Skip to main content


Below find information on the featured keynotes at 2013 Better Software Conference West and Agile Development Conference West.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 8:30am - 9:30am

An organization’s ability to make improvement, whether for greater agility or other goals, involves two components—a technical component and a people component. The technical component is generally logical, linear, and relatively straightforward, and the technical change agents are often skilled at implementing the technology. On the other hand, the people component is never straightforward. Change agents, especially ones whose expertise is in technology, often find themselves overwhelmed at the messy, chaotic, and unpredictable responses that occur whenever real change bumps up against real people. Twenty years ago, Dale Emery was an overwhelmed technical change agent. Since then he’s learned key principles and practices for guiding, nudging, and supporting organizational improvements. Learn how to work with people to create improvements that stick, how to sort through the chaos of change to tap the energy and ideas hidden within, and how to stay focused, flexible, and sane as you promote, implement, and support your organization’s evolution.

More Information
Learn more about Dale Emery.
Dean Leffingwell, Leffingwell, LLC
Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 12:45pm - 2:15pm

Tired of the claims that Scrum, XP, and kanban don’t scale beyond a few teams? Overwhelmed by management’s resistance to the organizational changes needed to really follow agile principles? Concerned with the lack of proven practices required to scale agile methods to the next level? Exploring the Scaled Agile Framework™, Dean Leffingwell dispels these claims and answers these questions—and more. A publicly available set of practices for agile teams, projects, architectures, programs, and portfolios, this framework helps organizations scale lean and agile development from several small teams to hundreds—and even thousands—of practitioners. Working at companies including BMC Corporation and John Deere, Dean has discovered what works and what doesn’t work. He focuses on the critical role software development managers, leaders, and executives play in implementing and supporting the framework to achieve the full business benefits of enterprise agility.

More Information
Learn more about Dean Leffingwell.
Jim McCarthy, McCarthy Technologies, Inc.
Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 8:30am - 10:00am

A culture is the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that both describes and shapes a group. The unique challenges of creating software have demanded totally new types of corporate culture. In response, we have created agile, Scrum, and XP. These represent the birth of culture engineering and, although significant, are very primitive compared to what will follow. Jim McCarthy introduces “culture hacking,” a kind of cultural engineering that focuses on protecting personal freedom, extending openness, and embodying rationality. In the near future, a system made up of shared commitments and interpersonal protocols for hosting cultural innovations is likely to become available and standardized, leading to enormous personal and collective cultural and productivity gains. Happily, these gains will be based on culturally designed nobility of purpose, and a potent and virtuous cycle will emerge, whereby profit derives from ennobled behavior. This cycle will lead to an era of widespread and abundant greatness—an era of unparalleled magnificence.

More Information
Learn more about Jim McCarthy.
Mik Kersten, Tasktop
Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 12:45pm - 2:00pm

Daily, we are told that adopting agile, PaaS, DevOps, crowdsourced testing, or any of the myriad of current buzzwords will help us deliver better software faster. However, for the majority of software development organizations, naïve agile transformations that don’t look beyond the needs of developers will fail to produce the promised results. Mik Kersten says that instead of focusing on development alone to transform our software delivery, we must acknowledge the different contexts and mismatched cadences that define the work of business analysts, developers, testers, and project managers. For example, a developer working in an agile team may deliver code every two weeks, but the performance testing group may need more time for its work, while the operations group has a planned release cycle of once per quarter. To achieve optimum flow, which is the goal of end-to-end lean delivery, we must identify the different cadences of each group and interconnect the collaborators and their work—requirements, development, testing, and deployment.

More Information
Learn more about Mik Kersten.