As part of Leeds Digital Festival 2019, Conflux hosted the “Sustainable Digital Delivery” event - half a day of talks from local industry experts and community leaders. The topics for the day ranged from the engineering culture, MVP to open API - there was something for everyone. Also, the attendees had an opportunity to discuss the topics further with the speakers after the talks.
"Sustainable" - avoiding human burn out, making sure teams are not affected by how we build software and the way we build software enables the ongoing evolution of the software
1) Rapidly-developed services accessed via personal compute device
2) Rich telemetry for existing processes provided via software and sensors
3) Highly effective ways of working discovered & evolved through 1 and 2.
"Delivery" - software gardening, you build it, you run it, co-creation - not “throw it over the fence”
Short talks by Leeds-based experts
The rest of the day consisted of 7 short talks and a discussion afterwards. Here is a quick summary of each of them:
Tanja Lichtensteiger (Sky Betting & Gaming) - How to Build a Great Engineering Culture
Engineering culture is it is all about the people - happy engineers build better products
Main ingredients for good engineering culture:
People & teams, if you don’t get this right, you won't have a chance in hell to build great engineering culture.
Hire for potential, attitude and resilience - technical ability comes second
Ingredients for job satisfaction: autonomy, mastery, complexity
Psychological safety - let them be who they are at home to be at work, encourage diversity, no ego
MVP - minimum viable product - just enough features to make the client satisfied.
Ideally you should move towards:
M - multiple, M - is for Monthly - when you come from once a year, once a month release cycle is a good change.
V - valuable
P - experiment
Challenge the concept of MVP - focus instead on establishing regular, iterative delivery, take the tube not the release train.
Decribing APIs - describe RESTfullHTTP API in a machine readable way:
Produce API reference documents
Auto-generate code SDKs
Use description in other developer tooling
Spec-First API design
That's what’s magic about it - it is open, there is so much that you can do about it.
Little's Law: Cycle-time = WIP/ Throughput - comes from queuing theory
Limiting WIP positively improves cycle time, reducing cycle times (reduce blockages) reduces IP
Adding capacity (throughtput) with people or process improvement benefits cycle times
There is a mathematically provable relationship between the work coming in, and the work leaving.
Claire talked about working with students who use digital skills for courses that would normally not be related to IT but nowadays need IT skills also.
How can being out of your conform zone can improve your skills?
Proven through the theory?
the practices are embedded in the course
Students respond to real world problems
Ben Davison (Axiologik) - Techniques for sustainable digital delivery at scale
Digital is not Agile or cool tech. Digital is paradigm shift in how we consider business and tech. It is a fundamental re-imagining and re-engineering of an organisation around customer journeys.
To succeed, you need to worry about three things:
what you are going to do
how you are going to do it
how you are going to get there
5 practical operability techniques:
Modern event-based logging
Run-book dialogue sheets
Correlation IDs and traces
Lightweight User Personas for Ops
Address the operability early on - good logging is foundational
Overall, the day included many interesting talks that had a lot of useful information to make software delivery as painless as possible, tips and tricks on good engineering culture and how to make your software delivery sustainable. Check out individual blog posts to each talk to get more information!