Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

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Building a Culture of Continuous Improvement



Kevin Goldsmith shows what Avvo has done to build a foundation for a continuous improvement culture: frameworks, processes that support and empower individuals and groups to own and drive improvements to make themselves more efficient and the company a better place to work.


Kevin Goldsmith is the Chief Technical Officer at Avvo in Seattle, overseeing all Research and Development, Data Engineering, Dev Ops and IT teams. He has also worked at such companies as Spotify, Adobe Systems, Silicon Graphics, (Colossal) Pictures, Agnostic Media, and IBM.

About the conference

Software is changing the world. QCon empowers software development by facilitating the spread of knowledge and innovation in the developer community. A practitioner-driven conference, QCon is designed for technical team leads, architects, engineering directors, and project managers who influence innovation in their teams.

Recorded at:

Jun 08, 2018

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Community comments

  • Good slides

    by Allan Wind,

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    The slides are clear, covers the ideas, and stand on their own. Thanks for sharing. The acronyms, I bet, add to confusion around training. As an outsider it just different for no particular reason. Instead of swig or whatever it was, call it an epic or big a problem, or strategic direction or wahtever. The secret weapon is having everyone understand the current direction, then get sub-tasks down in size for faster iteration feed. This drives a beautiful feedback cycle. Successes are built upon, and failures are cheap. It look like you guys are getting there. The big problem might melt away as it's covered in n smaller problems that gets tacked quickly. Quarter cycles goes away. Documentation is important for certain things, I would argue that it's the process (retrospective) rather than documents that is of value. Does anyone actually read those old lessons learned, say, a week or two after they were published? Anyone in the control cycle, "leadership approvals" will slow you down. Can you empower people to do the right stuff on their own? I manged it via prioritization of a queue. Only the top of the queue matters, and people what how stakeholders prioritize items. They will self-prioritize right very quickly, and only leadership input required is when things change.

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