Over the last 12 years, Tony has spent his time at TechSmith working as a Software Engineer for products like Camtasia Studio, Snagit, Morae, and Screencast.com. Later he moved on to lead the development efforts for the TechSmith Relay and Cloud Services teams.
He now serves on the executive team as Chief Architect. In this role, Tony helps the engineering teams design and deliver cohesive solutions to the marketplace in an ever changing environment. His leadership, coaching, and mentoring helped lead to the creation of an agile engineering culture that facilitates teams achieving their potential. This culture has allowed Tony to exercise his passion for building products that change people’s lives.
A self-proclaimed nerd, Brandon Carlson works for Lean TECHniques, Inc., an IT consultancy that helps teams deliver high-value, high-quality products to market. Since starting his career in 1995, Brandon has been blessed with nearly 20 years of experience to remind him how much more there is to learn. Passionate about elevating the performance of the IT industry, he has helped numerous organizations from startups to Fortune 100 companies improve their product development and delivery systems. Brandon’s current interests include behavioral psychology and professionalism in the world of software development. He can be reached on Twitter and pretty much everywhere else on the web as “bcarlso”.
David teaches and coaches product discovery through iterative delivery. He has spent the last 10 years coaching agility, Lean practices and producing products for companies of all sizes around the world. For each engagement, David’s coaching is non-dogmatic, well-grounded, challenging and pragmatic. By focusing on really getting to know a project community, David seeds self-discovery and avoids falling into the expert trap of simply telling people what they “should do". David spends most of his time pairing around code and tests, creating product ideas and roadmaps, and helping leadership teams pragmatically introduce the type of agility that fosters innovation and creates a competitive edge. David owns and guides DevJam (www.devjam.com), a composition of mentors who blend technology, people, and processes to create better products in competitive cycles.
Diane Zajac-Woodie (@agilesquirrel) has spent more than six years redefining the business analyst role as more than a requirements dictator. Through open and honest conversations, Diane guides her business partners toward creative solutions that solve problems and eliminate waste. She shares this same approach with her technical teams, facilitating communication, cooperation, and continuous learning to ensure success. Diane craves knowledge almost as much as chocolate and could make question-asking an Olympic sport.
Now an agile coach, Diane's recent passion is to free those mired in the status quo even if she has to pull them out one at a time. Diane's alter ego makes her thoughts transparent on her blog, AgileSquirrel. For more serious stuff, go to www.greenjeansconsulting.com.
Jon has 8 years of experience as a business analyst and product owner at Principal Financial Group. He is active in the Des Moines business analysis and agile community, and helps facilitate an agile business analysis discussion group through the Central Iowa Chapter of IIBA. Jon believes that software development teams should deliver the right business value with the least amount of complexity and waste. He also encourages other business analysts and teams to think differently in their own work through mentoring and coaching. Jon’s other passions include his family, Habitat for Humanity, and craft beer.
Jim Lowery is an Agile/Lean coach at the Principal Financial Group. In his role, Jim is assisting business and IT teams across the Principal in their Agile transformation. With over 25-years of experience in software development and IT leadership, Jim has a great appreciation for the challenges facing larger organizations that want to be more Agile. In addition to his passions for technology and leadership, Jim is also actively involved in the agricultural community as owner/operator of a beef cattle operation in Pella, Iowa.
Jodi Jones is an assistant director of IT in the US Insurance Solutions division at the Principal Financial Group where she leads software development teams with a focus on improving delivery using agile techniques.
She is a change enthusiast with a passion to make her organization and the Des Moines community a great place to work for technology professionals. She has co-organized innovative events such as the Principal Code Jams, Des Moines Area Charity Hackathon and Des Moines Agile conference.
Her background includes application development, project leadership, team leadership, and developing leaders.
Matt previously founded and grew Submittal Exchange, a provider of web-based collaboration tools for commercial construction projects. In a five year period, Matt grew the company from two employees to more than 100 and more than 100,000 users of their software. He sold Submittal Exchange to Textura Corporation (NYSE: TXTR) in 2011 and remained its president. He served on the executive team at Textura when the company completed a successful IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in 2013. Matt chose to leave Textura so he could pursue several new entrepreneurial ventures, and in January 2014 he founded FunnelWise, a provider of marketing and sales alignment software. After spending a year interviewing prospective customers and designing their solution, Matt and the FunnelWise team recently launched their first product.
Heather Hassebroek leads the Business Intelligence team at FBL Financial Group in West Des Moines, IA. Heather has spent over seven years in various capacities focusing on change management, Agile coaching, leadership and project management. In her previous role as a Lean Agile Program Manager, Heather led an organizational transformation to Lean and Agile practices, taught classes on the basics of Agile, coached teams and continues to speak about cultural change, leadership and Agile related topics. Heather is an authentic, passionate and courageous leader who has a genuine interest in creating an excuse-free environment that inspires others. Heather was the 9th person in the State of Iowa to become an Agile Certified Practitioner and is also a Certified Product Owner. She was the recipient of the FBL Financial Group IT Leader of the Year award.
Kent J. McDonald uncovers better ways of delivering value by doing it and helping others do it. His more than 15 years of experience include work in business analysis, strategic planning, project management, and product development in a variety of industries including financial services, health insurance, performance marketing, human services, nonprofit, and automotive. He is active in the business analysis and agile software development communities helping people share stories about what does and does not work. He shares those stories at beyondrequirements.com, techwell.com, and projectconnections.com in addition to presenting at and helping organize several local and international conferences.
Sue McKinney is a results-oriented technology executive with a track record of aligning products to market needs and leading engineering and product teams to much higher performance levels. She transforms practices, skills, and results to generate significant improvements in growth, value, effectiveness, and efficiency.
Currently, Sue leads a 1000+ World Wide Engineering team at Symantec in the Information Management Business.
Sue joined Pitney Bowes in April 2010 as the Vice President, Worldwide Engineering. Tasked with creating market-leading software products and services, she quickly transformed the entire software engineering value chain.
Pulling together the legacy products business with a diverse and disparate set of acquisitions, Sue created an engineering team that focused on improving the time to market and gave PB more scale in technical expertise and experience. She concentrated her efforts on application architecture, component reuse, production support and agile/lean best practices and methodologies. She increased collaboration with product management and the marketplace which has sparked innovation, a key to success in delivering PB growth goals.
Prior to joining Pitney Bowes, Ms. McKinney was Vice President of Development Transformation at IBM where she led the effort to affect development transformation across the IBM Software Group development teams, influencing over 25,000 engineers and 43,000 employees in 120 global locations. Key focus areas included the definition of enterprise architecture, governance and fostering agile development methodologies and improving overall software engineering effectiveness. She also held various development executive positions with IBM Lotus where she was responsible for the development of the Sametime Instant Messaging, serving 20 million users, WebSphere Portal and Lotus Domino, IBM’s flagship email messaging system.
Ms. McKinney is a graduate of Ohio State University, with a B.S. in Business Administration and Computer Science.
Tadd Hatch has spent the last 12 years leading and participating in software development teams that develop the core software systems in use at Iowa Student Loan and Aspire Resources Inc. Tadd’s focus has been on delivering value within the project and prioritizing resources and features. He is the product manager for all aspects of private student loan product lines. Tadd leads and works with teams devoted to compliance, finance, marketing and software development. Prior to joining Iowa Student Loan, Tadd was a golf professional. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Truman State University and a master’s in business administration from Iowa State University.
Tim has worked in software development in several industries including financial, fundraising, insurance, and telecommunications. He has played several roles including Agile Coach, Tech Lead, Software Developer, Database Administrator, and Business Analyst. His real passion is to work with people to understand their context and help them introduce incremental improvements to get better at software development. Tim is currently an Embedded XP Coach for Lean TECHniques, Inc. and is consulting with Principal Financial Group.
Prior to his work with Lean TECHniques, Tim was a Software Developer and Tech Lead at Iowa Student Loan immersed in a culture of Extreme Programming where he learned many valuable skills including Test-Driven Development, Pair Programming, Refactoring, and Continuous Integration. While at Iowa Student Loan, Tim was interviewed by Gojko Adzic and his story is featured as a case-study in the book Specification by Example.
Conferences Tim has presented at include the Agile 2009 conference (Chicago), Code Freeze 2010 (Twin Cities), and Agile Day Twin Cities 2011. He has also presented at the Central Iowa Java User Group and has been the leader of the Agile Iowa user group (2007-2012).
Tim Gifford is a software craftsman in West Des Moines, Ia. where he provides training, mentoring, software development and Agile consulting to Central Iowa businesses.
As a Software Delivery Coach, Tim Gifford works with companies to transform their software from a liability and cost center to an asset and competitive advantage.
Tim remains active in the Des Moines technology community having co-founded Agile Iowa, a group devoted to the promotion and discussion of agile methodologies in the state of Iowa, and by serving on the executive board of the Iowa .NET User Group (IADNUG).
Specialties: Systems Thinking, Theory of Constraints, Agile/Lean Software Development, Extreme Programming, Continuous Delivery, DevOps, Kanban, Test Driven Development, Acceptance Test Driven Development, Behavior Driven Development, SpecFlow, Cucumber, FitNesse, Pair Programming, C#, Java
Passionately focused on the facilitation of high-performance software development environments, Tricia Broderick brings seventeen years of experience including the last eight years of focus with an Agile mindset. She leverages and openly shares work experience stories and examples to inspire people, especially managers and leaders to reach new heights through continuous reflection, both as individuals and as members of innovative teams. Tricia is a highly experienced leader, coach, mentor, trainer, and speaker. Recently, Tricia joined Pearson as a Manager of Technical Project Management.
Time crunches in software projects aren't going away anytime soon. Previous technical debt is taking its toll, the project is taking longer than anticipated, and the next project is coming down the pipe. As if that isn't enough, you just been told that the project needs to finish sooner! Don't panic. In this session we'll discuss handling this situation with poise and positive action to help choose the better technical debt to take on, make sure you know how you will improve it, and help you on the path to the architecture you ultimately want.
We all think of ourselves as pretty smart. After all, we sent a man to the moon and can instantly send a message across the world. Unfortunately, we suffer from a nasty little thing known as the Overconfidence Effect, a bias that applies to almost everything we do, including judging our own intelligence. Overconfidence is one of the dozens of documented biases and shortcomings in human judgment and decision making. Brandon Carlson covers biases from the Availability heuristic, which causes us to associate an event’s probability with its memorability, to the Affect heuristic, where a positive experience compels us to believe that the decision was good—regardless of the overall outcome. Brandon explains that understanding and planning for these biases can help reduce the impact they have on our daily decisions. We still may not be as smart as we think, but at least we have the tools to compensate.
For years we’ve worked hard at software development. As teams establish better flow in software development, refactoring language, not just code, presents itself as a meaningful evolution. Where flow lives, could "software development" be refactored to "product development"? The brave pioneers that are already doing this (and there are more each day) are learning that building the product is much less clear than simply getting work done. The land of product development is filled with holes or ambiguity and laced with land mines of wrongness. Ideas that you are certain about often fizzle or change when you watch someone interact with your product. Being overly certain or overly focusing on "just getting work done" are weak weapons in a place where being wrong, and learning from it, is a vital part of finding your way to success.
Instead of talking about "why you should do agile," let’s explore "why you should think in product," assuming you are using some agile practices. Our journey will explore the messy, sloppy and non-linear aspects or product development. Along the way, we’ll investigate how software construction is important but courageously failing and learning in product is essential. We’ll look at how teams are producing more real product value with less code. We will also peer into the world of program level development, where collections of teams produce product without injecting incidental complexity by employing what you might call "test driven product."
Who knows, toward the end of the journey, we might even rally to refactor the agile manifesto to read, "Learning in Product over Simply Getting Things Done."
As companies introduce agile practices, the Business Analyst role is often left by the wayside. The title does not even exist in Scrum or other specific agile implementations, leaving many Business Analysts wondering where they fit in. But fear not! The skills of a good BA are even more valuable in an agile environment! Join Diane Zajac-Woodie as she tells the tale of a new agile team, struggling with no formal training, a resistant corporate culture and unwilling team members. She shares how this team benefited from the communication, collaboration and facilitation skills of an experienced BA. She goes on to highlight some specific shifts that Business Analysts can make in order to help their own team’s transition. These include using story maps and writing executable requirements, just in time. Embracing their new roles, BAs can also encourage team members to cross role boundaries. This leads to new skill acquisition and a more cohesive team, which ultimately leads to higher quality software and happier customers.
So, you have an idea that you want to build…Do you know how big that idea is? Do you know what order to build it in? Do you know all the ways a user will interact with it? Do you know how it will interact with other systems? In this session, we’ll go through an exercise in story mapping to show how it is one of the most powerful tools to help you visualize the system, explore user and system interactions, determine the order to build it, and create user stories to work from.
What is an Agile leader? In traditional organizations leaders often assign work, design systems, solve problems, make decisions, and write performance appraisals. In fact, many traditional leaders achieved lofty titles by exhibiting technical expertise or by proving effective at directing the work of individuals, teams, and departments. Agile leadership is different. In this session, learn of skills and behaviors that will help the leader remain relevant in an Agile organization. This session includes a includes a workshop where leaders tackle issues and situations that are common to Agile teams but are different from what many consider traditional challenges. Attendees are encouraged to bring ideas for discussion topics that could include their experiences, relevant challenges and observations.
This session will explore a real-life case study in implementing principles from the popular book, The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries. In 2014 FunnelWise, a Des Moines area software startup, set out with the goal of interviewing at least 100 prospective customers before designing their first product. Over the course of the year, they ultimately held over 200 meetings and interviews to gather information from their target audience, and what they learned shaped the vision for a compelling new product. Join this session to hear the story and to learn how to apply the methodology to your own projects.
You have been tapped for an exciting new project. A member of the executive team recognizes that the company needs to transform to meet the evolving needs of your dynamic marketplace. They know that Agile will be part of that transformation, they tap you to lead the effort, and now they think their work is done . While that is exciting and an honor for you, you still need the active engagement of the senior leadership team to create a culture where Agile practices can flourish. The support from the top is critical to drive the type of innovation and flexibility that will be required to successfully implement any new idea – but especially one as (positively) disruptive as Agile.
In this interactive session, Heather and Kent describe how senior leaders need to act differently in an enterprise transitioning to agile, and some helpful patterns individual contributors can use to leverage politics in a positive manner to lead up through influence and help senior leaders make the transition. These patterns are based on Heather and Kent’s experiences at a variety of organizations driving or helping to drive changes including, but not limited to adopting agile approaches. Along the way, we’ll give you a chance to share your thoughts and experiences using politics in a positive (or perhaps not so positive) way to help an enterprise transition to agile.
Why do some agile transformations succeed and some fail? Most often it is the culture that refuses to change or changes comes too slowly. Sue McKinney led the agile transformation of 1500 engineers world-wide at Symantec with notable results in just 3 months! Her ‘pilot’ project required 22 scrum teams. Sue will talk about her experiences with the turn around and how she utilized the basic tenets of Agile and Lean for adoption and how she addressed the culture change also required for successful adoption at scale.
How agile development techniques have let me as the product owner focus on what's important and let my team deliver software.
As software development teams ramp up on agile practices, dealing with the database is often ignored. Software developers tend to accept the fact that databases must be shared, are hard to change, and they must wait on someone else to make those changes. It doesn't have to be this way! This session will identify the pain points and anti-patterns associated with traditional database management and cover specific techniques and tools to improve the workflow for embracing database changes.
Are your developers commit-a-phobs or do they consistently over-commit? Have they been “almost done” for weeks? Learn what causes these behaviors and what you can do to counter them. We will discuss how to make the technical output of the team visible and what non-technical leaders can do to validate and support professional behaviors.
Review the causes for developer behaviors Discover the signals of developers who cut corners developers Identify code quality problems as a non-technical leader Techniques you can use to foster trust on a team
Do you feel like your teams are practicing agile, yet high performance is missing? Most organizations start off strong in their transformation toward an agile mindset. They successfully implement various team practices, such as sprints and stand-ups. However after the initial wave of benefits, a plateau or even a slip back all too often occurs. This is because many leaders do not focus on fostering sustained agility―that is, creating an overall environment that influences individuals and teams to be learning focused. Tricia Broderick explores topics including the missed opportunities to inspire people to go outside their comfort zones, the mixed messages we send with performance reviews, and overlooked chances to develop change agents. Join Tricia to learn several key initiatives outside the teams that nurture learning, quality, innovation, and job satisfaction.
|Schedule||Track 1||Track 2||Track 3||Track 4|
|8:00 - 9:00||Arrival and Registration|
|9:00 - 9:30||Opening - Announcements and Speaker Introductions - 101, 102, 103|
|9:30 - 9:45||Break|
|9:45 - 10:45||
Agile Data Practices
Agile in the Large: Simplicity to Address Complexity
A Lean Startup Case Study
|10:45 - 11:00||Break|
|11:00 - 12:00||
How to Build the Wrong Thing Faster and Learn From It
Leaders, Do You Want to Avoid Extinction?
Jim Lowery & Jodi Jones
How Agile Helped a Business Analyst Discover Her Real Value
|12:00 - 1:00||Lunch - Provided|
|1:00 - 2:00||
You Are Not As Smart As You Think: Improving Decision Making Skills
Heather Hassebroek & Kent McDonald
The Power of Story Mapping
|2:00 - 2:15||Break|
|2:15 - 3:15||
Architect for Tomorrow, Build for Today
Fostering Agility What's Needed Outside the Teams
Things I Don't Worry About Anymore
|3:15 - 5:00||Open Space - Rm 107/108 (Networking, Tapas, Drinks)|