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Below find information on the featured keynotes at Better Software Conference East.

Ken Whitaker, Leading Software Maniacs
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - 8:30am - 9:45am

To successfully lead “the nerd herd,” you’re expected to motivate your team to perform, encourage innovation, and produce software solutions that delight the customer. Prioritizing your time for what’s most important can be quite challenging—especially when you’re swamped with a steady stream of incoming requests, meeting overload, and the ever-present personnel issues. The expectation of even faster product deployment, the evolution of software development to agility, and the establishment of self-directed teams often require even more time devoted to planning. So, how can you balance all of these important activities? There aren’t enough hours in the day! Ken Whitaker presents efficient, time-saving techniques for setting a culture of collaboration and communication, keeping your team focused, improving staff retention, handling awards versus incentives, improving how status is reported, making decisions for the good of the customer, and setting up successful geographically-distributed virtual development teams. Learn to focus your attention on turning chaos into order.

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Learn more about Ken Whitaker.
Rob Myers, Agile Institute
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - 10:00am - 11:00am

What we mean by Agile is becoming less and less clear. Rob Myers shares sixteen years of history and observation, noting the amazingly diverse ideologies and practices that people now include under this umbrella term. Agile started with the earliest notions of iterative-and-incremental, inspect-and-adapt principles and practices from Scrum. It now includes the intensive engineering disciplines of XP that have recently branched off into the Software Craftsmanship movement. Along the way, agile grafted in lean principles and saw the flowering of the elegantly simple Kanban approach. And those are just the more obvious adaptations. Rob explores the sensitive but pivotal observations that agile is little more than project management or a certification program to some—and almost a religion to others. He provides his perspective on why this seemingly chaotic churn of values, practices, and metaphors is not a bad thing, and how we can navigate the intertwining disciplines to decide what to embrace. Whether these are the early foundational taproots of agility or the latest innovative branches, Rob examines the value of keeping an open—and simultaneously critical—mind.

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Learn more about Rob Myers.
Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 8:30am - 10:00am

The agile revolution began more than a dozen years ago. It was started by a small band of rebels who had radical ideas, shared a common vision, and wanted to change the world by challenging the status quo. Where is that agile revolution today? Has it continued the vision of its founders? Has it stayed true to its original values and principles as set forth in its manifesto or has it been watered down to make it more palatable to the masses? Cheezy Morgan ponders the answers to these and related questions. By taking a probing look at the history and recent developments in agile software development, Cheezy shows us trends that will continue into the future as well as trends that have the potential to undermine the whole moment. Looking at both sides of current debates within the agile community, he discusses attempts to water down the agile principles and those that are hardening their stance against these actions. He paints a picture of several possible outcomes and challenges you to help shape the future of agile.

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Learn more about Jeff "Cheezy" Morgan.
Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 4:15pm - 5:15pm

In an industry that continues to rapidly evolve, the pressure to increase our mastery can be overwhelming. Whether browsing the web or your organization's technical library, it's discouraging to realize that many of the skills you’ve mastered are now obsolete, replaced by new, important ones that you know little about. Is there a way to change discouragement into excitement?  Early in her career, Tricia Broderick was terrified to take chances for fear of failing. Luckily, her determination to deliver―to achieve, learn, and evolve―set her on an accelerated path to becoming a quick learner. As she became a leader, Tricia identified what characterizes most organization superstars―the desire and ability to reach beyond their comfort zones. Sharing her personal stories, Tricia discusses the science behind why being slightly uncomfortable is the best place for learning. The only way to grow is through change as frightening as that can be. Prepare to get out of your own way, leave your comfort zone, and learn how to create places to achieve the elusive “magical” results you want.

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Learn more about Tricia Broderick.