I have two keynotes this year that I'm presenting at one conference or another. The first out of the gate was my talk entitled On the Lam from the Furniture Police at the Code Freeze conference. This talk has multiple parent ideas. The first derives from the book The Productive Programmer. It turns out that when you write a book about something, you get really immersed in the subject matter. That's obvious. What's less obvious is the inability to turn that overwhelming interest off after the book is done. That can either be good or bad. Once I had finished Art of Java Web Development, I pretty much never wanted to see another web framework! But the Productive Programmer was different, I guess because it's such a broad and unsolved problem. For whatever reason, I'm still soaking up Productive Programmer stuff.
The other parent of this talk involves the intersection of agile software development and productivity. While there's a little of that in The Productive Programmer, I wanted to keep the focus mostly on developer productivity in the book. But that's where On The Lam from the Furniture Police fits. This talk discusses how to be productive in corporate environments, including broader topics like agility. Here's the abstract:
When you were hired by your current employer, you may think it's because of your winning personality, your dazzling smile, or your encyclopedic knowledge of [insert technology here]. But it's not. You were hired for your ability to sit and concentrate for long periods of time to solve problems, then placed in an environment where it's utterly impossible to do that! Who decides that, despite overwhelming evidence that it's bad for productivity and people hate it, that you must sit in a cubicle? The furniture police! This keynote describes the frustrations of modern knowledge workers in their quest to actually get some work done, and solutions for how to gird yourself against all those distractions. I talk about environments, coding, acceleration, automation, and avoiding repetition as ways to defeat the mid-guided attempts to sap your ability to produce good work. And I give you ways to go on the lam from the furniture police and ammunition to fight back!
Every time I make changes to this talk, it's to enhance it's agile focus. So it's perhaps not surprising that I'll be giving a preview of this keynote at Agile Atlanta on Tuesday evening, February 3rd. If you're in Atlanta and interested in how productivity and agility intersect, stop by. And if you can't make it there, the next scheduled appearance is in Las Vegas, as the opening keynote of The ServerSide Symposium.