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YOW Conference Sydney 2022

Day 1

Keynote – Dave Farley – Engineering for Software  – How to Amplify Creativity


Dave answers the question “What are the durable ideas – that if we use in our work – are going to give us a chance of success?”

Dave has wonderful illustrations, the Space Station, engineering rockets, the development of cars, and it is clear he loves planes. We see his technocratic passion for the industrial revolution and how this impacts our lives as software engineers.

Timothy McNamara – When to Choose Rust


Tim loves rust and compares common errors in C, Go, Java, Javascript and shows how these errors would be covered off the Rust compiler. His live-coding is entertaining and shouting “Yahoo” in a NZ accent at the output was priceless. His advice on how to win people of its value in your workplace was invaluable.

Lily Mara – A Kafkaesque series of events

Lily digs into the detail of solving concurrency problems whilst working around Kafka’s partition limit. Good diagnosis of a production issue and how they diagnosed and fixed it.

Matt Ranney – Migrations – The hardest actual problem in computer science

Matt gives a very grounded view of doing migrations in large Silicon valley company. His insights included “If you use the phrase ‘source of truth’ then I know you’re not committed to an ‘always on’ migration.”

Michelle Gleeson – Sensible Defaults for Tech Management

You need sensible defaults for management to defend against decisions of inexperienced managers and to provide equitable decision making.

Fred George – Sabotaging a Transformation

So much wonderful wisdom and experience from Fred. You can tell he has been around the block many times trying to change organisations.

“To be a change agent – you have to be willing to create a stink. Escalate and escalate. Don’t be afraid to get a consultant to do this, when they say a crazy thing, you look reasonable.”

Aino Vonge Corry – What We (Should Have) Learned from the Lord of the Rings

“Gandalf was a manager who gave a high degree of autonomy. He will leave you to figure it out, and then turn up the last minute to deal with the dragon.”

Astrid Atkinson – Building The Self-Driving Grid

“Climate change is not something we have already failed at, or a single tipping point. every single action to help with decarbonisation matters – the opportunity to have an impact is full of meaning and opportunity. “

“we are applying the methods used to solve large-scale computing problems, like load balancing, to the challenges of the electricity grid”

“solar generation lowers apparent demand – creating a ‘duck curve’ (an emu curve in Australia because there is bigger use of solar)”

“When you can light things on fire – you have a different pressure on your software engineering. Fundamentally this is about trust. “

“I want a toaster where it could burn the weather into my toast…”

“We need to have a street or town operate as a micro-grid. The goal is not to have it completely isolated, but to be able to ride out small disturbances in connectivity – same as what we do in computing. “

Sara Achour – Programming Systems for Analog Hardware

Sara Achour at #YOW22 leaves the room with their mouths open as she describes a compiler that can take an equation describing a dynamical system and output a hardware description for *non-digital logic* but still get your answer.

Simon Brown – C4 Models as Code

Simon Brown demonstrates a system for individual teams maintaining a generated diagram of their system, and then loading that into an organisation view of all the integrated systems.

James Lewis – Software Architecture, Team Topologies and Complexity Science

Whenever you see hierarchies – you expect sublinear scaling (y less than x) – whether physical or informational – this is due to the shape of the network itself.

Alison Rosewarne & Stewart Gleadow – Fighting Software Entropy

Insightful look at applying principles from physics in reversing entropy in product IT systems.

Lars Klint  Turning Dreaming into Doing – A Life manual for Nerds

Are you truly happy? What are your goals? Be intentional. Do it. (and don’t watch Netflix).