Finding the right ingredients for your perfect team
First presented at The Lead Developer Conference in New York, NY. February 21, 2017
A great team is a like a great dish, balanced flavors, tastes, textures and smells combine to create something unique and delicious. I’ve made the mistakes of trying to build unbalanced teams either with poor distributions of experience, bad combinations of temperament, clashing skill sets or lack of diversity. I’ll share those mistakes. I’ll also share some of the things I did right (either intentionally or unintentionally) to create the teams that have worked very well. I’ll provide some things to look out and consider for as you build a team or just expand the one you have.
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Building a Strong Engineering Culture
First presented at the BBC [Develop] Conference in London, UK. November 12, 2013
In this talk I discuss what I believe makes a strong engineering culture. Also, how to protect it if you have it, and how to fix it if you don't.
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Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement at Avvo
First presented at Agile By Example in Warsaw, Poland - October 12, 2016
In this talk, I discuss the steps we are taking to create a culture of continuous improvement at Avvo. I talk about how, as a new senior leader, I attempted to understand the issues in the organization. Then I talk about the steps and programs we are putting in place to fix the issues and move us to a new culture of continuous improvement.
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Fail Safe, Fail Smart, Succeed
First presented at the TomTom internal agile and product conference in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. November 23, 2015, a second version was presented at App Builders Switzerland in Zurich in April of 2016. This third version was presented at Seattle Code Camp in September of 2016
A talk on creating a fail-safe culture, not by eliminating the chances of failure, but by expecting failures inevitability in an innovative organization and instead minimizing the impact of the failures that do happen.
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How Spotify Builds Products
This was first presented at InfoShare 2016 (in a half hour version), then greatly expanded for presentations as ao.com and Think Money
This talk is the "mega-mix" of all my previous Spotify talks, drawing a through-line to how Spotify uses Lean Startup principles, organization design and agile techniques to build the largest streaming music service in the world.
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Innovation, Autonomy, and Accountability
First presented at the United Kingdom Department of Culture, Media and Sport in London, UK. January 28, 2016

I was asked to speak at the UK Department of Culture, Media, and Sport. One thing that often comes up when you talk to people about autonomous organizations is the subject of accountability. This is something that we even discuss within Spotify, from time to time.

When talking to a government organization, especially one who is responsible for distributing funding for programs, like the DCMS, the concern around accountability is paramount. At the same time, governmental organizations are also looking to innovate to provide better services to their constituents.

My goal with this talk was to present the idea of how a governmental organization could innovate by using autonomous teams while maintaining accountability by picking good metrics to measure success of programs and measuring those metrics on an ongoing basis. This would allow the programs to have autonomous control of their work and innovate, while having a objective measurement of the value that they were returning.

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Microservices at Spotify
First presented at the GOTO Berlin conference in Berlin, Germany. December 3rd, 2015
Why does Spotify use a microservices architecture? What are the benefits and challenges we've encountered? How does our organizational model support our architecture?
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Apportioning Monoliths
First presented at a Gödel Technologies event in Minsk, Belarus. March 26, 2015
How breaking big things into small things can improve innovation, velocity and team happiness.
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The Spotify Tribe
First presented at Spark the Change in London, UK. July 1, 2015
An introduction to the Spotify matrix organization model. There is a recording of the talk from Spark the Change on infoq.com.
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Culture Leads, Everything Else Follows
First presented at SudWeb in Tolouse, France. May 16, 2014
Many groups let their culture grow organically as they grow. In this talk I argue that focusing on your culture early helps set you up for long-term success.
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GPGPU in Commercial Software: Lessons From Three Cycles of the Adobe Creative Suite
First presented at the Nvidia Graphics Technology Conference in San Jose, California USA. September 21, 2010
In the earlier days of GPGPU software development, it was being touted for it's potential, but few were actually using it for commercial shipping software, except Adobe. This talk gives some practical lessons on using GPGPU techniques in commercial software.
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Autonomy for the Win!
First presented at Product Tank in Stockholm, Sweden. August 27, 2014
The least understood aspect of the Spotify organizational model is the value on Autonomy. This is also the aspect that is scariest to those from more traditional organizations. In this talk, aimed at Product professionals, I focus on how Spotify leverages autonomy to build better product faster.
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