GOTO 20 year anniversary

by DotNetNerd 3. October 2016 08:58

This year is, believe it or not, the 20th anniversary of the GOTO conference. So I think the expectations are high, with the event being hosted at the Bella Center.

Dan North, who is a regular speaker at GOTO, was tasked with doing the first half of the keynote, and as always he delivered. The topic was on the future of agile, so a topic that I have seen Dan speak about a number of times. He went over how we are still a young industry with the vast majority of us being the first in our families to work in IT.


At first back in the 1990’s we modeled our processes on civil engineering, which in many ways seemed like a natural progression. The problem was that civil engineering focuses on eliminating risk up front, by having extensive documentation and detailed plans from day one. This meant that we had large projects, functional silos built on slow and fragmented technology.

Up front planning and handoffs is basically ass covering at scale as Dan put it.

Up until 2010’s

In the comming decades a number of small methods started to emerge, which converged into the agile manifesto. It also lead to branding of methodologies such as Scrum, and certifications to become scrum masters. Certifications like this are in Dans words successful ponzi schemes or sheep dip training, that take peoples money so they get a piece of paper without really understanding the essence of agile.

Agile in itself has had a huge impact on how we work on software in the 2010s where we have moved on to smaller projects, cross-functional "feature teams" and incremental delivery.

Future of agile

Finishing off Dan gave his best guess on where we will move next, where he believes we need to look at how we deal with money, which are still assigned in chunks to projects, rather than along the way as part of an agile process.

He also quoted Toyota for saying that they build people and people build cars, saying that in the future we will to a less degree move work to the people, but instead have people choose the work they want to do and move them to the work.

Dan also believes we will to a larger degree implement “build your own lightsaber” strategies where we build our own process by using agile methods that fit for the specific project.

Lastly he called out that we should embrace radical divercity, and figure out how a team looks like a scale as well as focus on measuring business impact. So there are still a number of challenges that we need to tackle.




Who am I?

My name is Christian Holm Diget, and I work as an independent consultant, in Denmark, where I write code, give advice on architecture and help with training. On the side I get to do a bit of speaking and help with miscellaneous community events.

Some of my primary focus areas are code quality, programming languages and using new technologies to provide value.

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