SPINJam: Software methodologies in South Africa

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According to southafrica.info “The South African information and communication technologies (ICT) sector is well established and sophisticated.” “South African software developers are recognised for their innovation, production and cost efficiency – and are backed by sturdy local infrastructure, as well as government support.”

While southafrica.info paints a pretty picture of the South African Software landscape, industry experts have mixed opinions, especially concerning the methodologies used in Software development.

On the 19th of November we will have 4 panelists debating over types of Software methodologies and their relevance in the South African Software industry.

Venue

Wednesday, 19 November 2014, 18h15
Bandwidth Barn,
3rd Floor,
Block B,
Woodstock Exchange,
66-68 Albert Road,
Woodstock

Enter  from Williams St (around the back) which is closer to the lift/stairs. Their offices are in the corner of the building by Williams and Station St. There is parking on Station St and Williams St around the venue. Dial 300 on the intercom if the door isn’t open.

RSVP

Anyone is free to attend. Please RSVP on the SPIN meetup page.

Agenda

18:15 Welcoming and Introduction
Herve Bagalwa

18:25 Each panelist gives a 5m intro and position statement

18:45 Questions and debate

19:25 Closing and Thanks

Herve Bagalwa

19:30 Networking & Discussion

About the Panelists

Annu Augustine

Annu Augustine completed her engineering degree in Electronics and Communication. She started working as a software engineer in various software development companies. She started her career programming in Visual C++ and has over ten years experience in Microsoft technologies.

During the last few years she has transitioned from engineering to product management and moved to Prodigy Finance. She is responsible for leading product development teams to create products that generate the desired benefits. This includes creating the product vision, planning the release, involving customers, users and other stakeholders and managing the budget.

 

David Schaub-Jones

David Schaub-Jones is the co-founder of SeeSaw, a South African organisation  based in Cape Town, that strengthens water and sanitation provision and supports environmental protection in developing countries through new technology. SeeSaw provides training and advisory services on how to effectively harness ICT as well as developing and providing software customised for the water and environment sectors.

SeeSaw are active across 15 countries in Africa and are starting their first project in Asia, in Cambodia, early next year.  They are part of the GSMA-funded ‘VerAgua’ project in Angola.

An urban water specialist, David has long experience in the water and sanitation sector, particularly in developing counties, where he has nearly 20 years’ experience.  He has Master’s degrees in Civil Engineering (ENGEES/France), European Studies (Soton/UK) and in International Economics (JHU-SAIS/US).  David has previously worked for the UK’s largest engineering services consultancy Atkins, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank and several influential NGOs.  As a social enterprise, SeeSaw are supported by Microsoft’s Bizspark programme, the Western Cape’s VeloCITI programme and Isle Utilities’ Revolving Economic Empowerment Fund (REEF).

 

Karen Greaves

Karen is an agile coach and trainer at Growing Agile. She believes in having fun at work, not taking anything too seriously, and lively debate. She is generally loud and outspoken, and can frequently be spotted talking to someone at a meetup with a glass of wine in her hand. And if you want to know where she’s worked and what she’s done, check out her linked in profile: za.linkedin.com/in/karengreaves/

I’ve worked in software for over 15 years and in this time I’ve used many different methodologies: RUP, Vmodel, Prince2, XP, Scrum, Kanban, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants-and-pretend-it’s-a-process. I have more certifications than letters in my name, but I have come  to realised that at the end of the day software is a people problem and methodologies will only get you so far. I am believe in agile, but as a philosophy and a manifesto which states Individuals and interactions over processes and tools. I know lots about methodologies, and I think people should use the good stuff they provide, but never to the point that they stop thinking about and changing the process. At the same time having a daily standup meeting and thinking you are doing Scrum is a bit pointless.
Richard Bezuidenhout

Richard is the Managing Director of e-Magination Solutions.

He believes that there is something fundamentally wrong with IT thinking and the processes that we follow. In corporate IT, we deliver “old” solutions and tend to shy away from leading our business users.

Richard began his career as an independent IT contractor after completing his ND Information Technology (1999) with CPUT.

He started his own company in 2007. e-magination Info Solutions is an information management and consulting firm specialising in Business Intelligence and Information Management. The focus of our service is providing solutions that deliver relevance for our clients, be that through strategy guidance, report or technical data warehouse development, or customised solutions. With a strong focus on relationship building Richard will grow e-Magination into South Africa’s leading IT solutions company.