Beyond Technology

Soft Skills, Communication Improvement, Navigating Interpersonal Relationships,
Business Skills, Personal Growth …

OCTOBER 11–14,2021

Speakers of the Track Beyond Technology

Program of the Track Beyond Technology

Part 1 / Day 1 - Reasoning systematically: the art of integration leadership

Note: This full-day workshop will be split over two days (Monday and Tuesday) as the speaker will start after lunch break each day due to the time difference.

When building modern architectures, the hard part isn’t learning Kubernetes. The hard part is changing the way (almost) everyone thinks. If we don’t transform our mental models and communication patterns, we will deliver the exact same system we already have. Regardless of how performant our microservices are. Everyone can develop confidence in the thinking they facilitate. To develop trustworthy thinking, we need to practice argumentation: reasoning systematically in support of an idea, action, or theory. This systemic reasoning is the key to all transformational success because it delivers Integration Leadership. We apply this leadership as: – a method of inquiry – a skill we must practice – the integration of differing points of view – good judgement – the process of enabling others to make up their own mind Systemic reasoning enables people to communicate about systems, collectively arriving at the best possible solution, under the circumstances, when conditions are uncertain. (Conditions are always uncertain.) Developing this skill contributes more value than our technology-specific expertise. In this workshop, we’ll explore methods for providing integrative leadership by crafting sound reasoning, together. Feedback from previous workshops: ” I am often involved in such discussions as receiver of arguments and in most cases the offered solution only solves symptoms, doesn’t go deep enough. Now I have an advice ready why and how to go deeper.” “I went in with something that was more of a vague frustration for me and ended up with a well-organized argument that I’d feel comfortable bringing up with anyone.” “It changed my way of thinking and challenging others”

The power of persuasion

You’ve created the best technical solution to fulfill the requirements. You’ve thoroughly documented your design and presented it to  management. But the management board has rejected your design and chosen an alternative approach that will clearly cause problems in the long-term. What went wrong? Why were you not able to persuade management to accept your solution? In this session, the art of persuasion is examined in the context of software development and software architecture. The following topics will be briefly presented: • The difference between selling your idea and persuading someone to accept your ideas. • Assertiveness versus persuasiveness. • Identifying the different levels of acceptance. • Factors that impact the acceptance of your ideas. • Approaches to help persuade stakeholders.

How to Succeed with Online Retrospectives

Aino will share her experiences with distributed retrospectives; those that went well as well as those which did not go well. She will describe what worked in those that worked and what did not work in those that did not. You will come away with things to be aware of when preparing a distributed retrospective, how to organise it, how to prepare it and how to facilitate it during the retrospective in a virtual setting. There will be links to different technologies also, but also an opportunity to ask questions and share your own experiences.

Part 2 / Day 2 - Reasoning systematically: the art of integration leadership

Note: This full-day workshop will be split over two days (Monday and Tuesday) as the speaker will start after lunch break each day due to the time difference.

When building modern architectures, the hard part isn’t learning Kubernetes. The hard part is changing the way (almost) everyone thinks. If we don’t transform our mental models and communication patterns, we will deliver the exact same system we already have. Regardless of how performant our microservices are. Everyone can develop confidence in the thinking they facilitate. To develop trustworthy thinking, we need to practice argumentation: reasoning systematically in support of an idea, action, or theory. This systemic reasoning is the key to all transformational success because it delivers Integration Leadership. We apply this leadership as: – a method of inquiry – a skill we must practice – the integration of differing points of view – good judgement – the process of enabling others to make up their own mind Systemic reasoning enables people to communicate about systems, collectively arriving at the best possible solution, under the circumstances, when conditions are uncertain. (Conditions are always uncertain.) Developing this skill contributes more value than our technology-specific expertise. In this workshop, we’ll explore methods for providing integrative leadership by crafting sound reasoning, together. Feedback from previous workshops: ” I am often involved in such discussions as receiver of arguments and in most cases the offered solution only solves symptoms, doesn’t go deep enough. Now I have an advice ready why and how to go deeper.” “I went in with something that was more of a vague frustration for me and ended up with a well-organized argument that I’d feel comfortable bringing up with anyone.” “It changed my way of thinking and challenging others”

Stress Driven Development, and How to Avoid It

When was the last time you took a day off? Are you going to the office every weekday? How often do you work with people? All these questions usually show one thing – we all have stress that comes from our work. Famous Work-Life balance is often non-existent in many organizations, and developers feel trapped in their daily routine to “deliver a business value” to their employer. With stress, your creativity shrinks and innovative approach dies in a busy work you do.
What if I was to say it does not have to be that way? In this talk, we will discuss ways how to relax and avoid “Stress Driven Development”. We will look at the problem from a perspective of an individual contributor, a technical lead, and a manager. As a result, the audience will be able to take away best practices for tackling stress and help others in their organizations to become more productive and simply happier individuals.

Beyond the Known Knowns

Certainty is the comfort zone of software architecture. The idea that architecture offers a dependable, stable and solid foundation on which to build. Sadly, such certainty is in conflict with the nature of reality. By definition, most software development is development in the presence of incomplete knowledge. Any development process that offers certainty of knowledge through early planning is faking and bluffing that certainty. This talk looks at the relationship of knowledge to software, the codification of knowledge in architecture, the acquisition of knowledge to development process, and how we can make progress in the presence of known unknowns, unknown unknowns and unknowable unknowns.

The Myth of Team Autonomy: Why it is an illusion and we still need it

Autonomous teams are something we often strive for in software projects. Moreover, autonomy itself is often considered a value without defining what it actually is. The talk will look at the question of team autonomy from the perspective of organisations. Can there be autonomous teams? What does autonomy mean within an organisation? Why does it happen that teams are considered as non-autonomous?
And why is the absence of autonomy still valuable? What is the connection between decisions and autonomy? And why does more autonomy inevitably lead to higher communication costs?

The Art of Improving Software: Legacy Evolution, Done Right

As software developers, we spend most our time maintaining existing systems – under time and budget pressure. Building new business functionality tends to get more difficult, expensive and risky over time due to increasing size, growing complexity and lack of overview. Although we complain about technical debt, lack of innovation and the architectural deficits of historically _grown_ software, we often patch, fix or hack symptoms instead of curing the root causes of these problems. In this talk you’ll get an overview of the systematically improving or modernizing your system. The approach shown here is based upon the established idea of identifying the specific problems first, before changing or modifying a system. We will take a closer look at different areas of investigation, such as architecture, code, technology, quality requirements, application data plus development and rollout processes, in an iterative breadth-first analysis. For each area of investigation I give examples and show methodical tools for effective and practical use. Afterwards you’ll get an overview of strategical and tactical approaches to specific improvements, based upon the problems and risks found during analysis. The presentation is aimed at software development teams, architects, product owners and technical management. Everything I present in this talk has been proven in software and system projects and reviews I conducted over the last couple of years in various industries – so expect some (anonymized) practical examples!

Why a Diverse Team is Crucial to Startup Success

Team diversity refers to differences between members of startup team. Those differences can include demographic differences (like age, race, sex, ethnicity), personality (extrovert, introvert, and differing Myers-Briggs types) and functional (as in skill sets, like engineering, design, copywriting, and marketing).

How does team diversity impact your customers’ experience from the moment they learn about you through their journey with you?
You will attract and relate to customers how look like you. They will understand your messaging and you will understand their needs. If you don’t represent the right dimensions of diversity, you are leaving an amazing experience behind.

Debunking What Makes a Great Leader

What if what we think makes a great leader is all wrong? When you ask people to think of leadership qualities, they tend to choose words like bold, powerful, and fearless. But if you ask people to name traits of the leaders they would like to emulate and/or follow; you get a different list. In fact, from my research, bold, powerful, and fearless don’t break anywhere near the top of the list. So, you have to ask yourself, are you trying to adapt the traits you think will make you a great leader or do you want to cultivate the qualities that people are looking for in a leader they want to follow? Based on my last couple of years of research across many demographics, I’ve compiled a list of qualities others look for in leaders. My message is that because you already possess the traits to be a great leader, you can unleash the power to do great things. This past year and half have presented the world with many challenges that I think we can overcome with strong, genuine leadership. Revolutions and significant changes always start with an individual. We all have a role to play and becoming a genuine leader is the start.

Retrospectives Antipatterns

Anti-Patterns are like patterns, only more informative. With anti-patterns you will first see what patterns reoccur in “bad” retrospectives and then you will see how to avoid, or remedy, the situation. Based on her experience with facilitating retrospectives, join Aino for an entertaining and informative presentation on the anti-patterns she has seen and how to overcome the problems. This talk is focused on retrospectives, but will be interesting for everyone facilitating any kind of meeting.

 

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