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Nate Oster

CodeSquads, LLC

An agile player-coach and founder of CodeSquads, Nate Oster helps clients adopt lean and agile methods. Nate builds high-performance teams that adapt to change, embrace a pragmatic philosophy of continuous improvement, measure progress with new features, and deliver high-quality software that delights customers. As a coach, he inspires adopters with hands-on mentoring and simulations like The Kanban Racing Challenge, which provide a safe learning environment for new ideas. He promotes testing as a serious technical discipline. Though he’s a frequent speaker at software development conferences, Nate spends most of his time as a hands-on advisor to software product teams from startups to multinationals. He is easily defeated at all card games. Contact him at [email protected].

Speaker Presentations
Monday, November 10, 2014 - 8:30am
Half-day Tutorials
Specification by Example: Mastering Agile Testing

On agile teams, testers can struggle to keep up with the pace of development if they continue employing a waterfall verification process―finding bugs after development. Nate Oster challenges you to question waterfall assumptions and replace a “test last” mentality with “specification by example.” Practice “test first” by writing executable specifications for a new feature before development begins. Learn to switch from tests as verification to tests as specification and guide development with concrete examples written in the language of your business. Start by joining a team for a humorous simulation of real-world issues and experience. Learn how specification by example helps build in quality instead of trying to test defects out. Progress to increasingly more realistic scenarios and practice the art of specifying intent with table-based and given-when-then formats. These paper-based simulations give you meaningful practice with specifying concrete examples and will change the way you think about writing tests and collaborating as a team. This is not a “tools” session (no laptops required).

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - 1:00pm
Half-day Tutorials
The Kanban Racing Challenge: An Immersive Workshop

The Kanban Racing Challenge is an immersive workshop where you learn the basic practices of a Kanban team by building an obstacle course for radio-controlled cars. This fast-paced, competitive learning environment prepares you to immediately apply Kanban on your own software teams. Your racing team starts with a warm-up lap that explains how your Kanban Storyboard creates a “continuous pull system” and natural self-management. Then the race is on as your team competes to build features on your racetrack while you experience Kanban norms like work in process (WIP) limits, service level agreements (SLAs), and expedite requests. Don’t worry, we take breaks to continuously improve, guided by simple metrics such as “lead time.” Whether you’re just exploring agile or you’re already a Kanban leader, this fun and challenging simulation focuses you on how teams can maximize the smooth flow of new features with high quality. No Kanban experience is required, but experts are welcome.