Agile the Pivotal Way
Location: Ballroom III Audience level:
What’s the right team size for maximum throughput? How do you manage large teams without losing efficiency?
How often should you pair? How frequently should you change pairs? How do you balance consistency and new blood on a team?
How do you find great candidates, and discern the great ones from the ones who just interview well?
How do you manage a stand-up with 50+ people in it? How do you keep a consistent culture across multiple locations? How do you work remotely?
What makes Pivots so good at what they do?
Does it really matter if you test first or test after? Why?
Why is pairing a good idea? Why is it faster? How does the layout of the workspace affect productivity, communication, and developer happiness?
What do I do if my management is resistent to doing this? My team?
I heard you have breakfast every day. Is that true? Why does that make a difference?
How do you bring in new ideas?
Do you really just work 40 hours a week? Even in ‘crunch time’? Don’t your clients make you work more hours? Does that really produce the most work product per week? Why?
These are all questions we’ve had, from clients, developers, and other firms. We’ve been practicing these methods for over 10 years, so we’ve learned a thing or two about how it all works. We want to share what we’ve learned, and we think you’ll take away new insights you can apply right away. It’s been great for us, and we think it can make your own work more sustainable, delightful, and productive.
Pivotal Labs, Inc.
I started working on networked Hypertext systems in 1989, working with Ted Nelson at Autodesk. I was on the launch team at HotWired, and was one of the 4 people involved in the decision that saddled the world with 468×60 banner ads for all time. (It looked nice on the page with the HotWired layout and Netscape 0.94 beta.)
After HotWired, I started a consulting company (Neo Communication) that did a lot of work for companies like IDG and Sony, and we started doing Java development in 1995. (In fact, we built the first client-server application ever built in Java, a demo applet and server, used to reserve seats for a theater presentation announcing the public release of Java at SunWorld.)
I was Java Evangelist at Symantec during the glory days of VisualCafé, and was Sr. Director of Technology at HSX.com, before returning to consulting, and later writing Mastering Tomcat Development for J. Wiley and Sons.
I joined Friendster in 2004 as employee #4, and when we got around to titles, I became their Chief Architect, only to leave when our new VP of Engineering moved us to PHP+XSL.
Since then, I’ve been at Pivotal Labs, where I’m a Principal, and VP of Technology. I’ve worked on a number of projects for high-profile clients, and designed a number of applications.
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