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Xconf North America| Online | October 15
Xconf North America| Online | October 15

Friday, October 15

XConf is our annual technology event created by technologists for technologists who care deeply about software and its impact on the world. 

This unique one-day, one-track event gives direct access to a diverse range of Thoughtworks technologists working on our clients’ most complex challenges. 


Stay for the entire day or drop in the sessions that interest you most. See the agenda and register below.

Moderators

Scott Davis

Scott Davis

Principal Engineer

Brandon Byars

Brandon Byars

Technical Director

Rebecca Parsons


Keynote

Rebecca Parsons

Chief Technology Officer, Thoughtworks

Dr. Rebecca Parsons is Thoughtworks' CTO. She has more years of experience than she’d like to admit in technology and large-scale software development. She recently co-authored Building Evolutionary Architectures with colleagues Neal Ford and Pat Kua. Before Thoughtworks she worked as an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Central Florida, after completing a Director's Post Doctoral Fellowship at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Her interests include parallel and distributed computation, programming languages, domain specific languages, evolutionary architecture, genetic algorithms and computational science. Rebecca received a BS in Computer Science and Economics from Bradley University, and both an MS and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rice University.

Speakers

Ajay Chankramath

Ajay Chankramath

Principal Technologist

Sean Alvarez

Sean Alvarez

Lead Consultant

Eric Nagler

Eric Nagler

Data Engineer

Dave Ho

Dave Ho

Product Manager

Imran Khan

Imran Khan

Developer

Leo Mattos

Leo Mattos

Developer

Ashley Avery

Ashley Avery

Principal Consultant

Peter Barnes

Paris Kaman

Developer

Sofia Tania

Sofia Tania

Developer

Premanand C

Premanand C

Technical Director

Storm Heidinger

Storm Heidinger

Product Manager

Sina Jahan

Sina Jahan

Technologist

Tom Marsh

Tom Marsh

Technologist

Ranbir Chawla

Ranbir Chawla

Principal Consultant

Tim Cochran

Tim Cochran

Technical Director

Rickey Zachary

Rickey Zachary

Technologist

Venkatesh Ponniah

Venkatesh Ponniah

Client Principal

Patricia Mandarino

Patricia Mandarino

Delivery Principal

Ama Asare

Ama Asare

Developer

Agenda

Friday | October 15 | 9:00am - 6:00pm EST



9:00 - 9:15am

Welcome

Scott Davis


9:15 - 10:00am

Keynote: The past, present and future of Architecture

Rebecca Parsons

The challenges of Architecture have changed over the years. Additionally, agile principles and notions around the use of patterns, have influenced architectural approaches, not just coding. This talk will walk through the evolution of our thinking about architecture and speculate a bit on what the future might hold.


10:00 - 10:15am

Break


10:15 - 11:00am

Observability in digital transformation

Ajay Chankramath & Sean Alvarez

In this talk, we will be discussing why one of the key prerequisites of any digital transformation should be end-to-end system observability. We will talk about socializing the concept of observability to businesses that struggle with the question of where to start their journey and how to demonstrate measurable and meaningful progress in the outcomes quickly.


11:00 - 11:15am

Break


11:15 - 11:30am

Getting Machine Learning applications into production using MLOps and CD4ML

Eric Nagler

According to VentureBeat 87% of data science projects never make it into production. Bringing Machine Learning (ML) models into production is different and more complex than deploying traditional software applications because with ML applications you need to orchestrate and deliver three pieces of software concurrently: the data engineering transformations, the trained ML/AI model, and the software API's that leverage that model. This talk will overview the Thoughtworks' approach to MLOps called CD4ML, and how it can help with ensuring quality, repeatability, and reliability when undertaking Data Science projects.


11:30 - 11:45am

Product innovation, not derivation

Dave Ho

The landscape of product management has drifted further from the technical roots from where it originated. Common methods for feature discovery have often resulted in multiple "copy-cat" derivations. We will explore several real-life examples of features or products that would have been difficult or unlikely to come up with without a strong technical command of the underlying platforms and technology.


11:45am - 12:00pm 

Lightweight architecture governance in the large

Imran Khan & Leo Mattos

At Thoughtworks, architecture and governance has traditionally been viewed with suspicion, evoking memories of architects in ivory towers and bureaucrats with checklists. However, if you've been on large, complex initiatives, you know the absence of architecture or governance is a recipe for disaster. This talk will discuss our hands-on experiences implementing a lightweight architecture governance framework on a multi-year enterprise modernization initiative.


12:00 - 12:15pm

Break


12:15 - 1:00pm

Using Explainable AI to garner trust and overcome adoption inhibitors

Ashley Avery

AI has a reputation as being a black box. This creates a lack of trust in those expected to use it. Transparency begins with Explainable AI, but it will not be the most difficult challenge that organizations will face in adoption. The psychology of trust will have to be addressed to create fully transparent and trustworthy AI solutions.


1:00 - 1:15pm

Break


1:15 - 1:30pm 

Augmented Reality Basics

Paris Kaman

Augmented Reality looks to enhance the physical world with virtual objects. Explore concepts that are leveraged by augmented reality software in mobile and wearable devices.


1:30 - 1:45pm

Data Mesh testing: An opinionated view of what good looks like

Sofia Tania

Almost as soon as you embark on your Data Mesh journey, one of the big questions that will come up is "how will you ensure quality throughout the mesh, given the decentralization of ownership"? In this talk, I will share a point of view of how that could be achieved. We will cover types of tests, how they could differ in usefulness depending on the type of the data product, what "end-to-end" testing looks like in a data mesh ecosystem, accounting for data quality, cross-functional requirements, and governance.


1:45 - 2:00pm 

Optimizing the engineering value stream

Prem C

As engineers, we are in the business of striving to write better software faster. High performing teams seem to have a positive rhythm about them. It just feels easy to do the right thing. What is it that these teams do? Is it possible to emulate the behavior of these teams? Are there engineering practices that we can adopt as defaults? Finally, how do we know decisively that we are doing the right thing? Are the four key metrics enough? What if the numbers aren't trending in a positive direction? What is this "hard to see" Thoughtworks way that some people talk about? Is this even a thing?


2:00 - 2:15pm

Break


2:15 - 3:00pm 

Data Mesh: Lessons from the trenches

Sina Jahan & Storm Heidinger

Data Mesh is creating a lot of buzz in data engineering communities. Skeptical technologists are looking for tangible successful stories that bridge the theory and implementation. In this talk we take a detailed look at one major Data Mesh implementation at a large scale Fortune 50 enterprise.


3:00 - 3:15pm

Break


3:15 - 3:30pm 

The uncanny valley of hybrid working

Tom Marsh

Why remote works, co-locations works and what you lose when you try to do both.


3:30 - 3:45pm

I don't think these metrics mean what you think they mean!

Ranbir Chawla

A fun and entertaining examination of engineering leadership and a deeper understanding of how to measure team and organizational performance in software development. Drawing leadership lessons and examples from Ghostbusters, The Princess Bride and other classics, we'll examine how the DORA metrics are lagging indicators and how team leaders can use a key set of leading indicators to better understand how to fine tune their teams performance. We'll also examine leadership structures, important considerations for creating an effective environment for creative excellence and how to have fun while having it all.


3:45 - 4:00pm

Developer portal 

Tim Cochran & Ama Asare 

The developer portal, an old concept, but is a recent growing trend, with appreciation that developer experience is important and open tools like backstage making it easier. This talk will talk through how best to utilize a portal, how it can enable your devops culture and improve information discoverability.


4:00 - 4:15pm

Break


4:15 - 5:00pm 

Scaling a crypto currency exchange startup

Rickey Zachary

Crypto currency companies are a recent addition to the financial services space and have a unique set of issues related to scaling up from a start up to a more mature company. This talk will explore the crypto currency space, the unique challenges to scaling up the startups in the space, as well as engineering and organizational solutions to challenges in this space.


5:00 - 5:15pm

Break


5:15 - 6:00pm 

Thoughtworks culture - 10,000 and beyond

Venki Ponniah & Patricia Mandarino

Most people stay at Thoughtworks for one reason. Culture. What is Thoughtworks culture? How did we manage to protect and preserve our culture for 28 years? How do we continue to do that as we scale our thought leadership and why is our culture important? To really understand culture, one needs to understand how it all started. Join Venkatesh Ponniah and Patricia Ann Mandarino with a combined 37 years of Thoughtworks experience for an engaging talk on Thoughtworks' unique culture. For instance, Collaborating with Neal Ford and Martin Fowler is the norm. Thoughtworkers, present and future, can also look forward to thought provoking ideas to protect and preserve our culture as we grow and scale.


6:00 - 6:15pm

Closing Remarks

Scott Davis 

Register here