ThoughtWorks has developed into a 3000-person worldwide company, yet still has much of the pragmatic, informal culture from a decade ago when it was a tenth of the size. We’ll explore how we’ve managed to do this, and how we try to influence our clients – who are usually much more corporate and hierarchical.
Martin Fowler is an author, speaker, consultant, and self-described loud-mouthed pundit on the topic of software development. He works for software delivery company ThoughtWorks, where he has the exceedingly inappropriate title of chief scientist. Martin has written half a dozen books on software development, including Refactoring and Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture. He writes regularly about software development on Martinfowler.com. Martin’s main interest is to understand how to design software systems to maximize the productivity of development teams, which includes both the patterns of good software design and the processes that support software design. He has become a big fan of Agile approaches and the resulting focus on evolutionary software design. Martin doesn’t come up with original ideas but does a pretty good job of recognizing and packaging the ideas of others—or, as Brian Foote puts it, he’s “an intellectual jackal with good taste in carrion.”
Rachel Laycock is the chief technology officer for North America at ThoughtWorks, where she’s accountable for driving technology strategy and defining areas of focus for the North American business, steering technical capabilities and solutions, and serving as a conduit between global leadership and technology teams on the ground. She’s worked on a wide range of technologies and the integration of many disparate systems and advises clients on technology strategy and identifying and prioritizing technical trends and solutions. She has many years of experience coaching organizations on Agile and continuous delivery technical practices at scale. She’s a member of the technical advisory board to the global CTO, which regularly produces the ThoughtWorks Technology Radar. Her ultimate passion is problem-solving and in her 16+ years of delivering software has discovered that people challenges are often more difficult to solve than software ones.
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