Speakers & talks

This year's programme was featuring talks on hiring diverse teams, fixing out-of-hours on-call, building security culture, guiding self-organising teams and so much more!

Watch the videos here.

A-Z speakers

The reality of testing in an artificial world

Angie Jones

Senior Developer Advocate

Applitools

Angie Jones

There’s a lot of talk nowadays about the impact that artificial intelligence (AI) will have on testing. There’s a new generation of testing tools being developed that employ AI with promises of making testing much more efficient for us.

There’s a lot of talk nowadays about the impact that artificial intelligence (AI) will have on testing. There’s a new generation of testing tools being developed that employ AI with promises of making testing much more efficient for us.

This is very exciting, and I look forward to using these tools. However, the tester in me also realizes that testing tools aren’t the only products utilizing AI. Aspects of AI such as machine learning exist today in products that we’re using on a daily basis!

I reject the common notion that AI is this omniscient black box that doesn’t require testing, and I’ll spend 2019 touring the world to spread this message.

About Angie Jones

Angie Jones is a Senior Developer Advocate at Applitools who has developed automation strategies and frameworks for countless software products. As a Master Inventor, she is known for her innovative and out-of-the-box thinking style which has resulted in more than 25 patented inventions in the US and China. Angie shares her wealth of knowledge by speaking and teaching at software conferences all over the world and leading tech workshops for young girls through Black Girls Code.

I can’t do that for you Dave: undefined is not a function

Asim Hussain

EMEA Regional Lead for Developer Advocacy - Microsoft

Asim Hussain

There are many exciting things happening with AI, from which, until recently, JavaScript developers were largely shut out. But things are changing, if you can do `npm install @tensorflow/tfjs` or make an API call, you can now do AI.

There are many exciting things happening with AI, from which, until recently, JavaScript developers were largely shut out. But things are changing, if you can do `npm install @tensorflow/tfjs` or make an API call, you can now do AI.

In this fast-paced talk, I'll open your mind to what's possible by demoing several AI-powered JavaScript apps and show you how they were built using either TensorFlow.js or easy to use AI powered APIs.

You don't need a PhD in Maths, you don't need years of experience, you just need imagination and the willingness to try.

About Asim Hussain

Asim is a developer, trainer, author and speaker with over 17 years experience working for organisations such as the European Space Agency, Google and now Microsoft, where he is a Senior Cloud Developer Advocate.

He's also co-organiser of the @aijavascript London Meetup, co-creator of aijs.rocks and member of the W3C WebMachineLearning Community Group.

What I learnt about hiring diverse teams from conducting a fully-anonymous recruitment process

Bethan Vincent

Head of Marketing - Netsells

Bethan Vincent

If we want to truly encourage diversity in our industry, we are going to have to listen and respond to feedback from under-represented groups that challenges our assumptions.

If we want to truly encourage diversity in our industry, we are going to have to listen and respond to feedback from under-represented groups that challenges our assumptions.

In 2015, my previous employer Bytemark built a fully-anonymous recruitment process in order to help address issues of hiring bias and to try and attract a diverse range of candidates.

You might think problem solved.... but no!

Despite introducing a supposedly better process, we still weren't receiving applications from a wide range of candidates.

We realised that in order to diagnose the issue, we would need to conduct user research.

Through speaking to these candidates, successful and unsuccessful, alongside undertaking research at conferences and with peers, we found that some aspects of our "ideal" process were actually put off certain candidates, especially women, from applying.

In my 10 minute talk, I will present some of our learnings from this research and offer examples of how they can be applied to any hiring process. I will also argue that in order to be a truly inclusive industry, we need to start gathering and really listening to feedback that makes us uncomfortable with the status quo.

About Bethan Vincent

Bethan is Head of Marketing at Netsells, a Product Development Agency based in the beautiful and historic city of York.

Formerly a senior manager at cloud hosting company Bytemark, pioneers of a fully-anonymous recruitment process, Bethan came into the tech sector after completing a degree in Medieval History and developing an ethical certification. Through her work on defining ethical business practices and inspired by her unusual journey into tech, Bethan has become extremely passionate about encouraging diversity (in all forms) and inclusiveness in our sector. Outside of work, Bethan likes to write (bad) code, meet interesting people and explore foodie destinations.

Volunteers, not conscripts: fixing out-of-hours on-call

Brian Scanlan

Principal Systems Engineer - Intercom

Brian Scanlan

Uptime matters, but so do your people. At Intercom, keeping our product online and working well at all times is critical to the success of our business.

Uptime matters, but so do your people. At Intercom, keeping our product online and working well at all times is critical to the success of our business.

Out-of-hours on-call is inherently disruptive to your life as an engineer. You need to be ready to respond quickly and competently to an alert about something being broken. This means having a decent Internet connection, a computer, power for the computer, whatever you’re using for 2FA, and passwords available. However, we realized that we had ended up with an on-call setup that we weren’t proud of, and had a number of problems to solve. There were too many people on-call at any one moment in time. The quality of alarms and runbooks was inconsistent across teams and there were ad-hoc review processes for new and existing alarms. We decided to attempt to solve these problems by creating a new virtual team that would take over all out-of-hours on-call work, consisting of volunteers, not conscripts, from teams across the engineering organization. This talk goes into the process we applied, the positive impact to our on-call, and lessons learned.

About Brian Scanlan

Brian fixes problems through building things and growing teams. He works in Intercom's Dublin office, helping teams make products resilient to failure, scalable to customers' needs and need little to no human intervention to work well.

Inclusion starts with an I

Dora Militaru

Senior Developer / Tech Lead

Financial Times

Dora Militaru

Women, people of colour and other minorities are underrepresented and sometimes feel unwelcome in tech. We need to fix this.

Women, people of colour and other minorities are underrepresented and sometimes feel unwelcome in tech. We need to fix this.

Diversity is a problem in tech. Minority groups lack visibility and representation, once (and if) hired, are often either assimilated or excluded. We've been spending a lot of time arguing about diversity, lately. It's time we took a closer look at the dialectic in the diversity debate – and see what’s helpful, and what isn’t. This talk* will help you understand and begin to fix the diversity issue in technology and beyond. It'll help you contribute to our community becoming more accessible, inclusive, and welcoming for everyone

About Dora Militaru

Dora is a site reliability engineer at the Financial Times. She previously led the team responsible for implementing the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on http://ft.com, before spending some time working on exciting internal products. She is passionate about making our industry a friendlier place, web performance, and... skydiving.

Building security culture on infrastructure teams

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Franklin Hu

Software Engineer and Tech Lead

Stripe

Franklin Hu

Security is an increasingly important aspect of software development, especially for services that process and store sensitive data.

Security is an increasingly important aspect of software development, especially for services that process and store sensitive data.

In rapidly growing and dynamic organizations, infrastructure teams need to balance building features to support product growth and business goals while maintaining a secure platform. At Stripe we believe that security is a collective responsibility, and it’s especially important to closely collaborate with security teams to continually improve the quality of decisions and changes that affect sensitive systems.

In this talk, we’ll discuss strategies for building a culture of security so infrastructure and security teams can each play to their strengths while maintaining high development velocity. We’ll walk through some examples of both how we typically run security-sensitive projects at Stripe as well as processes that help to extend security awareness (and interest!) through the rest of your organization.

About Franklin Hu

Franklin Hu is an infrastructure engineer at Stripe working on computer platforms and infrastructure security. He has spoken at Monitorama about Stripe's culture around Game Days, and in a past life was a contributor to Zipkin.

12/10, Excellent doggo: the power of positive transformation

Heidi Waterhouse

Developer Advocate - LaunchDarkly

Heidi Waterhouse

How many talks, articles, and podcasts have you seen about organizational change, and how to implement it? How many of them talked about what we can learn from non-human psychology? This is that talk.

How many talks, articles, and podcasts have you seen about organizational change, and how to implement it? How many of them talked about what we can learn from non-human psychology? This is that talk.

I'll give you concrete and actionable advice for how to make change happen in your organization, one person at a time, by being nice. Make it rewarding to do the right thing, and people will do the right thing more often. Understand that people are motivated by different things and you'll be able to talk to them more effectively. Inspirational leadership can only get us so far, and we can do the rest with hard work, consistency, and compassion.

About Heidi Waterhouse

Heidi is a developer advocate with LaunchDarkly. She delights in working at the intersection of usability, risk reduction, and cutting-edge technology. One of her favourite hobbies is talking to developers about things they already knew but had never thought of that way before. She sews all her conference dresses so that she's sure there is a pocket for the mic.

Why we should be scared of Shor's Algorithm right now

James Birnie

Lead Consultant - ThoughtWorks

James Birnie

Quantum computers are real and are starting to be used for some interesting applications. As well as many applications in finance, organic chemistry and complex dynamical systems there is an ugly elephant in the room. That elephant is Shor's algorithm.

Quantum computers are real and are starting to be used for some interesting applications. As well as many applications in finance, organic chemistry and complex dynamical systems there is an ugly elephant in the room. That elephant is Shor's algorithm.

Given a sufficiently powerful quantum computer, Shor's algorithm can factorise numbers in polynomial time. I have implemented it on a quantum simulator and it has been used on real quantum computers. When quantum computers are powerful enough nearly all the encryption techniques that we currently rely on will be useless.

The time is still far off when RSA will be useless but I will share some compelling reasons why we need to be taking action right now to avoid potential catastrophe in the not too distant future.

About James Birnie

James has worked in software since the 1990s when TDD was something you studied but never did and Agile and Lean were words used to describe athletes. In 2005 James joined a startup and worked through a huge expansion, at least three major rewrites and an Agile transformation. In 2015 he joined ThoughtWorks and now every day is different - often surprising sometimes disappointing and occasionally delightful.

Leading the team through a rapid growth

Joanna Chwastowska

Engineering Lead

Google DeepMind Health

Joanna Chwastowska

Team leadership and technical leadership come with variety of challenges and require various skills. One of them is an insightful future outlook and being ready for what's yet to come.

Team leadership and technical leadership come with variety of challenges and require various skills. One of them is an insightful future outlook and being ready for what's yet to come.

Working on a new project, or joining a startup - there's an expectation for your team to grow. Growth is good. The more hands on board, the more you can achieve. But it's not all roses.

In this talk we'll look at challenges and risks related to the fast growth of an engineering and cross-functional team. How to notice first signs of the change? When to react? How to keep your team's culture when growing? What will have to change, what can stay the same?

Summarizing past experiences - from bootstrapping a remote team from zero to 20 people, as well as growing DeepMind Health engineering team from 20 to 80 in a bit over a year - there are patterns emerging that can help other teams avoid pitfalls that come naturally with a rapid growth.

At the end of this talk you should be aware of what changes to expect as your team grows, how to notice critical inflection points, and react to them so your team comes out bigger and stronger.

About Joanna Chwastowska

Joanna Chwastowska graduated in Computer Science from the Academy of Science and Technology in Krakow, Poland. She's then joined newly open Google Krakow office, and worked as Software Engineer, growing from an individual contributor to Tech Lead Manager across the following 8 years. On her next adventure she's been an Engineering Site Lead for a fashion startup from New York (shopspring.com). Finally, last year she's moved to London to work as an Engineering Lead for Google's DeepMind Health team.

Engineer at heart, manager by choice – she loves to explore human nature and to work with engineers to unfold their full potential. By doing so she hopes to help others (and herself;) to grow, and have greater, positive impact on the world.

Business as usual: how to stop drowning and learn to swim

Jonathan Stott

Technical Architect - Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Jonathan Stott

One of the challenges facing teams, particularly small ones, is having to balance the time spent on doing fun new things and having to support old (or antique!) systems and processes. These are the 'business as usual' (BAU) things which probably underpin the current revenue of your business.

One of the challenges facing teams, particularly small ones, is having to balance the time spent on doing fun new things and having to support old (or antique!) systems and processes. These are the 'business as usual' (BAU) things which probably underpin the current revenue of your business.

As such they are critically important but are almost certainly unloved and possibly even loathed by the teams responsible for them! BAU includes fixing bugs, handling support problems, running regular or ad hoc processes, and dealing with legacy systems amongst other things.

Based on four years of experience at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, this talk presents some of these challenges and suggest tactical options for dealing with them day-to-day as well as how to go about understanding and fixing the underlying problems. The problems and solutions are not just technical: dealing with the psychological impact of the problem and how it affects teams has been one of our biggest challenges - get it wrong and productivity and turnover are badly affected, further limiting the team's effectiveness.

You will learn: how and when to say no; when to take time to fix and optimise; how to deal with a deluge of BAU; how to manage people working on BAU; and what we experienced when we were getting it wrong and finally when we got it right!

About Jonathan Stott

Jonathan is the Technical Architect at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. He manages two teams of developers responsible for building and maintaining public and internal websites and systems. After gaining a PhD in Computer Science at the University of Kent in 2008 he has worked as a developer using Java, Groovy and Scala before moving into a leadership role at RPS in 2016. In his spare time he plays the trumpet in two bands in Canterbury, Kent and is a keen fan of Lego!

How long is a piece of string: the key to solving the conundrum of software estimation.

Jonathan Rigby

Director, Technology - Expedia

Jonathan Rigby

We’ve probably all been asked to come up with a set of software estimates for a project with very little detail, very little time to do it and plenty of quizzical looks when it’s given. Writing software is very rarely like painting a room, where a person can reasonably give an estimate to the nearest day.

We’ve probably all been asked to come up with a set of software estimates for a project with very little detail, very little time to do it and plenty of quizzical looks when it’s given. Writing software is very rarely like painting a room, where a person can reasonably give an estimate to the nearest day.

Between tech debt, lack of useful documentation and a new requirement never done before, it is very hard for a software team and the lead developer to come up with what the business often wants – an accurate estimate! (if such a thing were possible).

So, what is the solution? Story pointing, MVPs, spikes and an iterative approach all help towards a goal of better software estimation and so the success of a project, but the best, single most important element I have seen is the existence of trust between a software team and product owner. On the product owner that they won't make promises to the business based on estimates and on the software team that they will give an honest assessment of the work involved and not inflate estimates. When it works it is a powerful thing and is a million times more effective than the ‘them’ and ‘us’ attitudes that exist in some places and that do nobody any good.

About Jonathan Rigby

Jonathan is an experienced manager of a number of teams at Expedia. A former developer who moved into a Tech Lead role about 10 years ago, he has a wide range of experience of managing a variety of teams both onshore and offshore, across a number of industries. He is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Management Institute and a strong advocate of employee engagement initiatives. He recently pioneered and runs the Hotels.com Engineering Leadership Program (HELP). In his spare time, he is a keen Open Water Swimmer and competes in an occasional triathlon.

Engage teams to achieve high performance

José Caldeira

Head of Development - OutSystems

José Caldeira

When bootstrapping new teams, they need to go through the standard process of forming, storming, norming and performing. And in the context of fast-growing companies, with their own level of uncertainty, how can we achieve high performance when teams and goals are constantly changing?

When bootstrapping new teams, they need to go through the standard process of forming, storming, norming and performing. And in the context of fast-growing companies, with their own level of uncertainty, how can we achieve high performance when teams and goals are constantly changing?

How do teams deal with different degrees of uncertainty? And how can leaders support them in feeling safe and motivated?

Throughout the years, I've found some ways to help teams achieve this. Some of those were a direct result of my experience, others were inspired by my peers and other companies, and others I was able to derive from coaching sports or teaching people. In this session, we’ll talk about some of the ideas leaders can implement to help teams move faster into high performance.

About José Caldeira

José Caldeira is Head of Development at OutSystems, where he supports and mentors managers and technical leaders. He started as an intern, became a developer, a team leader and is now the leader of the development group. On his spare time, he practices martial arts and blends what he has learned into his job. José is a student, a teacher, and a coach. He loves to inspire others to grow and become the next generation of leaders.

Navigating front-end architecture like a Neopian

Julia Nguyen

Senior Software Engineer - Mailchimp

Julia Nguyen

Over the past few years, I’ve gained expertise in front-end web architecture. I’ve done this work at Indiegogo, Headspace, for my open source mental health project if-me.org, and in my current role at Mailchimp. At Indiegogo, we evaluated frameworks in an effort to migrate from AngularJS. At Headspace, I architected an MVP in React and created best practices. With if-me.org, we migrated to React from jQuery. At Mailchimp, we are migrating from Dojo to React.

Over the past few years, I’ve gained expertise in front-end web architecture. I’ve done this work at Indiegogo, Headspace, for my open source mental health project if-me.org, and in my current role at Mailchimp. At Indiegogo, we evaluated frameworks in an effort to migrate from AngularJS. At Headspace, I architected an MVP in React and created best practices. With if-me.org, we migrated to React from jQuery. At Mailchimp, we are migrating from Dojo to React.

This talk isn't about comparing frameworks, but rather the art of front-end architecture. Since I wouldn't be where I am today without the virtual pets site Neopets, I’ll be sharing the lessons I’ve learned in building out a sustainable team, prioritizing focus areas, evangelizing best practices, and advancing your career along the way. It’s like being a kid in the 2000s hustling for Neopoints and the coolest guild on the interwebs! I'll share insights on team communication, docs, testing, performance, accessibility, component design, and refactoring.

About Julia Nguyen

Julia Nguyen is a is a community organizer, writer, keynote speaker, and senior software engineer. Julia is the founder of if-me.org, an open source mental health communication app. She created Southeast Asian Ladies in Tech. She is a speaker for Prompt. She is a freelance Android developer for We Read Too. She organized Write/Speak/Code San Francisco and the University of Waterloo Women in Computer Science Undergraduate Committee.

Give 10%, get 110%

Kate Beard

Junior engineer - Financial Times

Kate Beard

Everywhere we look, developers are working on side or ‘passion’ projects. While these projects are incredible ways to expand your knowledge faster, accelerate your career, and gain recognition in the developer community, the truth is that not everyone can or wants to spend extra time outside of work on coding. The result of this is a tech industry that is less diverse and inclusive when some people are able to progress further and faster while others aren’t.

Everywhere we look, developers are working on side or ‘passion’ projects. While these projects are incredible ways to expand your knowledge faster, accelerate your career, and gain recognition in the developer community, the truth is that not everyone can or wants to spend extra time outside of work on coding. The result of this is a tech industry that is less diverse and inclusive when some people are able to progress further and faster while others aren’t.

One way to help level the playing field while allowing your developers to grow and learn faster? Allow them to spend 10% of their time at work working on anything they want - no strings attached.

By giving people trust, permission, and time to pursue what interests them the most, we found that our developers were more engaged with their work, took charge of their learning, and brought more passion and creativity into their everyday work lives -- all of which in turn benefits their actual projects.

In this talk you’ll learn: how and why we embrace 10% time in Internal Product at the Financial Times; how it has helped me and the team I’m on; and how you can begin to implement this concept as well.

About Kate Beard

Kate is a junior engineer at the Financial Times. She's a former photographer, writer, and barista who found her love of programming early last year. When she isn't coding silly side projects in her spare time, she's probably drinking coffee, patting her guinea pigs, or planning her next trip.

Navigating team friction

Lara Hogan

Co-founder - Wherewithall

Lara Hogan

Friction is a common, and necessary, part of team growth—but when left unchecked, team friction is unhealthy for you, your coworkers, your company, and ultimately your end users.

Friction is a common, and necessary, part of team growth—but when left unchecked, team friction is unhealthy for you, your coworkers, your company, and ultimately your end users.

In this presentation, I draw on my experiences at organizations large and small to illuminate the sources of team tension, how you can better understand and manage unexpected teammate reactions, and the best ways to give actionable feedback without escalating drama. Your coworkers, your organization, your users, and you will reap the benefits.

About Lara Hogan

Lara Hogan is the co-founder of Wherewithall and the author of Designing for Performance and Building a Device Lab. Previously she was VP Engineering at Kickstarter and Engineering Director at Etsy. She champions performance as a part of the overall user experience, helps people get comfortable giving presentations, and believes it’s important to celebrate career achievements with donuts. Follow her on Twitter.

Level Up: Developing Developers

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Melinda Seckington

Technical Manager

FutureLearn

Melinda Seckington

As video games have become more and more complex, game designers put way more time into creating environments where players are engaged and willing to put the time and effort into learning and mastering these skills.

As video games have become more and more complex, game designers put way more time into creating environments where players are engaged and willing to put the time and effort into learning and mastering these skills.

As leads, we can learn a lot from how games are designed to make the internal developer experiences better, since it’s a similar type of environment we want to create: an environment where people can learn and master skills. We should make it easier for developers to understand what options are available to them, allow them to make time for learning and provide structures and processes for them to develop the skills that they want and need for future roles.

This talk will look at how you can help level up your developers by using competencies and career development frameworks, what types of processes you can introduce to support personal development and how developers should be using opportunities like these to get a better understanding of what skills they should focus on.

About Melinda Seckington

Melinda is a Technical Manager at FutureLearn, a social learning platform. She loves attending BarCamps, Hackdays and other tech meetups, and since 2009 has been organising them at Geeks of London. She also writes at MissGeeky, a blog about all things geeky and girly.

Mobile development in 2019: native versus cross-platform

Miriam Busch

CTO - Karlmax Berlin GmbH & Co. KG

Miriam Busch

We’re 10 years into Android and iOS development and there are more ways to build an app than ever before.

We’re 10 years into Android and iOS development and there are more ways to build an app than ever before.

Let’s look at the options, be it native app development or cross-platform systems like Xamarin, ReactNative or Flutter: What is core to these frameworks? What implications do they bring to your product and your development team?

About Miriam Busch

Miriam is CTO at Karlmax Berlin, an agency developing mobile apps for clients for native Android, iOS and Flutter. Past experiences include working as a freelancer, Android developer, iOS developer, consultant in embedded Linux and university lecturer. She also likes to spend time sketchnoting, travelling, bouldering and last but not least with her family.

Facilitation techniques 202

Neha Batra

Engineering Manager - GitHub

Neha Batra

We’ve all had that experience where we’ve planned the perfect discussion only to have it hijacked by a passionate side-person, lose focus halfway through, or produce the exact same takeaways as you had before you began the discussion.

We’ve all had that experience where we’ve planned the perfect discussion only to have it hijacked by a passionate side-person, lose focus halfway through, or produce the exact same takeaways as you had before you began the discussion.

With a few tricks in your back pocket, you can recover from some of these tricky situations or even prevent them in the first place! I’ll share some of my best techniques and provide some yellow flags I’ve learned to recognize that signified needing to make a change.

About Neha Batra

Neha Batra is an engineering manager at GitHub who, 6 years ago, was an energy consultant and quit to teach herself programming because “it was time". She holds a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and enjoys foodie adventures, planning trips (and has gdocs for most of her trip plans), and collecting national park magnets. If you want to hear her ramble on a topic, ask her about pair programming, how she likes managing, or how much she misses Miami.

Eiffel's Tower

Nickolas Means

Senior Engineering Manager - GitHub

Nickolas Means

When Gustave Eiffel built his namesake tower, it was nearly twice as tall as the tallest structure on Earth. His crews built it in an astounding 22 months, pioneering new construction techniques to deliver it in time for the opening of the 1889 Exposition Universelle. It was amazing then, and it’s just as captivating today.

When Gustave Eiffel built his namesake tower, it was nearly twice as tall as the tallest structure on Earth. His crews built it in an astounding 22 months, pioneering new construction techniques to deliver it in time for the opening of the 1889 Exposition Universelle. It was amazing then, and it’s just as captivating today.

We all say we want to do groundbreaking work, just like Eiffel, but what does it actually take to push an organization forward? The answer starts long before the work itself. Let’s see what we can learn from how Gustave Eiffel went about building his record-shattering tower.

About Nickolas Means

Nickolas Means loves nothing more than a story of engineering triumph (except maybe a story of engineering disaster). When he's not stuck in a Wikipedia loop reading about plane crashes, he spends his days as a Senior Engineering Manager at GitHub. He works remotely from Austin, TX, and spends most of his spare time hanging out with his wife and kids, going for a run, or trying to brew the perfect cup of coffee.

Behind the scenes of an effective & inclusive hiring process

Ola Sitarska

VP of Engineering

Verve

Ola Sitarska

In my role as a VP of Engineering at a fast-growing startup, I spent hundreds of hours interviewing and sourcing candidates in the last year alone. The bar we set ourselves was high: not just hire people with excellent skills and culture add, but also maintain and improve our current diversity (33% women, 9% people of color) across experience levels.

In my role as a VP of Engineering at a fast-growing startup, I spent hundreds of hours interviewing and sourcing candidates in the last year alone. The bar we set ourselves was high: not just hire people with excellent skills and culture add, but also maintain and improve our current diversity (33% women, 9% people of color) across experience levels.

The result of that is an inclusive and effective hiring process that lets us successfully grow the team while providing a great candidate experience. Even candidates who reject our offers end up recommend us to their friends! This talk will take you through a step-by-step hands-on guide on improving your skills as an interviewer and setting up a better hiring process at your company - no matter how large or tiny.

Learn about:

  • Creating inclusive performance profiles to replace your traditional job requirements
  • Conducting phone screens with potential candidates that make them excited to invest their time in the hiring process
  • Creating a blind coding test screening process optimised for consistency and gives you useful information
  • Setting up an interview process that leaves your candidate excited to work with you, while empowering your team to become better interviewers
  • Interview techniques that let you gather information that provides actual evidence on the candidate's past performance

About Ola Sitarska

Ola Sitarska is VP of Engineering at Verve where she empowers teams to create high performing, diverse and compassionate environment. Before joining Verve, Ola co-founded Django Girls, a global non-profit teaching basics of web development to 17000 women in 4 years.

Flavours of technical leadership

Pat Kua

Chief Scientist

N26

Pat Kua

Over the many years, Patrick has trained, coached and mentored many engineers into Technical Leadership roles. He is delighted by the way that everyone has their own style and "flavour" of being a Technical Leader. In this talk, he will explore what technical leadership is and the impact people can have through their individual flavours of technical leadership.

Over the many years, Patrick has trained, coached and mentored many engineers into Technical Leadership roles. He is delighted by the way that everyone has their own style and "flavour" of being a Technical Leader. In this talk, he will explore what technical leadership is and the impact people can have through their individual flavours of technical leadership.

About Pat Kua

Patrick Kua is the Chief Scientist and former CTO of the mobile bank N26 (Berlin, Germany), where he is building the engineering group that will change modern retail banking for people like you and me. Formerly a Principal Technical Consultant at ThoughtWorks, he is the author of three books, The Retrospective Handbook, Talking with Tech Leads and most recently, Building Evolutionary Architectures. Patrick is a frequent conference speaker, blogger and is passionate about bringing a balanced focus between people, organisations and technology.

Silence isn't golden, it's deadly!

Paula Kennedy

Director - Pivotal Cloud Foundry Solutions EMEA

Paula Kennedy

When your team is wholly distributed it can be tough to develop a team spirit, strong culture and shared approach. This talk will highlight the difficulties we've seen and suggest tips and tricks that we have experimented with to improve this.

When your team is wholly distributed it can be tough to develop a team spirit, strong culture and shared approach. This talk will highlight the difficulties we've seen and suggest tips and tricks that we have experimented with to improve this.

In a recent internal company survey, we identified that one of the challenges our team experiences working remotely is the sense that we don't actually feel like we are part of a team. This has led us to consider how this impacts the work that we deliver as well as the detrimental effects on individuals within the team.

Over the last few months, we have experimented with several different approaches to improve communication, grow trust and build team culture. In this talk, I will provide examples of the experiments that we have tried, describe the results that these have had and set the scene for where we might look to experiment further in the future.

About Paula Kennedy

Paula joined Pivotal in 2015 and in her current role as Director of Pivotal Cloud Foundry Solutions, EMEA she is focused on working together with clients to drive innovation, transformation and business outcomes. Previously Chief Operating Officer and co­-founder of CloudCredo, Paula has worked in the IT industry for over 18 years. She is passionate about community, diversity and inclusion, and has a range of speaking experience, including Cloud Foundry Summits, QCon, Velocity Conference, DevOpsDays and several meetups. She organises the London Platform User Group, Coed:Code meetup group and is part of the organising committee for DevOpsDays London.

Guiding self-organising teams

Rebecca Hill

Frontend Engineer and Team Lead

WeTransfer

Rebecca Hill

It’s all well and good for the agile manifesto to recommend self-organising teams, but what does that actually mean in practice? What’s the best way to do it, how far should you take it? Total anarchy is probably not the answer here… right?

It’s all well and good for the agile manifesto to recommend self-organising teams, but what does that actually mean in practice? What’s the best way to do it, how far should you take it? Total anarchy is probably not the answer here… right?

After bouncing around leading a whole bunch of teams of different shapes and sizes over my career, I have some insights into how to guide effective self-organisation and create amazing teams. I’ll also share plenty of battle stories, including major re-organisations of entire engineering departments, structured completely by the developers in them.

Whether your entire department needs shuffling, you’re starting a new team, or just adding a new team member, you should walk away with plenty of ideas of how to guide your team to make the best possible decisions - for themselves.

About Rebecca Hill

Rebecca Hill is a software engineer, team lead and international speaker, currently attempting to herd cats (aka developers) and wrangle JavaScript at WeTransfer. Originally from Auckland, New Zealand, she is now based in Amsterdam, which makes it much easier to travel to conferences around the world to share her love for software development - teaching and learning with all the amazing people in this community.

The developer’s conundrum: what on earth does it mean to build AI software?

Ronald Ashri

CTO

GreenShoot Labs

Ronald Ashri

We’ve all read the articles and got excited by technologies such as machine learning, deep learning, Tensorflow, Panda and NumPy. A lot of us are also looking at how to incorporate these technologies into our toolset and in the software we are building.

We’ve all read the articles and got excited by technologies such as machine learning, deep learning, Tensorflow, Panda and NumPy. A lot of us are also looking at how to incorporate these technologies into our toolset and in the software we are building.

What we have not had a lot of discussion about yet is what exactly does it mean to build AI software? Do we need different concepts to communicate ideas and design systems?

In this talk, we start by first answering the question of whether we should even care. Is AI going to be around long enough for this to be a concern or is it just another fad? (spoiler: it’s probably not a fad).

Given that we should care then how should we think of software that incorporates AI? I will provide a conceptual framework that will help to identify where AI fits in a specific context, what type of AI makes sense and how you can begin to talk about it in systems architecture terms.

This is the framework we use ourselves to design intelligent services and it follows an agent-based view of software development. Agent-based or agent-oriented development is the space within AI where the concerns of engineering AI architectures are most explicitly addressed.

The best part of the talk is that by the end of it you will not need to use the term AI anymore. Instead, you can pinpoint and describe the actual thing you need to build in clear, unambiguous terminology.

Going away from this talk you will have another perspective on:
  • Why AI technologies will be a permanent part of our toolset moving forward
  • How to think of AI in terms of agent-based development
  • How to express situations where AI is used unambiguously so as to communicate designs clearly

About Ronald Ashri

With a PhD in Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence) from Southampton University, Ronald specialises in AI systems design, conversational agents, data and knowledge management and analysis. He recently co-founded GreenShoot Labs, a conversational interface consultancy.

For the past 15 years, he has worked on commercial implementation projects with clients such as BT Labs, Stanford University, the NHS, Italian Government, TripAdvisor, Imperial War Museum, Indiana University Libraries.

He frequently writes and speaks about AI-related issues and co-authored a book on Agent-Based Software Development. He is currently working on a book titled 'The AI Powered Workplace'

A button to pause time: how to live outside the clock

Sal Freudenberg

Chief Being Sal Officer

Cucumber Ltd

Sal Freudenberg

How does time impact on your working day? Would you like to hack time and live outside the clock? The answer is likely to be yes.

How does time impact on your working day? Would you like to hack time and live outside the clock? The answer is likely to be yes.

In October 2018, Sal and Clare took an all-female team to Hack Manchester, built a time machine and won Best in Show. They are now taking their time machine on tour: You too can press the button and stop time. Have a nap, play tricks on your friends, or force the trains to be on time.

Seriously though, repeated research has suggested the straitjacket of standard working hours does us all no good at all. Nor does the “always on” culture perpetuated by the speed of innovation and delivery in the world of software development. Yet we are all still stuck in our rigid working cultures. This light-hearted talk has a serious message: Don’t assume your teams have to be imprisoned by time. Try a little experimentation and see what a difference you can make when you play with expectations and give your people some time-based freedom.

Time travel for the win!

About Sal Freudenberg

Dr. Sal Freudenberg is the Chief Being Sal Officer at Cucumber Ltd and has a PhD in the Psychology of Collaborative Software Development. Sal is also the co-founder of the Inclusive Collaboration Campaign and when she’s not hacking or strategizing she is busy raising awareness of the benefits of neurodiversity and helping the industry begin to understand how to support and include every kind of brain.

A button to pause time: how to live outside the clock

Clare Sudbery

Lead Consultant Developer - ThoughtWorks

Clare Sudbery

How does time impact on your working day? Would you like to hack time and live outside the clock? The answer is likely to be yes.

How does time impact on your working day? Would you like to hack time and live outside the clock? The answer is likely to be yes.

In October 2018, Sal and Clare took an all-female team to Hack Manchester, built a time machine and won Best in Show. They are now taking their time machine on tour: You too can press the button and stop time. Have a nap, play tricks on your friends, or force the trains to be on time.

Seriously though, repeated research has suggested the straitjacket of standard working hours does us all no good at all. Nor does the “always on” culture perpetuated by the speed of innovation and delivery in the world of software development. Yet we are all still stuck in our rigid working cultures. This light-hearted talk has a serious message: Don’t assume your teams have to be imprisoned by time. Try a little experimentation and see what a difference you can make when you play with expectations and give your people some time-based freedom.

Time travel for the win!

About Clare Sudbery

Clare Sudbery is a lead consultant developer with ThoughtWorks. She is a maths graduate with 19 years of software engineering experience, and a particular interest in teaching and mentoring, encouraging more women into IT and banishing impostor syndrome.

Seven years ago she returned to IT with a sigh of relief after a few years as a high school maths teacher. Since then she has embraced all things XP. She is on a mission to awaken the inner geek in clever women (and men) everywhere. Clare is a published novelist, and regularly blogs at https://medium.com/a-woman-in-technology and https://insimpleterms.blog/. She loves her job.

A team in ten minutes

Steve Williams

Agile/Lean Coach - Expanding Box Consultants

Steve Williams

Ever experienced that unexpected and urgent crisis that needs immediate effort and expertise? No matter how agile we are I'm willing to bet every team/project/organisation experiences these interrupts - the 'Black Swan' events - on a surprisingly regular basis.

Ever experienced that unexpected and urgent crisis that needs immediate effort and expertise? No matter how agile we are I'm willing to bet every team/project/organisation experiences these interrupts - the 'Black Swan' events - on a surprisingly regular basis.

So why don’t organisations plan for them? We can't predict what the interruption will be, so we can't put in place the right resources to deal with it, but a panic team pulled together at a moment's notice needs time to form before it can be effective - time we don't have.

Are there any organisations out there that thrive on reacting to urgent interruptions? Yes. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), provides reactive Search and Rescue (SAR) response around the coast of the UK and Ireland. They respond to emergencies, launching state-of-the-art boats, with volunteer crews, into complex and evolving situations within minutes.

So how do they manage to create a team from a pool of volunteers in that timeframe? How do they compress Tuckman's lifecycle into minutes?

I've been a crewman on lifeboats for twenty years and through this talk will explore the culture of the crews, what we can learn from them and bring into the workplace.

About Steve Williams

Steve Williams is a highly experienced engineering professional who has managed software development teams and built cultures in which they thrive for more than 15 years. Steve’s background, from being a developer in an Extreme Programming team in the late ’90s to embedded coaching in multi-national organisations, built his belief in Agile thinking and Lean cultures – leading to his founding of Expanding Box Consultants in 2017. Passionate about the environments in which great software is developed, Steve specialises in helping organisations adopt new techniques and tools. He firmly believes in encouraging curiosity, ownership and leadership at all levels.

Bottoms up with OKRs

Whitney O'Banner

Engineering Manager - Braintree

Whitney O'Banner

In 2013, Google famously published a leading reference for establishing Objectives and Key Results as a way to align teams and set short-term goals. While some of the information is still relevant, it is time to take a fresh look at setting OKRs within your teams. This talk will help leaders abandon the dated, flawed approach to setting OKRs and enable organizational alignment in an exciting new way, suitable for 2019.

In 2013, Google famously published a leading reference for establishing Objectives and Key Results as a way to align teams and set short-term goals. While some of the information is still relevant, it is time to take a fresh look at setting OKRs within your teams. This talk will help leaders abandon the dated, flawed approach to setting OKRs and enable organizational alignment in an exciting new way, suitable for 2019.

About Whitney O'Banner

Whitney is a new generation of leader. As one of the few women of colour managing engineers and designers at payments technology company Braintree, she is a diligent study of innovative leadership methods. Whitney also enjoys actively investing in tiny house communities, building software systems that power short-term vacation rentals.

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