My notes on goto conference 2017, Amsterdam, Day 2

by Bart den Haak | June 15, 2017

This post gives my impressions from the last day of the 2017 Goto conference in Amsterdam. I spent pretty well the whole day at non-technical talks. Perhaps because my interests in this area have widened, I found many of the talks fascinating.

Keynote: Engineering you, Martin Thompson

The day started with a keynote of Martin. Normally Martin talks about high performance stuff. But today he talked about how to be a better programmer.  Some message to junior programmer is to read more papers; improve your skills, practice and learn. Especially, learn algorithms and math. Something I still want to do someday.

Politics & Hierarchy: How we create it & How to stop it, Katherine Kirk

In her talk, Katherine talked about how to use Eastern Philosophical models to show how hierarchy arise even from lean and agile teams, anarchy basically. Current organizations have to deal with constant change, interdependencies and dissatisfaction. This will cause:

  • Collaboration fatigue
  • Decision fatigue
  • Change fatigue
  • Empathy fatigue

Why is this exhausting? In a constant world of constant change we get stressed out.

But humans are the containers of insights. Humans are the company’s assets. With a formula she described:
No single human has insights
=    Insights is created by collaboration
&  Insights is insight the containers.

Politics affects delivery. Stress result in more selfish behavior which result in managing. Can quest leadership help here I wonder. And a minute after she referred to Alistair his talk about question leadership.

Then she continued by talking about the sphere of caring. One should embrace change and extend the circle of caring. Resist: Self pity, entitlement en envy.  Rebel against that YOU are the center of the universe. Increase the circle of care.The solution is inclusivity & compassion.

Top 7 Agile Tips I learnt as a Product Manager, Benjamin Mitchell

Benjamin told his own and honest experience about agile. He used Kanban in his projects and he talked about using data from A/B tests to drive decisions they made. Some of the tips included:

  • Start with a purpose
  • Culture starts with your own behavior
  • Show, don’t (just) tell.
  • Negotiate small steps.
  • Measure to improve

To me a bit of an open door since he describe the basis of Lean software development. Nonetheless, a very pleasant talk to listen to.

Keynote: Cloud Trends, Adrian Cockcroft

After a very nice lunch together with Jessica Kerr and Chris Heilmann (OMG: apparently, I stood at a table with 2 speakers) I went to see Adrian Cockcroft. He talked about the very first days of Netflix. Later he went to explaining serverless and showed the power of the AI services Amazon are building. After his talk I asked him about my concern regarding serverless as the legacy of the future. He indicated that functions are so small, you can rewrite them if you don’t know them enough. But my concern is more if you had hundreds of them. He didn’t seems to have a good answer to that yet.

How to Win Hearts & Minds – The Lessons Learned from Electoral Politics, Kate Gray & Chris Young

In which I learn about:

  • Vision(establish a common ground),
  • Segmentation(Focus on those you can move),
  • Define, Deliver, Claim (Resilience),
  • Polling (Commit a meaningful dialogue)

Team Sense-making with Organizational Constellations, Andrea Provaglio

Based on family Constellations, Andrea showed live on stage with a few participant how you can bring techniques from constellations to the workflow. In this very impressive, almost pure NLP demo, he showed how we can use other parts of our brain to think about conflict and how to resolve them. Very impressive. Join one of his workshops if you can.

The Tech Industry needs all Kinds of Minds – so how do we Support Them?, Sallyann Freudenberg

In her awesome talk about neurodiversity, she went with us over the different types of brains one can have. From autistic to ADHD. We shouldn’t ban those people from our teams, we should embrace those different brains, because they can bring diversity in our teams. Join the inclusive collaboration movement!

Keynote: The Scribe’s Oath, Robert C. Martin (Uncle Bob)

And of course, a software engineering conference without Uncle Bob isn’t a real software conference. Unfortunately, his talk wasn’t very new compared to his older once. However, it was funny and quite amusing.

See you next year on Goto conference 2018?