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Agile Alliance Technical Conference Videos Available

The first Agile Alliance Technical Conference was recently held in Raleigh, NC, USA.  The conference was run with the intent of bringing a focus on the strong technical skills needed to make agile software development effective and covered a wide range of technical topics from pair programming to refactoring, microservices, TDD at many levels, architectural qualities and infrastructure.  

The conference videos are now available on the Agile Alliance website.  

There were two keynote talks, the opening one Sandi Metz and the other by Uncle Bob Martin,

In the opening keynote, titled "Practical Agile Development: A Challenge from the Trenches" Sandi explored the challenges that exist or are percieved to exist in organisations which prevent programmers and other technical practitioners from being able to do the best job they are able to do.  She explored aspects of human psychology that could influence behaviours and contribute both positively and negatively to the ability of individuals and teams to achieve their potential.  

She offered concrete advice for programmers interacting with other programmers, programmers communicating with managers and managers communicating with programmers.

The second keynote was by Uncle Bob titled "The Future of Software" in which he explored the history of computing since the 1940's, focusing on Turing's work and his writing, in particular the description of the type of people who Turing felt would be needed to work in the industry:

We shall need a great number of mathematicians of ability because there will probably be a good deal of work of this type to be done. One of the difficulties will be the maintenance of an appropriate discipline, so that we do not lose track of what we are doing

He presented the evolution of computer programming as a profession over the decades from the 1940's, the numbers of people needed in the industry as the reach of computing devices has extended and the skills that are needed to be effective as a programmer.

He stated that the "mathematicians of ability..discipline" can be read today as "programmers of ability and discipline".  He stated that he and the other authors of the Agile Manifesto had the clear intent that the agile movement was intended to be one of discipline, craftsmanship and professionalism however he sees a lack of all three aspects in much of the industry.

Agile without technical practices is a really great way to make a horrible mess really fast

In today's world almost everything that happens involves interaction with computer software, from automotive control systems to aircraft automatic pilots to call centres, to banking, retail, telephony, home electronics and almost every aspect of our lives.  This brings with it great power for the industry and at the same time great responsibility. 

He stated that there is a crucial need for the industry to move to become a true profession and that we need to do this for ourselves rather than waiting for a disaster to happen which could result in standards and regulation being imposed by governments without a deep understanding of the dynamics of the industry.

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