Episode 180: Extreme Programming & 3X Explained with Kent Beck

Craig and Tony are at YOW! Conference in Brisbane and have a rockstar moment and catchup with Kent Beck, the creator of Extreme Programming, the pioneer of xUnit and author of numerous books including “Extreme Programming Explained” and “Test Driven Development“:

  • Extreme Programming (XP) was born at Chrysler by letting go of conventional wisdom and pushing practices to eleven
  • Software development is a social process, not a sum of individuals process
  • Nobody cares about certificates, we care about competence
  • It’s time for a renaissance and reboot of XP – this time it needs to be inclusive and no barriers to entry
  • We know how to make a difference – it starts with execution and continues to empathy
  • Big tent agility can become an excuse not to tackle hard problems
  • “Not thinking about all the legs on the stool leaves you sitting on the ground” – some of the legs of agility require a fundamental change in belief
  • As a programmer am I responsible for my code running – once you have that belief, unit testing falls out of that
  • TDD is a set of feedback loops and an incentive system to encourage confidence and certainty
  • Test, Commit, Revert takes TDD further – run the tests, if they pass you commit and if they fail you revert the changes – incentive to take small steps
  • “Silence is the sound of risk” – you need feedback (unless you are perfect)
  • XP was a better product, but it lost (round one)
  • Electric or blade?
  • If XP starts with the premise that we want a process that anyone with talent and skill can contribute and grow at maximum velocity, the rest will take care of itself
  • Agile as a name is so attractive, nobody doesn’t want to be agile – the brand of Extreme Programming means if you are not extreme you are not going to say that you are
  • The fundamental question to ask first is “what do we have to lose” – if you have nothing to lose you need to try short and crazy experiments to find things nobody else is doing
  • 3X model (explore, expand, extract) – YOW! keynote “3x Explore, Expand, Extract” – depends which part of the curve you are on as to which tools in your bag you should use, rules of the game change depend on whether you are looking for a new source of value (explore), growing fast and trying to keep up (expand) or continue growing to pay for new explorations (extract)
  • poker vs software development
  • we will win with community and inclusion

TheAgileRevolution-180 (45 minutes)

Episode 159: What Colour Agile Would You Like Today with Nigel Dalton

Craig is at YOW! Hong Kong and is sitting with Nigel Dalton, Chief Inventor at REA Group and the Australian “Godfather of Agile” and they reminisce about:

  • Anita Sengupta’s YOW! Hong Kong keynote “The Future of Mars Exploration
  • Akin’s Rules of Spacecraft Design – “don’t mess it up, there are people involved”
  • Nigel Dalton’s YOW! Hong Kong talk “Agile is the Last Thing You Need
  • The two early experiments of Agile in Australia – Lonely Planet and Suncorp
  • The success of the REA technology teams today was the move into multidisciplinary teams where the influence comes from product – it was a difficult decision and chaos at the time
  • John Sullivan’s YOW! Hong Kong talk “A Presentation to Myself on Organisational Agile Transformations
  • ANZ is disrupting the power base of senior management – Shayne Elliott video about their way of working and Bluenotes podcasts, inspired by ING
  • The wish for REA is for new hires turn up and say they came to work here “because I heard the managers are awesome”
  • Google Project Aristotle brought honour back to the role of manager
  • The Mythical Man Month” – Frederick P. Brooks
  • Love Spotify for their humility, honesty and contribution to the industry, their high impact video series, “if you had a music streaming startup that was well funded based in New York and Stockholm with 700 people, then the Spotify model is perfect… If you don’t, you need to think about that for yourself.”
  • Data debt is going to be a huge issue in the future
  • Mark Hibberd’s YOW! Hong Kong talk “Lake, Swamp or Puddle: Data Quality at Scale
  • REA solved scaled prioritisation across lines of business works via a product council that meets monthly, they prioritise the work and re-allocate teams
  • Guilds are an internal meetup, taking a senior level interest by turning up and sponsoring a small budget ($2,000) for pizza or to bring in speakers is essential for success
  • Building architecture is a hot topic – open plan versus the Fog Creek “office for every engineer” – have found that you need overhear the conversations as everything moves so rapidly, had to sacrifice flexible work spaces as the number of employees grew
  • It’s interesting to see how some of the early Agile success stories have declined – have a change in leadership and the organisation changes
  • “Change the habits and change the work process and you get culture change for free” – Deming
  • The REA culture is likely to survive a change in leadership because the ownership of the way of working has been spread to all areas of the business and people get tech
  • Transformation doesn’t happen overnight – REA is 5 years in and probably 20% of the way
  • The Machine That Changed The World” blew the lid on the Toyota culture – Jim Womack reflected recently that he really wanted work and workplaces to be better
  • Reflected on why it was so hard to get meetups happening in the new REA Melbourne building and realised that no other professions have meetups, it’s a differentiator of working in tech, a healthy community of free sharing
  • Extreme Programming Explained” – many of the early adopters were inspired by this book
  • Blend of Lean systems thinking and Agile is likely to come back around again – we need to cross the streams
  • The Agilista frameworks methodologies like Kanban, Scrum, SAFe will become LeSS important #dadjokes
  • Starting to get comfortable about having conversations about productivity – immense gain to be had across the whole flow
  • John Shook – “Learning to See: Value Stream Mapping” – need the technical brains to read that book
  • Diversity and Inclusion is the solution to the shortfall of people working in tech
  • Sir John Bagot Glubb – “The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival” – it explains everything!
  • It’s time for Australia to double down on science
  • How do we make our biggest companies be more innovative?

TheAgileRevolution-159 (49 minutes)