Derivco DevNight: The Missing Piece with Juval Löwy

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Last night I had the pleasure of attending a Derivco DevNight featuring a talk by Juval Löwy, founder of IDesign, master software architect and author of the book, Righting Software.

Derivco DevNight: The Missing Piece with Juval Löwy

In his 60 minute talk, we learnt why the software development pipeline is currently broken; the dissonance between software development and coding against requirements handed down by the “ivory tower”.

To be honest, I can’t argue with that. Development can be frustratingly slow, cumbersome, even under the guise of Agile methodologies. As Juval discussed, currently we have too many devs, leads and project managers going through the daily or weekly “Agile rituals” – the stand-ups, the feedback loop – listening, but not actually doing. As devs, we go through the motions, but we’re not actually delivering Agile results – the very purpose of what Agile is trying to achieve.

His solution to the above was very simple; “Don’t just do Agile, be Agile.” Being agile involves working towards a goal with an initial set of requirements, however, the grim reality of it all is that requirements are going to change and Juval’s advice was simply not resisting these potential changing requirements but instead embracing them, being agile in your workflow and working with them rather than resisting them.

The second half of the interesting talk touched on system engineering and how to step back, and decompose a system into smaller reusable building blocks or services, based on volatility. This feeds into the above point about agile and requirements as smaller building blocks will give a team the tools to be more agile. Comparisons were drawn against vehicle manufacturing and it’s not hard to see why.

We then learnt why there is no such thing as a micro-service(s). As Juval explained services and micro-services are the same things; services (no distinction between major or micro). Using the analogy of pumps found in your car and pumps found in your house (a pump is just a pump – we don’t distinguish between a pump and a micro-pump as it serves the exact same purpose). Hard to argue there.

The end part of the talk he touched on a rather opinionated view (Juval admitted this) of developers taking a long hard look at their future career with the inevitable rise of AI around the corner and what just might happen when AI learns to code more effectively than humans. I felt this served more like a mental take away – food for thought.

The talk was a very interesting one and definitely left me with lots of takeaways to think about. How as an industry, we need to change, not just go through the motions of doing tech rituals such as daily-standups but become more agile in our approach itself with the help of the right tools such as smaller building blocks.

If you’d like to know more, I suggest getting a hold of Juval Löwy’s book Righting Software which takes a much deeper dive into the above topics I’ve covered above.

Personally I want to say thanks to Derivco for putting on such a kick-ass evening – these types of events are rare in Durban and it’s always great to both attend them and appreciate the amount of effort that goes to putting one of these events on.

New Year, New Website, New Look!

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A belated but happy new year. Yeah, I know we’re half-way through February already, but I felt obliged to state the obvious. Speaking of such, welcome to my new website, sporting a brand new look.

I realized towards the end of 2016 that a website redo was much needed, but finding time between the end of year madness, starting at and adjusting to a new job, I had to find time in between everything to get this new look launched.

Whilst looking at my old website I knew an overhaul was long overdue – the old website was coded in 2015 and it was outdated. Badly. That used Bootstrap and a few Javascript libraries and to be honest that old look wore out it’s welcome very quickly.

The problem was that I wasn’t exactly sure of what I wanted. Then after browsing other websites of developers, doing some research and finding inspiration, I finally found something I liked. Something that spoke to me and said, “this is it!”. I managed to code the basic structure and look in two nights and over the course of the new few weeks, I hacked away at it, molding it to how I wanted it.

I’ve opted for a much cleaner look with a modern Material look and feel. I wanted to keep it looking almost like a professional CV (or Resume as some of you might call it) so that I can let my experience, projects and skills speak for themselves. I still wanted to keep my blogs and writing going, so instead of scrapping that (it did cross my mind), I converted what I had already coded into a WordPress theme.

There are a few minor things I will be correcting over the weeks to come, but I’m much happier with this iteration of my website. I really hope you like the look and feel.

Welcome to Post #0001

Reading Time: < 1 minuteHello and welcome to my blog. A separate section of my website where I aim to share knowledge, help, inspire or inform interested individuals and like minded people on various topics.

You may be wondering why this section is cut off from the rest of my website and looks so vastly different? Simple, I want it that way. I feel this blog has the potential to be something bigger and don’t want to confuse it with my personal website.

I also want a clean, minimalistic look to the blog so that information is easy to read, quick to access and commentable thanks to the power of WordPress.

I don’t have a consistent blog update schedule. Instead, I will be updating the blog where and when it’s needed.

I’m really hoping the articles I have in mind will help out other curious information seekers. Until them, bookmark this site, sit back and relax…

Side-note: The blog update for my site was built using the newly released WordPress 4.4 on PHP 7 and MySQL 5.7 on my home Linux server. Unfortunately I’m at the mercy of my website hosting company who doesn’t just run PHP 7 / MySQL 5.7 just yet.