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Track: Driving Full Cycle Engineering Teams at Every Level

Location: Mountbatten, 6th flr.

Day of week: Monday

The model that Netflix came up with: "Full cycle developers" is a model where a development team, equipped with amazing developer productivity tools, is responsible for the full software life cycle: design, development, test, deploy, operate, and support. So how do we build, support and grow a culture that enables "full cycle developers" from the team level to an organization level. From the developer practices in a day to day, to building an organization at a high level, we will discuss in this track at all levels how to build this culture to drive a successful business to be differentiators of the future. Learn more from the pioneers.

Track Host: Cassandra Shum

Technical Director of Cloud Solutions and Partnerships @ThoughtWorks

Based in New York, Cassie is a Technical Director in North America for partnerships and cloud solutions. As a software engineer and architect, she has spent that last 9+ years at ThoughtWorks focusing on architectures including event-driven systems and microservices, a wide range of technologies with an emphasis on mobile and software delivery excellence.

Cassie has also been involved in growing not only organizations in the delivery practices and technical strategy but also the next generation of technologists. Some of her passions include advocating for women in technology and public speaking. She is also involved in promoting more female speakers in technology.

10:35am - 11:25am

Secrets of a Strong Engineering Culture

Engineers today have many choices about where they work. A big determinant is the engineering culture - an aspect that reaches across the full stack. As a technical leader, what can you do to influence, change and build a stronger engineering culture?

In this talk, Patrick will explore the building blocks of engineering culture, share examples of how he has enabled and transformed the engineering culture of many teams and organisations and how it can positively change the full stack.

Unlock the secrets of a strong engineering culture and leave with knowing what areas you can focus on, ideas on what you can implement and understand how other companies have built strong engineering cultures.

Patrick Kua, Tech Leader, former CTO/Chief Scientist

11:50am - 12:40pm

How to Build an Engineering Culture That Focuses on Business Impact

Intercom London has been around for two years. In this short period, and as a brand new and growing team, we have been in the critical path of several highly impactful product releases for the company. In this talk, we will discuss how we apply our company values, engineering principles and development processes to build an engineering culture that focuses on solving customers’ problems, fosters collaboration and promotes a continuous shipping cadence. 

Leave with a good understanding of how you can get your engineering team to operate cohesively and demonstrate full alignment with your business goals while encouraging a culture of inclusion and growth.

Maria Gutierrez, Senior Director of Engineering @Intercom

1:40pm - 2:30pm

Should We Really Run It if We Build It?

"Build it, run it" is the war-cry of the startup and scaleup industry. Is it really that simple? Are there hidden costs like engineer burnout and a lasting impact on a young culture? And do B2B and B2C companies have different prerogatives?

Paul Hammant, CD Consultant

2:55pm - 3:45pm

Full Cycle Developers Open Space

Details to follow.

4:10pm - 5:00pm

Leading a Journey to Better Quality

Often managers are tasked with work to help improve teams and the engineering disciplines they follow. Most managers, unfortunately, end up deciding for themselves what practices will work best for the team and start by mandating change. However, a true leader likes to think about how everyone can be a part of their thought process and how they can encourage teams to implement collective ideas.

I have also been in this situation a few times. I have been brought in and asked to ‘improve overall quality’. In this session, I will discuss how I launched an initiative and created “quality champions” to help achieve this goal. The role of these “champions” was to help with some of the initiatives. I will talk about the steps I took to define the term 'bad quality' and how to better discover it as an earlier part of the software delivery process rather than as feedback from the customer.

Business impact and outcomes

  • How can quality be part of almost every phase of the SDLC
  • What metrics can be used to measure quality
  • How to keep everyone informed about these initiatives and their results

Maryam Umar, Head Of Quality @thoughtmachine

5:25pm - 6:15pm

Developer Effectiveness: Optimizing Feedback loops

We all (hopefully) use metrics to measure and improve productivity. Common ones like the DORA metrics lead time, MTTR, change failure rate and deployment frequency, are really great indicators of team’s progress towards adopting a DevOps Culture. Analysing the processes that affect these and fixing the bottlenecks will yield big gains in productivity.

However we find that misses part of the story. To fully address productivity we should start with the things that developers do 1000 or 100 times again, micro-inefficiencies, that by themselves are not a problem, but quickly sum up to causes a lack of efficiency of the team, and general feeling of helpless.  

Great software engineering relies on the cognitive and creative ability of developers. High functioning organizations have created environments that allow developers to spend most of their energies on things that matter. 

Fixing the inefficiencies in the technical platform, but also with how the organization collaboration and communications, will lead to create results. Engineering Leaders have a large part in creating an environment conducive to the improving the developer experience. 

In this talk I will present research gathered from ThoughtWorks varied clients and projects, I will show some of the metrics our teams have identified as guides to creating the platform and the culture for high performing teams.

Tim Cochran, Technical Director of East Coast Market NA @ThoughtWorks

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