What pictures do we have in our minds when we think about effective software development? Code quality, continuous integration, pair programming or what have you. While I’m a big fan of all of them I would challenge the concept that this is the only, or the most important, area which developers should focus on.
Building software is a collective effort of people working in different roles and this should always be a starting point to a discussion about effectiveness. The missing piece may be software craftsmanship but it may also be handful of dull chores that few would fancy doing. How can we tell? What should we use as guidance? And, at the end of the day, how to build software effectively?
It all starts with understanding how the work is done. Usually visualization is a good start. Then we can focus on effective flow of work. Work in progress limits are very helpful here. And then the fun starts. The process constrained in such a way starts showing inefficiencies while encouraging the team to deal with them. Will that always be about craftsmanship? I doubt that.
The session will show how to use elements of Kanban to improve effectiveness of teams building software while encouraging developers to look at a big picture.
Discussion panel: "Freaks of the Freaks: Talking About Minorities in IT"
The session will start with short talks by two motivated women: Jessika Kerr and Kamila Sidor; but this year we will not limit ourselves solely to the issue of female empowerment. The invited panelists, together with the audience, will have a chance to discuss the gender/racial/cultural(im)balance of the IT community. Is the current sex ratio natural? Are opportunities equal? Why are those few people making so much fuss? Should diversity be fostered? Is there a gain somewhere? Or should we all just grow white beards? We hope to make the panel both inspiring and concrete. Come to listen, learn, and share your ideas.
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