Programme (timings tbc):


Sander Hoogendoorn: It’s a small world after all

Speaker, author, consultant and software architect Sander Hoogendoorn will debate the current state of agile in his entertaining, thought provoking and inspirational opening Keynote session. Sander is well known for his enthusiasm and motivational capabilities, innovative skills, team building, in-depth knowledge of the field, quick adaptation, broad vision and collaborative skills.

Sally Goble: It’s about swimming, but it’s not about swimming

Sally is a Senior Engineering Manager at Deliveroo, where she is currently responsible for creating a technical onboarding programme that will allow Deliveroo to double the size of their engineering team, seamlessly, in a year. For this closing keynote she will share a dramatic and entertaining story about solo swimming the channel and the lessons she learnt in the process including how to recognise what you are good at, resilience, team work, not taking no for an answer and dealing with failure and success.


Software Technology Track

Mike Harris: It’s XP Stupid!

Mike works as Software Engineering Lead for Elsevier, and spoke at the AOTB summer conference in both 2017 and 2018. In this session Mike will ask what does it mean to deliver software in an agile way and look at the trend of companies and projects adopting scrum and calling themselves agile, but not transitioning their development to XP.

Gwen Diagram: Security by Stealth

Gwen is a strong believer in making the tech industry as open and punk as possible and at AOTB we love her colourful hair and love of dinosaurs almost as much as we love her talks. Gwen is currently Engineering Manager (Quality) at Monzo Bank and prior to that was Principal Test Engineer at Sky. For Birmingham Tech Week Gwen will focus on the importance of security, something often neglected by teams.

Chris Pitts:Developing a Database Iteratively: A Developers’ Guide

Chris is an independent Agile Coach, Mentor and Developer, and Boss Bear of Thirsty Bear Software. After a brief foray as an electronics engineer, Chris was seduced by the Dark Side and now has over 15 years of experience in the software industry. In this talk he will go through some basic rules of database design.

Chris Oldwood: A Test of Strength

Chris is a freelance programmer who started out as a bedroom coder in the 80’s writing assembler on 8-bit micros; these days it’s enterprise grade technology in plush corporate offices. This session takes a look at why skimping on elements of the test structure, such as organisation, naming and scope only leads to pain and hardship in the long run. Along the way we’ll uncover the truth behind common folklore, such as only having one assertion per test.


Business and Products Track

Scott Fulton: How we used an Agile Mindset to deliver a complex user focussed product with no estimates, no projects, no developers and not a project manager in sight.

Scott will share his experiences with Avon and Somerset Police and how his team delivered a successful user-centric COTS product for officers and employees. Scott is passionate about creating working environments which allow creativity to flow and the status quo to be challenged; where rapid change is welcomed and it is safe to make mistakes and learn.

Steve Parks:Healthy Governance of Agile Delivery

Steve has led digital projects since 2004 for organisations ranging from MTV to the Cabinet Office. He now leads the team at Convivio, a digital services agency that helps government work better for people. One of the key areas in which delivery teams find friction is at the interface to the rest of the organisation, often with particular frustration at the overhead of governance. Steve conducted a discovery to explore the needs of stakeholders from governance processes in government digital projects, to understand how their needs might be met in other ways that are more compatible with agile ways of working. In this session Steve will share his research.

Allan Kelly: Agile, Digital & the new business heuristics

Allan is part of the AOTB committee and oversees the CfP each year, outside of the world of AOTB he usually works with innovative teams and smaller companies – including scale-ups; he specialises in product development and engineering. In this presentation Allan will explore the common threads linking Agile and Digital and explain why succeeding as a digital business needs Agile. He will also discuss what can digital learn from agile and some of the socio-economic challenges facing the digital world.

Liz Love: Learning from industry – Product Management practices for the win

Liz knows the day-to-day struggles of product managers all too well. She’s passionate about helping others to be successful in product management, whether that’s process improvement, mentoring or helping with best practices. Using her experience as Chief Customer Officer at ProdPad, Liz will talk about how to use a lean roadmap to clearly communicate high-level priorities.


Teams and Practices Track

Ceri Newton: A spoonful of sugar – harnessing language to achieve your goals

Ceri, aka the Mary Poppins of Agile, focuses much of her efforts on showing how we can use conscious language to get the best from ourselves and others, create safe spaces to work in and attain outcome-focussed delivery for healthy interactions with happy clients. In this session Ceri will take a closer look at some of the ways we use language. Skimming the surface of NLP, mindfulness and the latest neuroscientific research, to debunk some misconceptions and then look at the science behind some simple rules to change the words you use, to improve your outcomes and to propel you and your teams towards where you want to be.

David Michel: How evolutionary psychology validates the Agile mindset

David is a biophysical chemist by training who has been working in the software development industry for the last 10 years. In this multidisciplinary talk, he will draw from personality psychology and evolutionary biology to shed some lights into why we behave the way we do and why the agile mindset might be either easier or harder to adopt for certain personality types.

Victoria Morgan-Smith:Cracking the WIP – workshop

Victoria Morgan-Smith is the Director of Delivery, Internal Products at the Financial Times, where she has been helping teams succeed since 2009. Before this she was a developer for 9 years, a background which fuels her interest in finding fun ways to coach, energise and motivate teams into self-organising units. This is a 45 minute workshop that explores the importance of Limited WIP.

Jim Gumbley: Helping teams build securely, by removing bottlenecks

Jim is an OWASP chapter leader for Birmingham and a software consultant at ThoughtWorks focussing on risk and cyber-security. He works with software development and security teams in regulated industries such as Government, Healthcare and Finance to help them “shift left” and build security into applications, services and infrastructure. This session will look the common constraints that hold teams back from developing securely.


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