This is the current list of talks that I’m giving as keynote speeches both publicly and privately. Please get in touch if you want to know more.
The Magic of Small Things – Microservices 10 years on
The early years of the second decade of the twenty-first century. A world where Docker was a job people did; K8S was a boyband (probably); Kafka was a euphemism for existential anxiety and Chaos Engineering meant, well, nothing as it hadn’t been invented yet. The Cloud … that was just weather to most people.
It is 2012, and Microservices appeared on the Thoughtworks Technology Radar. 10 years ago, in 2014, Martin Fowler and James Lewis wrote down something that caused a bit of a stir – the definition of Microservices. 10 years later, for better or worse, Microservices have become the predominant architectural style for building complex systems.
So much innovation has occurred in the last decade – Docker and K8S fulfilled the ‘write once and run anywhere’ promise of the JVM. Operations changed beyond recognition as we moved to Cloud Native and FaaS. Testing in Production is a practice that now signifies maturity rather than derangement.
In this keynote, James takes a look at the original nine characteristics of Microservices and explores the lessons we’ve learnt since those halcyon days. (Although Kafka is still a euphemism for existential anxiety.)
How work works and other curiosities
Have you ever thought about why what we see as the sensible defaults for software engineering in 2023 work? We adopt the key metrics from Accelerate, team structures from Team Topologies and Microservices in an effort to improve the flow of value to our users (or to a customer saying Thank You, paraphrasing Daniel Terhorst-North).
But what is Value? What is Flow? James will use ideas from Information Theory and Complexity Science to peek into the domain model of our everyday experiences turning ideas into running software. Come along and explore the weird world of how work works. Warning, may cause you to reduce batch sizes, because maths.
Software Architecture, Team Topologies and Complexity Science
Recent research summarised in the book points to a set of practices that lead to high software development organisation performance. Simultaneously, research from the Santa Fe institute on Complex Adaptive Systems over the last 20 years seems to point to a grand unified theory of organisational design. So have we cracked it? Do we now have the answer to the question: how do we create and scale high performing software and organisations? In this talk, James explores the relationships between team structure, software architecture and the emergent phenomenon of complexity science.
Scale, Microservices and Flow
Recent research summarised in the book Accelerate points to a set of practices that lead to high software development organisation performance. Simultaneously, research from the Santa Fe institute on Complex Adaptive Systems over the last 20 years seems to point to a grand unified theory of organisational design. So have we cracked it? Do we now have the answer to the question: how do we create and scale high performing software and organisations? In his keynote, James explores this research and takes a look at the surprising links between microservices, elephants, Copenhagen and companies.
Lean & Lego: Building the Millennium Falcon
Do you know what high performing teams get up to in their time off? They use lean product development techniques to build one of the largest lego sets ever produced obviously.
In this talk we explore what happened to this bunch of intrepid engineers as they self-organised themselves into a lean, mean, lego-building machine. Along the way exploring key concepts from lean software engineering including cycle-time, the importance of batch size to throughput, continuous process improvement, stopping the line, work-in-progress limits, Systems Thinking and the Theory of Constraints.
So, have you ever been a child? Ever played with lego?
If so, come along and learn how Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Chewie turned 5000 bits of brick and a 300 page manual into a ship that can do the Kessel run in less than 10 parsecs…
Thinking about Platforms
There’s been an explosion in the adoption of platforms, and the large silicon valley tech companies have seen significant benefits. But what is a platform really, and how do you successfully implement one?
Drawing on his experience advising clients on platform adoption, James Lewis explores the benefits that platforms can bring, the organizational limitations that make platform adoption attractive, how we currently overcome these limitations, and the paradigm shift in thinking needed to get the most out of them.
I really like this – it explores the disconnect between what I have in my mind when I say Software Platform and what people seem to hear when I say Software Platform. Turns out the two things are usually very different and for a fun reason – we interpret new things through the lens of the old.
From the Bazaar to the Bizarre
This is a fun keynote – especially where we play “Science Fact or Science Fiction”…