Process of Software Development Track

Jim Newkirk
Jim Newkirk
Track Chair
The goal of the Process of Software Development Track is to shed light on real-world challenges, share success and horror stories, and describe key practices for developing and maintaining software. This track will stress the practical applications and implications of evolving software practices for team members. If you are a developer, tester, business analyst, coach, manager, or anyone else with a stake in delivering high-quality software, you will find practical information that you will be able to take back to your workplace and use immediately.

Topics we intend to cover in this track include:
  • How do you stay true to your values and principles, and...
  • When is it appropriate to modify them to survive in the larger context?
  • What team structures work best at scale?
  • Successful coaching and mentoring strategies
  • Creating a productive team environment
  • Tools and practices that enable teams to work more effectively

Breakout Sessions

Richard Seroter
Richard Seroter
Sr. Product Manager
CenturyLink Cloud

Week in the Life: How one Org’s People, Processes and Technology Deliver Services Effectively
Tuesday: 9:45 - 10:30am

What does DevOps *really* look like? What sort of real-life roles play a part in the service delivery? In this session, we’ll look at how the CenturyLink Cloud executes on a shared vision to deliver a global service at scale. We’ll walk through an average week and see how Operations, Development, Product, Marketing, and Sales work together. This session includes discussion of organization charts, product/project planning, engineering practices, and shared tooling that help us collaborate with distributed teams in rapid iterations. Whether representing an established enterprise or a startup, the audience will find practical advice that helps take DevOps principles and turn them into meaningful action.
Darren Davis
Darren Davis
Director Software Engineering
Providence Health & Services

The Secret History of Kanban
Tuesday: 10:45 - 11:30am

Kanban is one of the fastest-growing development methodologies today. Teams increasingly turn to Kanban to simplify and streamline their agile development, but few people know the inside story of how and why Kanban was created. The Secret History of Kanban pulls back the curtain and gives you a first-hand account of how Kanban went from being a colossal failure to a startling success, presented by one of the original team leaders. Learn how a team turned theory into practice, what it means for the future of Agile, and how you can apply those lessons in your own organization.
Peter Provost
Peter Provost
Principal Group Program Manager

“I Think” vs “I Know” – Why You Need Customer Analytics
Tuesday: 1:45 - 2:30pm

Agile software development has changed the way we build software, enabling us to ship more value to customers at an ever increasing rate. Today it is common to see apps of every kind shipping more frequently than we ever imagined. Monthly, weekly or even daily releases are becoming common. For product owners this presents a number of new challenges. When we shipped our product once a year, you had plenty of time to test out new ideas with customers and insiders. You had time to collect feedback from customers directly or through indirect channels like forums. But when your product ships every week, you need something better. You need direct measurements and analytics to understand how your customers are using your app and where you need to focus your investments. In this talk, long-time Agilista Peter Provost will take you through his vision of how customer analytics and experimentation can help you, the Product Owner, make the right backlog decisions to deliver the right features quickly and effectively.
Martin Hinshelwood
Martin Hinshelwood
naked ALM Consulting

Big Scrum: All You Need and It’s Not Enough
Tuesday: 3:45 - 4:30pm

The proliferation of scaling frameworks shows there are real challenges in scaling agility, and the solutions don’t seem to involve inventing yet more frameworks or formal processes. So then, why is it so hard to find success in agility at scale?

Large scale agility can be found in exploiting Scrum’s simplicity while emerging and sustaining technical excellence. Something that sounds so easy shouldn't be so hard, and for some it isn't. This session highlights successes in growing large scale agility using Big Scrum while maintaining technical excellence to deliver value faster.
Mitch Lacey
Mitch lacey
Agile Practitioner & Trainer
Mitch Lacey & Associates

Certification and Professional Standards
Tuesday: 4:45 - 5:30pm

The alphabet soup certification game: CSM, PSM, ACP, PMP, CSPO, PSD, PgMP, ITSQB, CPLP. The certification list just goes on and on and on with no end in sight. Do these add value? Do they matter? Should you get certified in something? Different companies, cultures and people value different things, so what is the value in a single certification?

Come listen to Mitch Lacey, alphabet soup guy, talk about different certifications, how he has seen them valued (and devalued) across the globe and why any of this stuff really matters, because maybe it doesn’t.
Chris Jee
Chris Jee
Engineering Manager

More than Code: How Etsy Engineers Drive Product Changes
Wednesday: 9:45 - 10:30am

At Etsy ideas for product changes come from almost anywhere in the company, including engineering. Building an environment that enables such a breadth of idea creation requires a culture and set of tactics to encourage, test and evaluate high quality ideas.

In this talk, we will cover some of the tactics employed at Etsy, from creating an understanding of the business, through idea evaluation, launching and embracing and accepting failure.
Related Resources:

GeekWire interview with Mike Brittain, Engineering Director at Etsy

Forbes: The Future Workplace Is Now: How Etsy Makes 30 Innovations Per Day by ALM Forum 2014 Keynote speaker Steve Denning

ALM Forum 2014 Plenary: Mike Brittain - Principles and Practices of Continuous Deployment

Aaron Bjork
Aaron Bjork
Principal Group Program Manager

Ten Reasons Your Agile Team Will Fail
Wednesday: 10:45 - 11:30am

Listen as Aaron Bjork digs into reasons why agile teams struggle to find success. Your teams run daily standups, they’ve learned to play planning poker, but it’s still not working… argh! In this session we’ll look beyond the basics and uncover some of the not-so-obvious reasons agile teams fail.
Dan North
Dan North
Industry Legend & Author

Why Agile Doesn't Scale (and What You Can Do about It)
Wednesday: 1:45 - 2:30pm

Dan North believes agile scales if teams achieve contextual consistency through shared guiding principles, a clear vision and a common understanding.
Robert Pieper
Robert Pieper
Sr. Consultant

Your Agile Team Needs a Therapist
Wednesday: 3:45 - 4:30pm

Often agile teams perform only like a collection of individuals, not like a team. Individuals with in-demand and specific technological skills sets are often in short supply. Teams are put together to tackle projects and then dissolved and reassembled to take on the next project. No agile framework seems to have the answer to your team’s problems. The issues you might see include a lack of internal team trust, passive members that don’t want to fight, or aggressive members that dominate the conversation.

In this presentation we will discuss ideas around team forming, building, and maintaining. We will address trust and trustworthiness. We will address conflict mining to leverage differing ideas for the common good.

If you are a ScrumMaster, team lead, manager, director, or even an agile team member, you may be dealing with these issues and might start to feel your role is more like that of a therapist. Regardless of your role on the team or organization, there is always something to learn about how to work with others on a team to get better and to keep the focus on delivering high-quality, high-value software and remain responsive to change.
Chris Sells
Chris Sells
Product Manager

Trends in Cross-Platform Mobile Apps
Wednesday: 4:45 - 5:30pm

Mobile is exploding, replacing the web as the primary way that people experience the internet. With that changing landscape, developers of all kinds are struggling to find a way to support both iOS and Android with first-class mobile experiences (and some of them even care about Windows Phone, too). In this talk, we’ll talk about trends in mobile developer techniques for targeting multiple platforms.
Kate Matsudaira
Kate Matsudaira
Founder & CEO

Where Does Success Come From?
Thursday: 9:45 - 10:30am

You go to meetings. You process your inbox. You might make a presentation here and there. You certainly seem busy. But I bet if I asked your team what it is you do all day long, most of them would say, “I have no idea”. And come to think of it, do you know how exactly they spend every day?

In today’s new generation of tech company, leadership and responsibility is more distributed than ever before. People are expected to get the job done, without someone watching or directing every move all along the way. Teams are focused on results, not roles.

So as leaders in increasingly flat organizations without the traditional hierarchy and process of the past, how can we make sure we are still leading effectively? What’s the balance between too hands-on and too hands-off?

Your job as a leader is to let your team do what they’re good at, but you can only give over autonomy once you’ve given them the tools they need and trust that they can execute without you watching over their shoulder. The talk will cover strategies to help you build trust with your team and set up the right guard rails to loosen your grip on the steering wheel and give people what they want in a leader.
Skip Angel
Skip Angel
Agile Coach
Rally Software

Build the Right Thing: Build the Features Customers Actually Want that Return Value
Thursday: 10:45 - 11:30am

Are your teams building the right things, the right way? How do you know?

With a Lean and agile mindset, you need to focus strategic planning where it matters most: limiting waste, increasing economic value, planning fewer and more valuable features in shorter timeframes, and leveraging frequent feedback loops to delight stakeholders faster.

In this session we’ll take you beyond agile processes and ceremonies to agile at the business level, so your teams can do the work that creates the most value for your business. You’ll learn how to organize around value and come away understanding:

  • Recognize the leading indicators of product & application success
  • Adopt methods and tools to research the market and detect business opportunities
  • Balance long-term strategies with short-term delivery of business value
  • Apply foundational concepts of product lifecycles and go-to-market strategy
  • Understand economic prioritization and Total Cost of Ownership
  • Develop customer engagement models
  • Measure post-delivery value by understanding net lifecycle profits
Matt Stine
Matt Stine
Technical Product Manager

To Microservices and Beyond
Thursday: 1:30 - 2:15pm

(abstract to come soon)
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