Chief Scientist at ThoughtWorks (USA)
The 2013 conference was a huge success!
We are busy uploading the presentations and videos from the conference, please see the links below.
The theme for the conference was ‘Agility in Africa‘. The conference took place at the Alexander Theatre in Braamfontein, Johannesburg on the 12th and 13th of August 2013.
The videos of the conference talks can be found here
Chief Scientist at ThoughtWorks (USA)
Founder of Ivar Jacobson International (Sweden)
Agile Coach at Mitch Lacey & Associates (USA)
Agile Coach at DevJam (USA)
Senior Quality Consultant at Software Engineering Competence Center (Egypt)
Sam Laing & Karen Greaves
Prof. Ernest Mnkandla
Riaan du Toit
Arrie van der Dussen
Software engineering coach and consultant
In the last decade or so we've seen a number of new ideas added to the mix to help us effectively design our software. Patterns help us capture the solutions and rationale for using them. Refactoring allows us to alter the design of a system after the code is written. Agile methods, in particular Extreme Programming, give us a highly iterative and evolutionary approach which is particularly well suited to changing requirements and environments. Martin Fowler has been a leading voice in these techniques and will give a suite of short talks featuring various aspects about his recent thinking about how these and other developments affect our software development.
Today, as always, there are many different initiatives underway to help improve the way we develop software. Two of the most exciting are the Agile Movement and the SEMAT initiative. Both of these promote non-prescriptive value-based philosophies that encourage software development teams to select and use whatever practices best fit their context and, most importantly, continuously inspect, adapt and improve their way of working.
You may be wondering how SEMAT fits into an Agile world. Does it improve or replace current agile ways of working? Is it something like lean that supports and furthers the aims of the Agile Movement? Is it something like waterfall planning that is in opposition to an agile approach? Is it a new method, a new practice, or something completely different?
In this presentation Ivar Jacobson, one of the founders of the SEMAT initiative, will answer all these questions and more. Building on his vast experience of software development he will provide an agile introduction to SEMAT and demonstrate how Agile and SEMAT complement one another to provide the perfect foundation for teams that want to master the art of software development.
Dr. Ivar Jacobson is a father of components and component architecture, use cases, the Unified Modeling Language and the Rational Unified Process. He has contributed to modern business modeling and aspect-oriented software development. However, all this is history. Lately he has been working on how to deal with methods and tools in a super-light and agile way. He has developed a practice concept that is now being adopted by both developers and tool vendors. He is one of the leaders of a worldwide network – Semat - which has agreed to revolutionize software development.
As a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) and a PMI Project Management Professional (PMP), Mitch shares his experience in project and client management through Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum courses, agile coaching engagements, conference presentations, blogs, and white papers. Mitch works with companies across the world, from Austria to Colombia, California to Florida, Portugal to Turkey, and just about everywhere in between.
Once upon a time, someone introduced you to agile methods. It may have been just yesterday or possible in the last millennium. While the flavours change (big A agile, pragmatic agility, Nuevo Lean, etc.) the challenges remain. Beyond the initial honeymoon lies the road of tough challenges that seem to elude the content of the popular literature and fall squarely on the shoulder of the practitioners. This talk walks us from where we’ve been, to where we are and into where we can go.
You will not be bored with a history lesson. Instead you will be challenged to think and rethink how your processes are helping, hindering or hurting you. We will examine the pragmatic use of agile methods and the successful infusion of tools and techniques from other disciplines, from days gone by, and from confronting the realities of the hard problems that face real practitioners working on products small and large in companies of all shapes and sizes around the world. Evolution is an essential (and healthy) measure in the use and improvement of any process. Please show up ready to evolve or face the risk of irrelevance in the face of certain and more rapid change.
Agile adoption is a transformational project which involves paradigm shift and team/organization restructuring towards agile and lean processes. To manage transition risks, we have crafted the Process Increments method, an iterative and incremental approach for software process improvement. Process Increments builds upon agile values and principles, and reuses some well-known agile practices and techniques.
Process Increments approach has been first introduced in 2010. Since then, this approach has been successfully applied to manage different process improvement initiatives throughout many organizations with different contexts, challenges and scope. In this session, I will demonstrate some of the agile adoption challenges we faced and how they were alleviated using Process Increments, giving examples and case studies from successful transformations done in Egypt during the last three years.
The Case of Two Worlds, Doing Agile in a brutally waterfall enterprise environment
Imagine explaining the principles of Agile to Don Draper from the hit TV Series MadMen? Creatives are erratic, unconventional yet brilliant at the same time. How can the principles of Agile be adapted to an industry such as advertising, where the focus is increasingly shifting to demonstrating value for the client. The talk will explore some of my learnings from adapting my team, our clients and the industry to Agile as well as explore some cultural and institutional barriers to its adoption.
I was born a prisoner in South Africa, and my thinking was set by being a second class citizen in an apartheid state. Then, suddenly, I was free. But I still carried hatred, distrust and a multitude of conflicting emotions. I saw the same in the faces of those with whom I worked. We were free and we should be working and living harmoniously. How can we do so, when yesterday you were my enemy and today we should be friends. The challenges of the teams with whom I work are fractals of a 300 year long conflict. This conflict cannot be ignored because it is bubbling beneath a thin, false veil often called collaboration. I will share experiences of intense conflict in software teams, bordering on hatred. I share openly and blatantly what it means to be have conflicted identity shaped by shifting from being second class, second generation South African Indian to a first class African working in a fragile democracy of interwoven cultures. I bring this struggle back to self-organisation and its duality with freedom, a treasured, sharp sword that cuts without discrimination. I share what I believe is needed for us to create agile software teams and a society of software excellence that is truly collaborative.
In this session Sam and Karen will look at the agile testing mindset and how it is different from traditional testing. We will look at each of these statements in turn, as well as running a simulation to illustrate the impact of testing early.
• Testing assumptions and shared understanding vs checking
• Preventing bugs vs finding bugs.
• Everyone being responsible for quality vs testers being responsible
• Testers helping to build the best system vs trying to break it
• Testing as an ongoing activity vs a phase at the end.
It has taken more than a decade for Africa to see the agile ‘revolution’ that has changed the way the rest of the world develops software. However as they say; it is better late than never. So have finally realised that the traditional approaches do not deliver what we expect.
It may be argued that South Africa has always delivered reasonably high quality software following lighter development approaches that may not be defined as agile but that are certainly lighter than the formal waterfall-based approaches.
It is therefore interesting to look at the characteristics that define a modern software developer in terms of their qualifications, skill set, experience, career path and ability to deliver a quality software product.
It’s a given that Agile development has reached the mainstream. But even when implementing Agile, organisational change is never easy, and many companies have mixed results. Enterprises embarking on this change journey often attempt to create their own ‘agile’ process. This is fraught with dangers, and is expensive.
The solution is an Agile process that comes with ‘adult supervision’ – Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD), a hybrid Agile framework that does the hard work for an organisation.
In this talk, Riaan du Toit will discuss how DAD addresses common issues such as:
• Reconciling a project management office (PMO) that requires detailed plans and specifications with Agile practices that require the minimum (just enough);
• Achieving collaboration between silos within an organisation; and
• Adhering to corporate standards in the areas of architecture, database and governance while still being Agile.
More details to follow shortly
Many organisations adopt various agile practices, processes and methods. The question remains however, why and what are they trying to gain from it?
Agile practices are extremely popular in the IT departments of organisations and adoption rates are high within the development teams of organisations.
Does this IT obsession with Business on the fringes deliver the true organisational agility as expected or do many agile adoptions end up with agile practices on a team level only with limited organisational agility gained?
During this session Martin will share stories on how different South African teams improved their value through applying lean and agile thinking, processes and techniques.
These teams are from different sectors, sizes and culture including education, legal, finance and property investment. The session will also look at the challenges that these teams faced.
Some of the stakeholders including CIOs and Development Managers in the respective businesses will also be in the session to share their experiences first-hand.
The phrase "optimize globally, not locally" is used often. So is the phrase "sleeping like a baby". As with the second phrase, the first one isn't appreciated fully.
"Sleeping like a baby" means to wake up screaming every hour requiring a nappy change. Coincidentally, a local optimization in spite of the global need has exactly the same effect.
In this talk, Danie will show how to focus on throughput and courageous feedback to sleep like an adult instead.
The venue for the conference is The Alexander Theatre, 36 Stiemens Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
The Theatre is within walking distance from the Gautrain Park Station.
Wi-Fi connectivity will not be provided at the conference
If you have any questions or need more information please get in touch with us at: contact <at> agileafricaconference <dot> com.
Secure parking is available in Arbour Square, corner of Juta and Melle Streets in Braamfontein. Please bring your Arbour Square parking ticket to the conference where it will be stamped, so you do not have to pay for parking. The Alexander theatre is a short walk from the parking lot.