Project to Product asks more of our software, and more of us

TL;DR: Projects ask teams do what is asked of them; Products ask teams to invent their work. This requires a different way of seeing the world, and not everyone can do it yet. Software is not an up-front investment that pays off over its use. Software is an ongoing concern, an intricate piece of a …

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Define roles by what each person increasingly knows

Say you’re aiming for outcome-based product teams that write and operate software. Maybe you hire for roles in these teams like Software Developer, Product Owner, Designer, Tester. How do you define each role? We usually ask, what does each person do? A typical job description includes: what does the person do? What are they responsible …

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Taking care of code … more and more code

(This is a shorter version of my talk for DeliveryConf, January 2020. Video of slides+audio; Slides as pdf) Good software is still alive. The other day, I asked my twelve year old daughter for recommendations of drawing programs. She told me about one (FireAlpaca?) “It’s free, and it updates pretty often.” She contrasted that with …

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How can we develop and operate increasingly useful software?

Most software gets harder to change as it ages. Making modern applications, it is not enough to write a system and put it out there. We need continual improvement and adaptation to the growing world. How can we develop and operate increasingly useful software? To answer this, I need a mental model of how software …

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Keynote: Collective Problem Solving in Music, Science, Art, and Software

(originally titled: “On the Origins of Opera and the Future of Programming”) Blog write-up Abstract There’s a story to tell, about musicians, artists, philosophers, scientists, and then programmers. There’s a truth inside it that leads to a new view of work, that sees beauty in the painful complexity that is software development. Starting from The …

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