Géza Mihala

Serial Startup CTO at Coders Only


Codefin, or a Theory of Relativity for Software Development
Friday 10:30 - 11:15
sense making
situational awareness
decisions and non-decisions
all things development
what and when and why

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Do you always do three-week sprints, user stories, pair programming, TDD, or anything really that starts with "we always do ..."? Then chances are you're missing out on the bigger picture and are often applying suboptimal methods. So join us on a journey of building a startup, where we'll discover how different measures of time, input, value, quality, collaboration, design, testing, delivery and more are applicable given the various situations. Codefin, or a Theory of Relativity for Software Development will help you become more situationally aware and let you choose practices that are relevant and effective instead of selling you ill-suited silver-bullets.

Those who attended the first talk may be delighted that we shall continue where we finished our journey in 2017, building upon and extending the original, anchoring the learnings into the development cycle of a new startup, from inception to operation. Those who haven't heard of Codefin or Cynefin may be relieved that this talk somehow magically manages to build on both without assuming or requiring prior exposure to said topics. And those who were asking, may be especially pleased that extra care has been taken to point out the non-decisions we're accustomed to make habitually and the superposition, transience and flux that are omnipresent. In short: all are welcome!

Codefin is about applying the Cynefin sense making framework to specific practices of software development, to e.g. methodology, architecture and design, testing practices, and more. With this approach we bridge over a gap, for Cynefin is mostly used for strategic decisions, while software developers often choose habitually their favourite tools, regardless of the context. The resulting Codefin framework is a synergy, where the various methods and practices of software development each find their place in the Cynefin domain landscape, and it becomes clear why the multitude came about and what is the best choice in a given situation.

The Cynefin framework supports the process of making decisions by describing a context using five domains: Disorder, Chaos, Complex, Complicated and Obvious. The framework characterises each of the domains and recommends suitable strategies for dealing with the challenges. The resulting understanding of the situation is a key enabler of good decisions, and for this reason Cynefin is widely used by leaders and in management roles for strategic decisions. However, it can also be eminently applied to software development, thereby helping programmers make sense of all the various approaches to design, architecture, testing, methodologies and beyond.


Géza is a seasoned software artisan who believes that culture is at the heart of most things. Accordingly, besides practicing the fine art of intuiting, inventing, architecting, designing and crafting code, he also pays attention to foster the growth of his colleagues. At work creating the financial products and services of the future, he gets his kicks from learning from and with like-minded thinkers and tinkerers. He is the founder of the Software Craft community Coders Only, organising and facilitating events such as the Global Day of Coderetreat and SoCraTes Day Switzerland. He can be found on Twitter with annually changing avatars as @infinitary.