0:00 Introduction: Huw Price and Rich Jordan’s idea for the podcast came over sharing a pint and at the Bear pub in Oxford, warm brown beer to be precise.
1:38 Join the conversation: Send us your ideas about what we might discuss.
2:11 Rich Jordan’s professional approach: Meet Rich Jordan as he shares his philosophy having worked in test in financial services for 20 years, recently having joined CSI. Rich lead community practice around engineering and involved in creating the organisational test strategy for individual approaches when in testing. His interest also led him to organise DaveOps (sic) to look at technical testing, data, automation, operational performance and security and the challenges that come from variation in technology, however tied up as societal, personal or political. Some ways of working which might be aspirational, optimal; overall diluting the snake oil.
3:50 Collaboration: Rich has worked with the team at Curiosity through knowing them pre-Curiosity days when they were at Gridtools. Since then, their interests have grown in parallel.
4:14 A passion for technology: Huw talks about his passion for wrapping the technical into engaging stories, humorously pulling on his Welsh propensity to be a born storyteller.
5:14 Do things better and faster: Huw Price early learning programming techniques and discipline in corporate through his mixed career spanning 45 years laid the ground for his ongoing approach to software development. Working for more chaotic organisations, he knows the perils of testing with live data. On moving to the US he worked on Wall Street ahead of forming his first company. Working then in the public sector in Pennsylvania and their project became one of the few commissioned to come in on time and in budget, where he was lead on 50 programmers.
7:06 A behavioural shift: Huw wants people to change their behaviour for doing things better, and that’s a subject the podcast will continue to circle around. There’s so much technical debt, due to poor organisational infrastructure, that all the benefits of brilliant technology get sidelined leading to a lack of dynamism and overkill of vested interest where people really need supporting in their mindset change.
7:43 The premise of the podcast: Is the accruing of technical debt down to poor organisational structure or poor management? Huw is thrilled with some of the stuff on some beacon accounts. So by telling stories we can persuade the 9 out of 10 that change is achievable, the benefit being you’ll go faster, and IT projects to avoid being late and them being way too expensive.
8:39 Huw Price’s experience: The software projects Huw has brought to market along with colleagues of no more than 25 employees.
9:38 Crossover experience: Their experience and crossover in advisory and giving strategic advice within organisations to support senior managers, and where do the Centres of Excellence fit into this? Rich Jordan has done it all, bringing that sound knowledge to the podcast.
10:51 Rich Jordan’s role at CSI: The even-handed advocate to change amongst all stakeholders, looking from different angles. A people and organisation approach.
12:10 Time served: Rich on the value of time served gives you experience of facing into many of today’s software release challenges. As technology constantly reinvents itself, how does this affect the people. Do you agree with the maxim 'technology is easy, people are hard'? What do you need to consider, understanding any underlying problems or the incentives you need to hit? What’s preventing teams from getting to the cusp of actually being able to do test automation?
13:31 The deskilled manager and fashion-led technologies: How do organisations navigate through ‘symptoms'? There’s a need to be in the weeds, whilst up in the clouds, for an overview. How do you balance the 2. Why was Julius Ceaser such a good general? Huw explains… looping this back to the way that managers have been ‘deskilled’. Is it easier to train a banker to become an IT professional than vice-versa. The effect is catastrophic on organisations.
17:00 The manager/technologist dynamic: Having more technically brainy people in management in crucial. How crucial are MBAs to designing a sophisticated product?
18:53 Underlying challenge - the starting place for change: Moving away from not using so much live data for development? Is using live data mitigating that you’re struggling with complexity?
20:08 What’s agile theatre? Know where you are, to know where you are going: Which quadrant are you in according to the Cynefin framework? Move away from static documentation or in the least to design thinking. The plan is to avoid the chaotic space.
23:11 Features or refactoring?: How much redundancy is in the Tech Stack, even just after 2 years? Commonality, DB design.
27:24 Blast radius testing and Anti-patterns in test teams to compliment the architecture like loose coupling: no desire to refactor because they've shed loads of E2E, big end to end environments. Using technology to support your process, i.e. stability testing.
31:26 Are you testing the code or the requirements? 5x the factor of working code: how do the complex stacks impact the basics of what you’re trying to achieve? Take a look at 4GL. This impacted positively on user stories, which then the code is compiled as a technical language.
33:43 The impact of outsourcing on the deskilling of DBAs - creating a logical data model: How does a volume of code impact this and the deskilling and understanding of databases? Refactor for loose links in a database.
37:00 Wrap up: Send us your ideas for talking points and if you’d want to join us.