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BCS mini SPA 2018 - How to draw better whiteboard sketches for software architectures

  • St George’s Centre 60 Great George Street Leeds, England, LS1 3LA United Kingdom (map)

This year’s Mini-SPA, hosted in Leeds, showcases five nuggets - four taken from the SPA conference, and one based on session at another event complementary to the SPA conference theme.

The event will benefit a broad audience - software practitioners, professionals working with them, clients/consumers of software practice, students and academics.

How to draw better whiteboard sketches for software architectures - Matthew Skelton

Have you ever looked at a whiteboard sketch and thought “What are all these squiggles?!” This session is for people who want to communicate more clearly using whiteboard sketches for software architecture, systems architecture, data flow, etc. Using some simple principles (and a sprinkling of psychology) you will learn some practical techniques for making better whiteboard sketches. Your new sketches will be memorable for people and help to get across your points more clearly.

Secure Code Development in Practice - Tamara Lopez, Helen Sharp

How do developers encounter security on the job? In this two-part session, attendees will be prompted to think about what security is and why it is important to developers. Through guided exercises, participants will consider what comprises security for different kinds of systems, and the consequences of security breaches. We will finish with a discussion that relates the approach used in parts one and two to stories taken from the group about encounters with security. This is not a technical security session but one focused on reflection about attendees' own attitudes and behaviour in development practice around security. The aim is to help attendees learn from each other about how to improve secure coding practice. This workshop has been developed as a part of research that is examining the role motivation plays in the production of secure code and how practitioners can initiate and sustain a secure software culture. 

Bringing DevOps to Enterprise organisations - Michaela Kurkiewicz

Michaela Kurkiewicz offers an insight into journey of Co-Op over the last 2 years as it began its digital transformation. She’ll discuss the challenges encountered for operational and service management teams trying to support developers wanting to move to continuous delivery, balanced against the ways of working in large enterprises. She’ll be talking about:

  • Creating platform patterns to improve the journey of progressing alphas to betas, and through to supported live services

  • Creating the capability to deploy often, whilst retaining stability

  • How the role of service management is evolving, and how to adapt Service management practices into a DevOps environment.

Become a Fantastic Facilitator - Tracey Walker

This session explores facilitation - a skill that is invaluable for those who need to lead retrospectives, team ideation sessions, brainstorm workshops etc. The talk will include tried and tested facilitation techniques: e.g. how to ask the right questions, observing body language, managing difficult people and using active listening. There will also be tips on how to lead group discussions in work teams without fear or anxiety.

The Virtuous Technologist - John Nolan

How ought we to act? How might we flourish and live well, contributing positively to society? Why is it that Technologists struggle with answering these most basic Ethical questions? Why is it that there is no coherent or largely adopted approach? Should we abandon all hope of ever finding an Ethical approach to Technology, or is there a different approach that might provide us some possibilities? This session is aimed at educating the audience about a pre-Enlightenment approach to Ethics based on the ideas involving Virtues. A facilitated discussion, this session will give a taste of a longer SPA conference session that combined presentation and group work and will provide tools and techniques that can be used by individuals and teams to examine and develop their Ethical approach - the Virtues for a Technologist and how might we learn and develop these Virtues.


Learn more about how to communicate better with colleagues and clients and reduce ambiguity in diagrams without resorting to Visio or UML in the book Better Whiteboard Sketches by Matthew Skelton: