Daniel Terhorst-North

Principal at Dan North & Associates Ltd


Deliberate Advice from an Accidental Career
Thursday 18:20 - 19:20

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It doesn't seem like much at the time, the way someone reacts in the moment, the fleeting advice they give you, the way they help you pick yourself up rather than scolding you for falling down. But it sticks. Later, much later, you find yourself on the other side of the same situation and then, across the years, their actions, their words, come back to you and you instinctively know what to do. And in that moment you realise the impact they had on you. Twenty-something years into my very unplanned career I realise most of what I've done has been shaped by the actions and advice of some quietly fantastic mentors. Their actions were deliberate, their impact was profound.

I want to share with you some of the interactions that have shaped my accidental career - the time I killed the production database, the time the team was imploding, the time the boss was wrong, the time I was the boss who was wrong, the time I tried to quit and failed, and a few others. It is hard to overstate the impact of your interactions with the people who work with you and for you. I hope this talk will help you become more deliberate about those interactions. As poet Maya Angelou says: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” It is all about the people, and no, you're not stupid.

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Software, Faster
Wednesday 9:00 - 17:00 Logmein
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Formerly Accelerated Agile

Great software professionals build better software faster. Agile methods, continuous delivery and software craftsmanship helped speed up delivery from years to months or even weeks, but then what?

Some teams are able to deliver software at a speed of change like you have never seen before, delivering quality software in days or even hours, again and again. So what is keeping the rest of us from doing so? Now is the time to go from months to minutes, to rethink the way we organize and improve our software development and delivery process.

Software, Faster is for people who believe it can be done. People who feel themselves limited by current Agile, CD and Craftsmanship thinking. People who want to go back to basics and uncover new, simpler ways to deliver great software.

Are you a seasoned agile developer who is frustrated at how slow your “hyper-performing” process feels? Are you suffering with an unwieldy feature backlog, the pantomime of estimation, the card wall where cards go to die, the efforts to automate where it obviously isn’t adding anything? Are you fed up with the artificial commitment of sprints and the unwelcome surprises that still seem to derail your projects?

Software, Faster brings agile principles into the 21st century. You will learn new techniques that both enhance and replace existing agile practices, some of which are counter-intuitive and many which are completely counter to current “agile” doctrine. Using a mixture of discussion, instruction and exploration you will start to think differently about design, architecture, development and testing, operations, automation and team dynamics, as well as working with legacy systems and integrating with third parties.

What you will learn:
  • How to challenge the received wisdom of established Agile methods
  • How to design and architect for rapid and sustainable delivery
  • Why understanding risk and embracing uncertainty are at the heart of faster delivery
  • How to manage build, release and operations
  • How systems thinking can help you plan effectively and estimate accurately
  • How to identify and reduce gaps in your testing strategy
  • How to engage with legacy systems and integrating with third parties
  • How to manage different levels of skill and experience within a team


Daniel Terhorst-North uses his deep technical and organisational knowledge to help CIOs, business and software teams to deliver quickly and successfully. He puts people first and finds simple, pragmatic solutions to business and technical problems, often using lean and agile techniques. With over twenty-five years of experience in IT, Dan is a frequent speaker at technology conferences worldwide. The originator of Behaviour-Driven Development (BDD) and Deliberate Discovery, Dan has published feature articles in numerous software and business publications, and contributed to The RSpec Book: Behaviour Driven Development with RSpec, Cucumber, and Friends and 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know: Collective Wisdom from the Experts. He occasionally blogs at https://dannorth.net/blog.