James Birnie | Devoxx

Devoxx Ukraine 2018
from Friday 23 November to Saturday 24 November 2018.

James has worked in commercial software since the late 1990s when TDD was something you talked about but never did, pipelines were things that carried oil and Agile and Lean were words you used to describe athletes.

In 2006 James joined a startup and went on an exciting journey from 5 people in a shabby rented space through structureless expansion to Agile and DevOps transformation. In 2015 he started a new chapter of his life at ThoughtWorks. Every day is different now. He's variously, surprised, shocked,, disappointed and sometimes delighted by what he discovers as a ThoughtWorker.

See also http://www.jamesbirnie.com/

Agile is a Dirty Word


Any country that has "Democratic" in its official name ISN'T democratic. Any organisation that tells you that it is "doing Agile" ISN'T doing Agile. I noticed the first as I was growing up during the Cold War. The second truth I've discovered in the last few years working as a consultant for ThoughtWorks.

How do you teach Agile to a group of people who think they are already doing Agile? How do you explain to a business that thinks that "Agile doesn't work" that the reason why it isn't working is because IT has to change as well as the technology group? How do you even begin to do this when everybody you meet thinks that they've "tried this all before, it just doesn't work here!"

We've worked under these conditions and we've had success in effecting real change both at ground level and throughout the wider business. In this talk I'll share some techniques that we've successfully used.

What Drives your Development?

Small Talk

Do you practice TDD? What about BDD? What about H (Hypothesis) DD?

Did you know that SDD (Stackoverflow Driven Development) is a thing? What about Fowler Driven Development or Beer Driven Development?

I spent some time working with some colleagues on the A to Z of *DD. The result was a full alphabet of things that at least one of us had experienced during our careers. Some serious, some less so, some good, some undeniably indifferent to bad to plain stupid.

But out of all of this I wondered what should REALLY drive our development? In this lightning trip around the alphabet of absurdity I will tell you the one guiding principal that we should all stick to when deciding what should drive our development.

Are Quantum Computers Really a Thing?


After seeing (and being baffled by) a talk on Quantum computers at a conference in March this year I was inspired to start researching the subject for myself. When I was asked to prepare a presentation on the subject for a conference in June, my research got serious. I went to several conference talks, a couple of meetups and then found a colleague who was willing to go on the same journey with me and we teamed up to make a presentation to an internal conference.

I've continued on this journey and I now know more than I ever thought I would about a subject I knew very little about only a few months ago. This presentation is not just about the state of the quantum computing art but is also a story of my journey of discovery and the people that have come with me from time to time.

Finally, I have a live demonstration of quantum code. In response to my daughter's horrified reaction to Schroedinger's Cat ("Daddy, why would anybody do that to their cat?") I've made "Clementine's Cat", a quantum simulation of cat behaviour in which no cats were harmed, either in this universe or any parallel one.

Make sure to download the Android or iOS mobile schedule.