Bonus Track (K) 2014
Bonus Track (K)

Session type: Bonus

Agile Teams Slides & Videos 2014

Our Agile Teams sessions this year look at development teams and beyond into HR and using agile tactics.  The conference is also facilitating a session where you can contribute to the ‘design a degree’ challenge which will be feeding back the conferences view on what a computer science degree should look like.


Video of discussion :


JudithJudith Andresen (BERATUNG JUDITH ANDRESEN)    Open communication wins!

The majority of all IT projects fail. They ship too late, are over budget or come with a lack of quality.

Studies show: They don’t fail because of missing technical knowledge. The failure is a consequence of missing communication and / or miscommunication.

The requirements are unclear, the change requests are even more unclear. The team doesn’t discuss emerging issues properly. Some team members recognize errors and but they do not name them, because they are fear suffering disadvantages.

How can we establish an open conversation about the project aim and the progress of the project? What do I have to do? What should I expect from my team members?

What are our first steps into an open and fair communication, so that we are able to deliver our projects with success?

teamJudith Andresen is an experienced project coach with the infallible intuition to know what is blocking an IT project. She shows the way to common goals, adequate methods, and sensible communication while taking the respective situation into account. Judith Andresen regularly presents on company and project culture as well as on project methods.


DarciDDarci Dutcher (PhotoBox)    Design Collaboration

Design by committee is generally a terrible approach to designing software. Designers locked away in a dark room by themselves until they emerge with “”the answer”” is also generally a bad approach to designing software. So, what then, is the happy middle ground?

Collaboration! This session will discuss various ways to ensure that teams work collaboratively to build the best software possible, while avoiding the dreaded design by committee or hero design.

team  Darci Dutcher is a user experience designer and agile consultant with a background in cognitive psychology and technology. Her first job was designing airplane cockpits and she has also done UX work in industries including healthcare, travel, finance, publishing, not-for-profit, compliance, and technology. In addition to focusing on solutions that are delightful and easy to use, encouraging collaboration is one of the goals that Darci has wherever she goes.


JT profileibm2Jon Tilt (IBM) – An Agile Journey – Making The Elephant Dance

There are many books and talks on setting up a new agile project with a small team of engineers, its easy isn’t it? Just lock the team in a room, pick the latest practices, talk to each other a lot and keep learning!
But how does that scale? How do you go about turning a large scale enterprise project with several hundred engineers, based in multiple locations around the World, into an agile delivery engine?
Jon will share his experiences of working with teams from IBM’s software Group, and the secrets of teaching elephants to dance.

teamJon Tilt: Senior Technical Staff Member, IBM Software Group

Jon is passionate about the way we deliver our software – the ‘How’ as well as the ‘what’. He has led the transformation of many large scale enterprise products from the dark times of waterfall, through to nimbler days.
Jon graduated from the University of Exeter with a degree in Computer Science. Since then he has gained many years of experience in a number of roles in software engineering, although he will always be a tester at heart.


marcinMarcin Floryan (   #NoLearning

You are a developer, a manager, tester or maybe an analyst,… the bottom line is – you work with software. You’re coming to the conference because you recognise the importance of keeping up to date, to meet people, grow your network, share knowledge… I often hear people come because they want to learn new stuff. Great!

Our industry is increasingly recognising the value of continuous learning, we talk about building learning organisations and describe software development as knowledge discovery process.  Yet, partly thanks to the ultrasuperpower of our cognitive biases, we create an illusion of learning where there actually is #NoLearning.

We need learning organisations and they start with learning individuals and more often than not we fail at that first hurdle.  Join me to explore some common misconceptions about learning, discover examples of failures to learn at a grand scale and what we can all do, as individuals, to make sure that the permanent bombardment of our sensory inputs results in meaningful connections in our neural networks.

team I’m the last person to ask for permission. I continually learn to develop better software and to develop software better, to help others do it and to share that knowledge. I enjoy working with people and working with code always striving to see the whole. I embrace values of eXtreme programming and aim to delight customers by delivering value. I like to share my passion and enthusiasm by speaking publicly to communities small and large and occasionally scribbling some thoughts at


MikePearceMike Pearce (MOO.COM)    How big is it? A guide to agile estimation practices

Estimating the size of stories, features or work can be confusing. With fibonacci, a modified fibonacci, t-shirt sizes, animals and other various and arbitrary methods of sizing things, it’s no wonder the team often struggles with it and the business often has little, or no confidence in the estimates from your team. This talk will look at why we estimate, how we can estimate better and what velocity, cycle time and A.R.E’s are and why you really need to pay attention to the white elephant in your room!

We’ll delve into the gamut of estimating methods, weighing up the pros and cons of each and discuss how to estimate stories, how to use these estimates to work out when, or how much can be delivered and how to get better at sizing almost anything you like with accuracy, as well as helping the business understand your estimates and what they mean (and don’t mean!) and whether, in fact, estimating is even necessary! There will be audience participation, dogs and comedy.

So, if you want people to take your estimates seriously and to use them as a real, accurate guide for predicting delivery, then join me and learn how.

team  Mike Pearce is a development manager working for a in Shoreditch, London. He’s been a passionate scrum master and an outspoken agile coach and likes to talk at length about anything to do with improving team performance, engagement and happiness. He has previously spoken at the Scrum Alliance Global Gathering in 2011 and at several user groups including PHP London and has done in-house Agile Training for iBuildings UK and London and Partners.


GeorgianaGeorgiana Mannion & Kev McCabe    (Process In Colour)   Pairing isn’t just for developers

In an age where people liquidity is important, we humans need to learn to work together closer and more effectively, just like the hunter-gatherer days. Multiple studies have proven that pairing on tasks reduces the overall time taken and increases the quality of the output. Pair programming has been something developers have been doing in an ad-hoc fashion over the years and picked up a lot of traction in the Agile era. Pairing shouldn’t be limited to just developers and it shouldn’t be limited to just pairs. Two minds are greater than one, three even greater but maybe too many cooks spoil the broth? Three Amigos, Famous Five, Secret Seven.

In this session Georgie (BA) and Kev (DEV) will give their insight into cross-discipline pairing. From a BA with little development experience, and a DEV with little BA experience, this light hearted session will cover the highs and lows of pairing. Pairing can be effective if some simple rules are followed and even the most solitary person will enjoy pairing with others (or at least tolerate). We’ll also touch upon the basics of people liquidity and skills matrices.

What you will come away with:
• Statistics on pairing both for and against
• Tips and Tricks for dealing with your pairs
• The habits of effective Pairs
• Typical Pairing situations
• That pairing isn’t just for Devs it’s for BAs, Testers, Designers and everyone.
• How to easily go from 0-3 on your skills matrix

team Georgie started her career in Mental Health Nursing and worked through HR, Project Management and Software Implementation but her heart has always been in Business Analysis. She is now a Freelance BA, Coach and Trainer, currently working at General Electric on projects alongside all the multi-disciplines of the team. She is a committee member for IIBA North West & East, organising events for the Business Analysis Community. She has an interest in problem solving, learning everything (whether useful or not), and empowering others. She plays in a few bands, mentors new BAs and is involved in charitable causes. Her BA related nonsense is tweeted at: @processincolour

team  Kev has worked with large corporations in the Finance, Media and E-commerce spaces. He’s currently the Solutions Architect & Coach for General Electric; he has had an Interest in all things Agile since 2002, mainly XP, but of late Scrum & Kanban having become a Certified Scrum Master in 2012 and Accredited Kanban Practitioner in 2013. Kev started with ColdFusion in 1996 version 2 when it came free with O’Reily’s WebSite Professional. Kev is an Adobe Community Professional and runs the London CFML & Web Community. He maintains a blog @ and is active on twitter at: @bigmadkev



danphippsDan Phipps – Hiring well – how to grow and maintain effective agile teams

Hiring well- how to grow and maintain effective agile teams Slides PDF
High performing teams are comprised of great people working within a great culture. Hiring people that tick both boxes can be very challenging.

Last year, we were tasked with rapidly growing the R&D team, without diluting culture or productivity. To achieve this, we had to rethink our whole hiring process and rebuild it into something much more effective and efficient.

In this talk, I’ll share the approaches we used to more than double the size of the R&D team over the last year. We’ll discuss how we started with our culture and values and the process, tools and of course, most importantly, the people we involved to hire well. We’ll also cover the steps we’ve taken to attract the right kind of people and ensure we retain them.  If you’re involved in interviewing Engineers or managing them, this session will provide useful lessons learnt and techniques for growing and maintaining healthy, effective agile teams.

team Dan is one of NewVoiceMedia¹s DevOps Managers. While working with software for over 10 years Dan’s true passion lies in working with people and helping them get the best out of themselves and the software that they develop.

Dan has been instrumental in the growth of the rapidly growing engineering team fulfilling roles of Developer, Scrum Master and currently DevOps manager throughout his career, growing a small start-up into a multi-national company gaining a passion and insight into the processes, products and people at every level.


MeriWilliamsMeri Williams (ChromeRose)   Awesome People Management with Agile

Agile people management is two things — applying agile principles to managing people, and also figuring out how to manage people working with agile approaches. Traditional once-a-year reviews with annual targets are hardly very agile (or useful). How do we create space for our people to be awesome? Do we even need managers at all in agile?    

Agile software development is revolutionary compared to traditional waterfall development — faster, better quality, more of the right things delivered often with smaller & leaner teams. Traditional people management quite frankly sucks in a similar way — how can we steal some of the best bits of agile software development and improve people management in a similar way?

And how do we change our approaches for managing, coaching, mentoring and developing people to better suit our agile ways of working? After all, you can’t set specific “you must do x by y date” targets for someone if the team is meant to decide what is most important sprint by sprint, can you? In this session we’ll look at some successful transposition of agile techniques over to people management, how to make sure we don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, and also some specific tools & techniques for Just Enough management in an agile setting.

team Meri is a geek, a manager, and a manager of geeks. She’s a CTO and also manages her own micro-consultancy ChromeRose which helps digital & technical teams be brilliant. Previously she led the Delivery Team at the Government Digital Service and worked in Procter & Gamble’s Global Business Services organisation for 10 years, starting out as a Developer, moving on to Product Management, and finally Programme & Engineering/Operations Management. She’s led teams ranging in size from 30 to 300, mostly with folks spread across the world.

She studied Computer Science with a focus on artificial intelligence, so she still thinks of herself as a proper geek and imagines she always has a soldering iron in her back pocket—though sadly the reality isn’t so cool.

A published author and previous winner of the BCS Young IT Professional of the Year in the UK IT Industry Awards, she sponsors scholarships to help more girls start STEM careers in her hometown of Stellenbosch, South Africa. In her spare time she enjoys baking, gaming, surfing and her obsession with hot smoking Texas-style BBQ.


teamAgile on the Beach invite you to : Design a Degree

This year one of the lunchtime sessions will invite you to contribute to designing the ultimate degree in software engineering.

We hear from employers and industry all the time that the education system is failing to produce enough high quality IT graduates.  Let’s change that!

What should a future computing related degree look like? Which topics, skills or knowledge areas should be included? How can courses be even better designed/delivered to prepare students with the skills needed by industry?”

The IT industry is developing very quickly. Unlike many most other subjects, a lot of new techniques and knowledge are created and developed within industry including by several businesses and people who are part of Agile on the Beach 2014. Examples include the Agile Manifesto itself, Test Driven Development, Behavioural Driven Development, Selenium as well as, of course, many, many open source projects which play a part in developing how our industry works.

For the first year Agile on the Beach will be seeking ideas from delegates and bringing them together to produce a paper outlining this conference’s view of the future for computing degrees or further education. There will be a whiteboard in the main “coffee” room where post-it notes can be added to the board. If your idea is already on the board then simply add a dot to it. There will also be a number of representatives from various educational institutions – Falmouth and Plymouth Universities, Cornwall and Truro & Penwith Colleges –  around during the conference to discuss any views. Collectively we aim to pull together a diverse and varied range of views and ideas from specific knowledge areas to more practical application approaches that we feel should be part of the future. This will be published for Universities and colleges to use to help inform their course design.

We all naturally accept that computing education is quite varied, and there are specialist focus areas adopted by individual courses. You may also wish to add thoughts on non-technical areas in which you like students/potential employees to have enhanced tuition. This exercise is not to define every specific degree in detail, but to provide an outline of the skills and knowledge areas that industry feels are important and should be considered by institutions as part of a future degree programme.

On Friday lunchtime there will be a discussion over the results collected with particular focus on “what next”. Should we publish asking for a response from Universities? Would evaluating and rating current course offerings against the outcomes be useful? Is it practical to publish a table of top rated courses? Could we produce an accreditation scheme for Universities who we believe are up to the mark? After identifying great courses, how can we drive increased student numbers through those courses? We look forward to receiving your views with interest.

Pia-Maria Thoren GreenBullet    Agile HR and Agile leadership in a nutshell



Agile HR in a nutshell

The workshop will further explore the questions above and how HR can help managers to lead in a way that increases intrinsic employee motivation with a minimum of control and maximum freedom and empowerment. We will together do some exercises that would clarify HRs important role when supporting the business in changing from non-agile to agile.

We will also discuss what the main differences are between traditional and agile HR processes and why an agile organization needs another way of working.   

Pia-Maria is a Talent management strategy & implementation consultant and devoted change agent with an enterprise perspective. Her main area of interest is how to apply agile values to HR and people management and use this to make people work towards a common vision through employee engagement.

In this speech, Pia-Maria will share experiences from implementing Agile performance management in Volvo Cars worldwide and what the HR challenges are to move from a non-agile to an agile organization.

  • How can HR support managers and employees and create an agile framework with the right tools and guidelines to create high performance in an ever changing environment?
  • What are the pitfalls and the success factors and how do you foster a culture where you put the team before yourself?
  • How important is it to have a good supporting HR/IT-system and what should you think about when investing in an IT-solution that will support an agile way of working?

We will also discuss what the main differences are between traditional and agile HR processes and why an agile organization cannot keep an old HR-framework with detailed processes and yearly assessments. Further, we will look at how you can replace the traditional HR-processes and work in a more flexible manner, providing new tools and methods for increased engagement that in the end will lead to a more profitable company.

team  Pia-Maria is a People and Talent management consultant and devoted change agent with an enterprise perspective. Her main area of interest is how to apply agile values to HR and people management and use this to make people work towards a common vision through employee engagement.

Pia-Maria has a long experience from working as a consultant with agile Talent and People management in international organizations and she is the owner and General manager of GreenBullet since 6 years with offices in Goteborg and Stockholm, Sweden.

Pia-Maria is also the founder of Agile People Sweden, a yearly conference held in Stockholm that focuses on bringing HR, IT and management together to create better and more agile organizations.

SeanMoirSean Moir (Facilligent)    The String Game

The string game

In this session, Sean demonstrates a lightweight alternative to Estimating which can be substituted in a number of cases. Software systems are often complex which can mean that accurate Estimating is not possible without trawling through the code base to uncover hidden dependencies.

In Lean terms, Estimating is waste since it doesn’t directly contribute to product. When we have enough data, we can use Probablistic Planning techniques, but what about before we have a large set of data?

What if our broad brush Estimates could be considered good enough?
What if we could forecast story duration based on previous performance?
What if we could answer almost every conceivable delivery forecast question to a known degree of certainty?

This session aims to equip you with a simple technique to answer all of these questions using a small amount of data.

team  Sean has 20 years experience in Software Engineering in a variety of roles, giving him sound footing in Development, Leadership and Coaching camps.

He is interested in making development more enjoyable and productive, in learning continuously, and in sharing knowledge.

He is an active member of various Agile MeetUp groups in London and around the M4, and is a founder member of Swindon Agile Practitioners.

Sean works on a freelance basis to help businesses and organisations to understand the principles of Agility, and how they can apply these for their benefit.
Attendees of AOTB 2013 may remember Sean from his Lightning Talk on The Mikado Method.