16 years of legacy code with mob programming and Lego | Joe Wright

Feb 13, 2017 by Madalina Botez in  Announcements
Enjoy the following series of interviews with the speakers, top-notch software crafters from across Europe, joining  I T.A.K.E Unconference, Bucharest, 11-12 May. Discover the lessons learned and what drives them to challenge the known path in their field. 

 

Joe Wright, Senior Developer, Coach & Architect, helps people deliver software that’s well designed, fully tested and released early. You will learn from his case study at #itakeunconf about how a team can go from individuals to a mob.

 

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#1. Share with us 5 things from your experience that helped you grow & become the professional you are today

 

# Make time for deep work
Set a few hour blocks aside each week that you will dedicate to improving yourself or creating something each week. As a parent, I’ve had to start doing this by getting up early to grab two hours each day. During this time you can learn a skill, practice coding, write a book or make a podcast. It’s far too easy to let distractions rule your life. Make time to do something you are proud of.

 

# Become a facilitator
I think everyone is terrified of public speaking. It’s an unnatural thing to do. Our ancestors learned this behavior as a survival instinct – if lots of carnivores are looking at you then you are probably the dinner. Time to run.
Getting over this is an important step that enables you to have all sorts of life experiences. Speaking at conferences, leading workshops and meeting interesting new people. The way I beat the fear was by volunteering to co-organise a well-attended meetup. Each month I would have to get up in front of a room of my peers and say some boilerplate about welcome and the agenda. But just that act of getting up and speaking was enough to dull the fear over time. I’ve not been made into dinner yet.
As well as building yourself up as a speaker, it helps improve your network of people. People like speaking to the host at an event and it gives you an easy opportunity to learn about those people, then take a mental note when you might want to get into contact with them in the future.

 

# Ask for help
Don’t feel you have to figure everything out yourself or read up online. Reach out and ask people for help.
As you spend more time in your career you meet more people – and one day you’ll have a question you’d love to ask them. It’s even easier now with social media and video conferencing. People will give you 30 minutes of time online or meet you over coffee to give you their advice if they think you’ve got an interesting question to answer.
I always have a list of three things I want advice on. You never know who you are going to meet.

 

# Improve in more than one dimension
At first, newly minted developers want to get projects released and in users hands. During this, you try to get better at creating software that can be changed to meet their needs. Eventually, newer technology comes out, which promises to solve the problem of getting code out quicker and is easier to change.

 

It’s quite easy to fall into the trap of just learning technology stacks. This can be rewarding, but that’s not the only way to improve as a developer and meet people’s needs.
Seek out opportunities to see the world from the other functions in software. If you tester goes on holiday then volunteer to stand in for them. If you have an ops team then ask to pair on making the release process smoother. Facilitate a retrospective for another team. Run a usability session with real world users to see how your product is used. Stepping into another roles shoes helps build empathy, which will allow you to work better with others people in the future.
If you tech stack isn’t challenging you then concentrate on improving your “soft skills”. Teach someone how it works. Figure out ways to promote and resolve conflict on your team. Fix the root causes of communication and process issues that slow you down.

 

# Find people that will challenge you
It can be hard to get feedback about how you are doing. Are your ideas valid? Often you can’t get this feedback in your workplace. Seek out a group of people or a person that is willing to challenge how you think.
For me, this is the Lean Agile space and my local code craftsmanship group.
Consider these people that challenge you your core group. The way you work should be consistent with the ideals of that group. So don’t ever worry about saying what you think at work, just make sure you stay true to the principles of your core group.

 

#2. What challenges will the participants find solutions to during your session at I T.A.K.E Unconference 2017?

  • How can I reduce communication, approval, and tech debt issues from slowing down my team?
  • How can I measure and improve how a dev team spends their time?
  • How can I get started doing this at my work?

 

#3. Recommend for the participants 3 sources you find inspiration from and would help them better understand you

  •  Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport (book)
  •  Facilitation advice – available here
  • The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox (book)

 

 

 

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Want to join Joe, +30 international speakers and ~300 software crafters from around Europe?

Register now for I T.A.K.E Unconference 2017!

Building a multiplayer game server and keeping (most of) your hair

Mar 24, 2017
Enjoy the following series of interviews with the speakers, top-notch software crafters from across Europe, joining  I T.A.K.E Unconference, Bucharest, 11-12 May. Discover the lessons learned and what drives them to challenge the known path in their field.

 

Opher Vishnia, Creative Developer at Interlude, is a multidisciplinary creator, invested in many different and often unrelated fields at the same time: computer science, art, music, design, math, game development and more. He is going to share at #itakeunconf more about building a multiplayer game server.

 

 

#1. Please share with us 5 things you did that helped you grow & become the professional you are today

√ Invest in personal projects. Think of a project that you think is fun to make and just start hacking at it. Developing something for yourself, where you make all the decisions rather than for a company you work for, is an amazing tool for learning and growing.
√ Join in the conversation. Is there an online group or a meetup for your area of development? That’s a great way to make new personal connections and learn along the way
√ Find an open source project that you like and start contributing. A good place to start would be a tool or library that you already know and use. Your contribution doesn’t have to be code – you can open an issue, improve the documentation or write a tutorial.
√ Take initiative. Is there something in your workplace that can be done better and sounds interesting to play with? Step up and do it. Suggest researching a new topic, or introducing a new tool the workflow. It’ll provide an interesting new challenge and a break from the daily routine. Plus it’ll make you look cool.
√ Stay optimistic. Sometimes these challenges are frustrating, and there are days you won’t make any progress, but the moment you have that “a-ha” moment is worth it all.

#2. What challenges will the participants find solutions to during your session at I T.A.K.E Unconference 2017?

Participants will learn about why making synchronized multiplayer games in the browser is so hard and what solutions do we have at our disposal to tackle those.

 

#3. Recommend for the participants 3 sources you find inspiration from and would help them better understand you

 
√ Codepen.io is a wonderful tool for inspiration on the web
√ Games in general. Just get Steam and play something!
√  Multiplayer Game Programming: Architecting Networked Game by Josh Glazer & Sanjay Madhav – A very comprehensive book on all things multiplayer

Want to meet Opher, +30 international speakers and ~300 software crafters from around Europe?

Register now for I T.A.K.E Unconference 2017!

Journey to Agilandia

Apr 10, 2017
Enjoy the following series of interviews with the speakers, top-notch software crafters from across Europe, joining  I T.A.K.E Unconference, Bucharest, 11-12 May. Discover the lessons learned and what drives them to challenge the known path in their field.

 

Liviu-Stefanita Baiu, Senior Business Analyst and Analysis Discipline Lead, has worked as a full-time Business Analyst for the last 5 years, in a couple of companies, in an Agile environment. He will share at #itakeunconf real-life samples of the techniques and tools and how they helped get along in Agilandia.

 

#1. Please share with us 5 things you did that helped you grow & become the professional you are today

 

Some of the most important turning points in my professional life are related to the people – my family and people I’ve met and work with along the way.
√ The set of values I learned from my family is the basement for all I am today, and I will name only a few – fairness, transparency, and loyalty helped me get through various situations I encountered.
√ Along with the above values – assuming responsibility for the things I’ve done allowed me to become trusted and receive honest feedback about my activity. Getting the right feedback (positive or negative – we all have successes and fails) and learning from it – this is something of value for me, and I try not to repeat the mistakes I’ve made along the way.
√ I like to read and I was encouraged to do so – this got me to pay attention to details and try to see beyond words and facade.
√ Making a career switch, thirteen years ago when I joined Transart, was a turning point. And the things I learned there for almost seven years, allowed me to naturally evolve to become a Business Analyst.
√ The colleagues and superiors I had, in my previous employments, contributed something to my evolution – their appreciation, as well as their disapproval, and always their advice.

 

#2. What challenges will the participants find solutions to during your session at I T.A.K.E Unconference 2017?

 

My session is nothing about panacea, rather a proposition for the participants to use a set of tools, techniques, and attitude to tackle the complexity of software projects in an Agile environment. Some of them tools will help them understand the product vision, and other can be used for passing it on to the teams they work with. The match between them and each participant’s work environment as well as the value they bring in everyday work is a decision that relies solely on each and everyone from the audience. This toolkit worked for me, it may work for others.

 

#3. Recommend for the participants 3 sources you find inspiration from and would help them better understand you

I play GO (or wieki) – an ancient Chinese strategy game – unfortunately less often, I enjoy reading Fantasy and Sci-Fi literature, but one of the books I enjoyed reading is a military treaty – Sun Tzu’s Art of War, and one of my favorite authors is Mario Vargas Llosa, from a professional perspective Patrick Lencioni – The Advantage was an inspiration. And to conclude – the best source of information is the team you work with, they will show you what you need to learn so you can work together.

 

Want to join Liviu and ~300 software crafters from around Europe?

Register now for I T.A.K.E Unconference 2017!

Powering Interactive Data Analysis with Google BigQuery

Mar 29, 2017
Enjoy the following series of interviews with the speakers, top-notch software crafters from across Europe, joining  I T.A.K.E Unconference, Bucharest, 11-12 May. Discover the lessons learned and what drives them to challenge the known path in their field.

 

Marton Kodok is a Senior Software Architect REEA, who led the implementation of complex and distributed systems. At #itakeunconf 2017, he will share more about Powering Interactive Data Analysis with Google BigQuery.

 

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#1. Please share with us 5 things you did that helped you grow & become the professional you are today

 

It all started when I was posting answers for the Stackoverflow community and the reputation started to grow over 100k. I realized that being a professional is a constant effort and never ending learning of new cool stuff. To be up to speed you need to constantly shift to emerging technologies. You see the merit when your answer voted and uncounted millions of people also learn.
We need to be open-minded and have a mentor around us to grow. As you might not have a mentor close to you in person, you can leverage online communities such as Stackoverflow, a community that helps you grow. It helped me.
Then when you take it offline and be supportive & active in local communities, participate in Startup Weekends, community projects you believe in – you will be able to work on fun stuff. Also being part of an IT company such as REEA, it helped me become a professional by all the great startup projects I had to work on, the colleagues, the clients, and also the conference participations.
In 2016, I was nominated and accepted into the Google Developers Experts program. Having my exemplary work recognized by the greatest company in the IT industry and pointing me as an expert and outstanding professional, it gives me new goals to achieve even more.

#2. What challenges will the participants find solutions to during your session at I T.A.K.E Unconference 2017?

Nowadays there are dozens of options to choose how you architect your project for next level of data analytics. We will cover how Google BigQuery helps to solve the petabyte scale data warehousing, and ability to write complex queries for your dashboards.

#3. Recommend for the participants 3 sources you find inspiration from and would help them better understand you

My inspiration inbox is Feedly, there I consume all sorts of content I really enjoy reading: High Scalability, Percona Blogs, Codrops, Medium, SIMB.
ITAKE_2017

Want to join Marton and ~300 software crafters from around Europe?

Register now for I T.A.K.E Unconference 2017!

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