Episode 160: Agile Lessons From My Younger Self with John Sullivan

Craig is at YOW! Hong Kong and has a chat with John Sullivan, the CEO at Elabor8, and they talk about his Agile journey in Australia from ThoughtWorks to Sensis to Qantas to MYOB and the challenges and learnings along the way

  • The Agile Revolution episode 159 “What Colour Agile Would You Like Today with Nigel Dalton”
  • Extreme Programming Explained” by Kent Beck
  • Sensis was a very early corporate in Australia that adopted Agile from beginning to end, moved teams out of the building so they could work uninhibited in an Agile way
  • The technology teams almost always aren’t the problem with product delivery – it is the product team taking an idea from the top to the bottom of the organisation and getting it in a form that is fit for customers
  • Not happy Jan! – Sensis had their focus on print and was not willing to disrupt
  • You need sponsorship and objectives right from the top if you want to make change – otherwise there are reasons why you do what you do and you won’t change
  • Do the things that are the hardest to do because then that gives you the freedom to do the things you want to do
  • Need to stop thinking about Agile as an institutional process
  • You can’t focus on the practices, you have to become Agile and then adopt practices that are the right thing to do
  • In relation to feedback, you need to value people’s effort and return something of greater value than what they put in
  • A real Agile digital transformation is about the shift to provide something that people want to use and then we can monetise it, which means you need to build something people need not what you think they want
  • Need to put teams together for a customer journey as opposed to divisional handoffs – that is an Agile digital transformation
  • John Sullivan’s YOW! Hong Kong talk – “A Presentation to Myself on Organisational Agile Transformations”
  • The theory is that the twelve principles were written to be too strict to apply and too heavy to consume at the time – the manifesto was written to be flexible around those principles – now the manifesto gives people too much slack
  • The Agile Revolution episode 119 “Agile (Raccoon) is Dead with “Pragmatic” Dave Thomas”
  • John Sullivan’s YOW! CTO Summit talk “A Common Vision is a Matter of Principle” where he mentions that platform manifesto
  • We need to stop trading off doing the right thing because the shortcuts drag down the productivity and it becomes an anchor – do the right thing right now, pay the cost, take the ownership and don’t give in on the principles

TheAgileRevolution-160 (51 minutes)

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Episode 155: Continuous Delivery Culture at Pushpay with Ian Randall

Craig is at YOW! West in Perth and sits down with Ian Randall, Engineering Lead at Pushpay and co-organiser of the Codemania conference in New Zealand and they chat about:

  • The size of the New Zealand banking system and small number of banks makes it very easy to innovate in the payments space
  • YOW! West talk “From Inception to Production – A Continuous Delivery Story
  • The more times you the do the things that are hard and hurt, opens up the opportunities for automation
  • Blameless Retrospective (John Allspaw, Etsy, 2012) – promise that there will be no retribution or consequence for decisions that anybody made during an incident, they made the best decisions that they knew at the time, they were operating in a system that allowed you to make that system in the moment – therefore means that people are not afraid to make decisions because they know they are not held to blame for making a mistake
  • Sidney Dekker “Just Culture
  • 5 Whys – don’t ask why until you reach the root cause analysis, because there are often moire contributing factors and also when you ask why you end up with who (which is blame)
  • WOMing – ensure it works on my machine before it leaves your laptop

TheAgileRevolution-155 (19 minutes)

Episode 154: Agile Rocket Science with Dr. Anita Sengupta

Craig is at YOW! West in Perth and sits down with Dr. Anita Sengupta, a rocket scientist and aerospace engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (and since this interview was recorded now a Senior Vice President at Hyperloop One). They geek out talking about space exploration as well as the important topic of diversity:

  • YOW! West keynote “The Future of Mars Exploration” and AATC 2017 keynote “Engineering the Red Planet
  • 7 Minutes of Terror: The Challenges of Getting to Mars
  • When you are doing something for the first time, you have to come up with out of the box solutions – first you need to make it work, and then you need to make it last
  • The biggest issue is to get enough people into the pipeline from under-represented groups, one thing we can do is more public outreach at the school level
  • You come up with more interesting solutions when you work with diverse teams, and, when you intersect with other universes you learn so much

TheAgileRevolution-154 (20 minutes)

 

Episode 152: Communities of Practice, Onions, Bus Stops and Shopfronts with Emily Webber

Craig is at YOW! Conference and spends some time with Emily Webber, Agile Coach and author of “Building Successful Communities of Practice” and “The Agile Team Onion” and they chat about:

TheAgileRevolution-152 (33 minutes)

Episode 151: Software Craftsmanship with “Uncle Bob” Martin

Craig and Tony are at YOW! Conference and are honoured to sit down with Robert C. Martin (aka Uncle Bob), signatory to the Manifesto for Agile Software Development and author of numerous books including “Clean Code“, “The Clean Coder” and “Clean Architecture” and they discuss:

  • YOW! 2016 keynote “The Scribe’s Oath” as well as “Effective Estimation (or: How not to Lie)
  • Software craftsmanship has always been the work of individuals – not sure we have really achieved collaboration in programming
  • Pair programming – some surgeons like to wash their hands and some surgeons don’t!
  • Woody Zuill’s talk “Mob Programming, A Whole Team Approach
  • CODE – Uncle Bob’s “terrible” software development process before he stumbled across Extreme Programming and the wiki
  • Kent Beck’s “Extreme Programming” article for the C++ Report
  • The story behind the forming of “The Lightweight Process Summit”
  • The 1995 OOPSLA Scrum Paper
  • Jim Coplien “Borland Software Craftsmanship” paper and later “Organizational Patterns of Agile Software Development” – the foreshadowing of Agile as we know it today
  • Test Driven Development is something you learn over very many difficult weeks or months, it is a hard concept to teach, it is becoming more accepted but still slowly
  • “Clean Code” – had to abandon a tradition in software development when writing this book and laid out rules telling people what to do
  • “The Clean Coder” – was a backlog from “Clean Code” about how to be a professional programmer
  • The ranks of programmers are doubling every 5 years, so half the people doing the work have less than five years experience, the industry is in a state of perpetual inexperience
  • Programming 101” on cleancoders.com – we need to understand the basics
  • Craftsmanship movement began as a response to the technical community feeling like they were kicked out of the “agile” house that they built as it became more about people and process – the desire is to bring the two camps back together
  • Kent Beck said “The goal of agile was to heal the divide between technology and business” – the focus has been mostly on the business side
  • We need a set of ethics and standards that define a profession for software development – the agile and software craftsmanship communities are the right ones to do this as it needs to be done by practitioner
  • The Programmer’s Oath – a starting point for the ethics conversation

TheAgileRevolution-151 (45 minutes)

Episode 149: Continuous Delivery with Dave Farley

Craig, Tony and honorary Revolutionist Pete Sellars are at YOW! Conference and sit down with Dave Farley, co-author of “Continuous Delivery” and they chat about the following

  • There are anti-patterns with doing XP at scale, continuous delivery was born from the learnings from that
  • Continuous delivery is just extending continuous integration to more of the software development practice (and continuous integration requires test driven development)
  • Continuous delivery works because it is the application of the scientific method to software development
  • If you work in an iterative, imperative, experimental way and you take continuous learning seriously and take cycle time as a serious measurement you will naturally drive out agile, lean, systems theory and DevOps
  • YOW! 2016 presentation “The Rationale for Continuous Delivery
  • Most common two ways to introduce continuous delivery to your organisation – need to get cover from senior management to make change or you do it secretly at the grass roots – the fast feedback cycle is important (build feedback in about 5 minutes and ready and deployable in about an hour)
  • DevOps is a terrible name – we are talking about collaborative cross functional teams and it is more than just developers and operations
  • Continuous delivery is focused on shortening the feedback cycle from having an idea to getting the idea into the hands of users and figuring out what our users make of the idea – that’s software development, to do whatever it takes
  • Continuous delivery is working in a way so that my software is always in a releasable state, continuous deployment is if all my automation says my software is in a working state I can just automatically push it to production
  • We have data to show that continuous delivery makes high quality software faster, creates more money for the organisations that use it, reduces defect rates significantly and makes people working in that environment happier
  • It changes the way you design, approach databases and the way you test
  • Scott Ambler’s “Refactoring Databases” book
  • Continuous Delivery tools still aren’t mature enough
  • The deployment pipeline is a seriously strategic resource because it is your only route to Production – need to be able to version and test it like any other Production code
  • It’s as much about the culture of the team than it is about the technology, it frees teams up to do experimentation

TheAgileRevolution-149 (40 minutes)

Episode 148: The Science of Human Personality with Dr. Brian Little

Craig is at YOW! Conference in Sydney and talks science and psychology with Dr. Brian Little, author of “Me, Myself and Us” and professor at Cambridge University and Carleton University and they analyse:

  • Keynote talk at YOW! 2016 “Personalities at Work
  • There are 5 dimensions of personality – OCEAN – openness, conscientiousness. extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism
  • Biogenic features of personality – neurophysiology, sociogenic and idiogenic
  • We can often act out of character, we are not bound by our biochemistry
  • What are the core projects in your life that drive your behaviour
  • Skeptical of personality tests at work such as Myers-Briggs because the results are not fixed, they are good for starting a conversation but deadly if they conclude a conversation
  • Don’t just ask “How are you doing?” but ask “Really, how are you doing?” to show that you are taking an interest and care in your people and their projects and aspirations
  • We need to look at the research in this space to find exercises that we can use in the workspace to better help and understand our people
  • “Me, Myself and Us” is written for the person who is waiting in Starbucks for that friend that is late again
  • TED talk “Who Are You, Really? The Puzzle of Personality” (it has 6 milliion views – about 5.99 million more than this podcast!)
  • Research is currently looking at the neuro-slant of personality traits

TheAgileRevolution-148 (24 minutes)