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.

 

speaker-badge-professional-status-joe-wright

 

#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)

 

 

 

ITAKE_2017

 

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

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

Progressive Web Apps – The Future

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.

 

Vlad Zelinschi, Technical Lead, GDE (Google Developer Expert) at 3Pillar Global, is going to share in his talk at #itakeunconf 2017 about Progressive Web Apps (Service Workers, Push Notifications, HTTP 2.0) that bring the best of mobile sites and native applications to users.

 

speaker-badge-professional-status-vlad-zelinschi

 

#1. Share with us 5 things that helped you grow and become the professional you are today

Growth never stops. Or at least not if you allow it. And it’s the single, most important aspect of a professional’s life in order to stay relevant in this field. I’ve found that growth for me happens especially when I get out of my comfort zone. Always try to do that. Don’t settle for what you already know. Push forward. Sometimes it will be hard. That’s why another thing that can fuel your growth is asking for help. Don’t be shy, everyone is learning. Just be humble when you do it. Follow people in your branch (Twitter, blogs, newsletters) and engage in discussions with them. Ask for feedback and be open to constructive criticism. And no matter what you learn, the single most important skill you can develop is learning in itself. So learn to learn first. That will be insanely helpful and will make you very adaptive.

 

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

The participants will get the chance to engage and connect with new technologies (Service Workers, Push Notifications, App Manifest, etc.). They will also be faced with a new approach to building apps (offline-first requires a different mind shift and planning to achieve it) which I hope they will embrace.

 

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

√ Search for Service Workers, Push Notifications, App Manifest, PRPL pattern, App shell, etc.
√ Look for Google articles especially from their network – https://developers.google.com/web/fundamentals/.
√ Follow people on the web/Twitter like Jake Archibald, Ilya Grigorik, Addy Osmani & read their blogs.
ITAKE_2017

 

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

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

I T.A.K.E Unconference 2016 – Ist day videos & slides

May 19, 2016

The first day of I T.A.K.E Unconference 2016 was a great success: 18 speakers from 8 different countries shared insights and latest trends on 5 different stages.

Live coding sessions, the talks & workshops received an excellent feedback. Also, everyone got involved during the Open Space, Lightning Talks, Product Development Track & Kata Lounge. In the evening, the event continued informally at Dinner & Coding with a stranger.

You can watch the videos from the event here. Find below the slides from day one. Slides from day 2 are here.

 

Developer’s Life

Franziska SauwerwinRaising the Bar 

Houssam Fakih & Borris Gonnot – Metrics for Good Developers

Claudia Rosu – Developer experience to Testing

Alastair Smith – Express Yourself!

Monica Obogeanu – How We Use BDD to Keep our Developers Smiling

 

Software Design

Ionut G. StanLet’s write a Parser!

 

Microservices

Tim Perry – Microservice Pipeline Architecture

Yegor Bugayenko – Microservices as Chat Bots

Cristiana Voicu & Cristian Andrei – Openstack in the Enterprise and you get your money from it

Condoiu Iuliana – Microservices-what tools do we use

 

Continous Deployment

Philipp Krenn – Automate all things AWS with Ansible

 

DevOps 

Phillipp Krenn – Painfree object-document mapping with Elasticresearch 

 

 

Autotesting & Design

Nicolas Frankel – Mutation Testing to the rescue of your tests

Alastair Smith – Test-Driving Your Database

Andreas Leidig & Robin Danzinger – Who is testing the mocks

 

A few thoughts from the participants

  • First of all, I want to congratulate you for the organisation (…)  You can be proud of your work. I spent an amazing time and the return on the invested time is 5/5
  • Open talks were excellent for networking and ideas exchange
  • The Product Development track was a useful and pleasant experience

 

 

day1_itake

 

 

Covariance and contra variance. Say what ?!

May 09, 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.

Alin Pandichi, Software Developer at MozaicLabs and facilitator of the monthly Coding Dojo meeting that is part of the largerBucharest Agile Sofware Meetup Group, will share during his talk at I T.A.K.E Unconference more about Covariance and contravariance.

 

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

I’ll answer this with a little bit of story telling about how I became a software developer. The first two things that helped me were attending the computer science oriented high school and college. There, I learned the basics of computers and programming languages. I also noticed how effortlessly I was solving CS related problems, so maybe I was onto something.

Number three: I got my first job straight out of college, developing a Swing rich client application saving data with JPA. This put me face to face with real world problems. I was faced with the fact that continuous learning is a must in this industry.

Therefore, number four on the list is learning. For the first few couple of years, I kept devouring every Java-related article I could find on DZone. With each one, I found out something new: a useful tool, a Linux terminal command, a development methodology, etc.

Last, but not least, is getting involved with local software development communities. I started attending meetups such as The Bucharest Agile Software Meetup Group and the Bucharest Java User Group. Gradually, I became an active member of both, giving a helping hand in organizing their events. On top of that, I also got involved in the wider community of Global Day of Coderetreat. My talk at I TAKE 2017 is one of the occasional opportunities I get to share what I know.

 

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

They will find it easier to understand the concepts of covariance and contravariance, and how they are applied in the world of programming. In my experience, it was very easy to forget what these two words meant. Not anymore.

 

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

I dream big, so my biggest source of inspiration is science fiction. My first serious SF encounter was with Frank Herbert’s Dune series. Out of the contemporary authors, I enjoy Neil Gaiman’s work very much.

Whenever I get a chance, I tune into Nick Francis’ podcast called Quiet Music. It is a blend of low beat music of various genres: electronic, jazz, instrumental, folk, light rock, and so on.

Cinema is one of my other hobbies. I am very much interested in following every film festival happening in Bucharest. Also, the Romanian cinema of the past two decades has offered many gems so far, and it continues to do so.

 

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

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

Leave a Reply