Agile, software development

Today’s Presentation: Navigating the Slippery Slope of Emergent Design #Agile #SoftwareDevelopment #DevNexus

IMG_1190 2We had a great day here in Atlanta for the DevNexus Conference. Venkat Subramaniam kicked off the morning with a funny and thoughtful keynote and I have learned so much in all of the presentations I’ve attended.

The organizers outdid themselves on speaker gifts this year – my favorite being the awesome personalized jersey.

The turnout for my 4:00 PM slot impressed me – by 4:00 at a conference like this, my brain is usually beyond full. I appreciated their interest and attentiveness! If the free building block toy giveaways helped at all, W00t!

Several people asked me if I would make the slide deck available. You can view the entire presentation below. If you want a downloadable version, just send me a private message and I’ll make sure you get it.

Agile, software development

DevNexus 2019

As I sit here putting the finishing touches on my presentation for DevNexus 2019, I realize just how excited I am about this year’s conference. I used to say DevNexus was a great “smaller, regional conference,” but it has grown and improved so much over the years that it has become one of my favorite conferences to attend. Every time I go I come back energized — full of new ideas and gained knowledge.

I went a new direction with my presentation this year. I’ve have been introducing people to Agile Development for sooooo looooong… This time, I assume everyone already has the basics down, allowing myself to dig a lot deeper, and to get more technical. One of the things I love most is helping people solve real word problems!

Navigating the Slippery Slope of Emergent Design confronts a common problem I see on a number of maturing Agile teams. With many companies lacking a Software Architect role, teams find themselves forced to make important decisions mid-sprint, often from a naturally-occurring miopic viewpoint, with sometimes disastrous consequences later on in the project.

How can this be avoided? I would LOVE to talk to you all about it! If you’re attending the conference, I invite you to come chat with me at 4:00 PM on Thursday, March 6 in room 105.

Agile, Project Management

How to Put Your #TechnicalDebt Budget on a Diet #Agile #DevNexus @DevNexus

As an application development manager, I spend a good deal of my day thinking about technical debt. Some people think the concept of “technical debt” didn’t exist in Waterfall projects, but it’s really been around since the beginning of code — the difference is back when, we weren’t doing it on purpose. Now we’ve always seen some debate, going way back, with folks arguing messy code can’t count as debt; however, just like a financial debt, whether you applied for a loan or got hit with a big speeding ticket, you still have to pay it (often out of finite funds).

As part of our Agile journey, my teams are currently learning new ways to address technical debt. It won’t do a bit of good to clean up the current debt if you don’t also put your debt on a diet to reduce the rate of accumulation of new debt. That’s like taking out a new credit card to balance transfer and pay off another card… and then maxing out that card again!

Technical debt, having become my main focus recently, is what I’ve been invited to speak about at the DevNexus 2017 conference in Atlanta February 22-24. I spoke at this conference in 2015 and I’m so happy to be coming back. I will still talk a bit about my passions, Agile and User Experience, but the main focus this year will be on the technical, and often political, side of Agile.

Many Agile teams have a hard time managing technical debt. Like foundational stories, technical debt stories often get pushed to the bottom of a product owner’s priority list. It seems like we fight a constant battle between dealing with our mess and wanting to deliver the sexy new feature. Some of the items I’ll cover include:

  • What technical debt is (and what it isn’t)
  • Good and bad sources of technical debt
  • Techniques to reduce the production of more debt
  • Creating a debt reduction value proposition for product owners and customers
  • In-sprint options for dealing with debt (and foundational stories)

The conference sold out last month, so it’s too lake to get tickets. However, as part of the overall presentation, I’ll add some content on technical debt here. If anyone would like a specific question answered, please feel free to contact me.

Product Management

“Product management skills are coveted….in the long run great product management usually makes the difference between winning and losing.”

In Silicon Valley, software engineer is synonymous with eye-watering compensation. Monthly salaries for engineering interns (about $81,600 per year annualized) are about twice the median wage in the rest of the country. While the reality of high-paying coding jobs is not wrong, programming isn’t the only way to climb Silicon Valley’s career ladder, and it’s…

via The highest paid workers in Silicon Valley are not software engineers — Quartz