_aa54010a22_zCraig is at YOW! Conference and catches up with Anne-Marie Charrett who is well known in the testing community as a trainer, coach and consultant but also for her support of the community:

  • Don Reinertsen talk “Thriving in a Stochastic World
  • Context-Driven Testing
  • Testing is a verb – it’s a doing thing and not an output, but the challenge is you cannot see doing
  • Anne-Marie’s class in Exploratory Testing
  • Where there is risk and failure, there is a job for testing
  • Exploratory testing – the key is feedback and using the learning to feedback into the next test
  • Agile testing – don’t try and test everything and don’t try and automate everything either, rather adopt a risk based approach
  • Unit testing – the usefulness depends on the programmer and the context and figuring out what you are trying to achieve
  • Sydney Testers Meetup
  • Speak Easy – Speak Easy is a voluntary program designed to increase diversity in tech conferences through dedicated conference spots, mentoring and events
  • YOW! WIT Program
  • WorkVentures – training marginalised youth
  • Testing challenges include microservices (the risk of bounded context and breaking things down and missing the whole) and working together as developers and testers
  • James Lewis podcast “Episode 120: Microservices & The Lean Enterprise with James Lewis

TheAgileRevolution-124 (39 minutes)

Episode 121: Diversity & Frugal Innovation in Africa with Betty Enyonam Kumahor

enyoCraig and Tony sit down for a conversation at YOW! Conference with Betty Enyonam Kumahor (stands for good for me, on the way there) who is a technology leader in Africa:

  • Tony and Enyo are mutual members of the Alistair Cockburn fan club
  • YOW! Conference talk “Frugal Innovation and Scaffolding Software
  • Software engineering uptake in Africa is very low, need more technologists because it is is not an industry it is an enabler
  • Lots of diversity challenges in Africa – lees than 1% of the South African IT industry is women, but also diversity in languages, education and belief systems
  • Diversity is a multi-pronged issue, need to be patient but not complacent to move the needle forward, give girls the confidence to be competent and to push the boundaries
  • Frugal innovation in Africa – building technology in a space of constraints such as inadequate power, everything happens by mobile feature phones, needs to be built fast and cheap
  • Agile in Africa – need to make communities more aware of Agile practices, share what developed world has learnt but also what needs to adjust for the context of the continent
  • Growth of techpreneurs, expensive to do business in Africa, focus on local market rather than off-shoring to Europe
  • Andela program – train to be a software engineer, become a fellow and work for offshore clients
  • Successful conversions from tech hubs to startups is below 5%
  • Biggest issue is lack of access to expertise in Agile / Lean practices as well as lack of people to adapt it for the continent
  • South Africa is a great landing point into Africa

TheAgileRevolution-121 (27 minutes)