All posts by Christian Oloff

CT-SPIN #115: Service Discovery: What’s Out There and What Works

Wine Sponsor

Polymorph Systems

About the talk

You’ve decomposed a monolithic application into a set of microservices.  Great, but now these services need to find each other and figure out whether or not they can take requests.  Fortunately there’s been great growth in tools for service discovery.  This talk will take a tour of some of the most popular choices for service discovery – including Zookeeper, etcd, Eureka and Consul – and discuss their advantages and disadvantages.

About the speaker

Hans Hesse has taken a winding path from coding through cassava processing, irrigation systems, helicopter rotors, and back into the world of technology. While living in Zambia he joined Zoona and oversaw the growth of Zoona’s money transfer service before moving to Cape Town to lead the engineering department.

Venue


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 via Meetup.

Agenda

18:15 Welcoming and Introduction – Chris Oloff
18:25 Service Discovery: What’s Out There and What Works – Hans Hesse
19:25 Closing and Thanks – Chris Oloff
19:30 Networking & Discussion

CT-SPIN #112: Cassandra@Mxit

Wine Sponsor

Polymorph Systems

About the Talk

NoSQL databases have become popular for big data and scalable web applications. They place an emphasis on horizontal scalability, manageable uptime, and lightweight design over relational data layout and full querying capabilities. Cassandra is one of the more popular implementations in this space and is considered the market leader in the column-based architectures.

In this talk I explain the main design principles behind Cassandra and what giving up relational tables, transactions, etc. means for database administrators and application developers. I then show how Mxit has successfully used Cassandra as a core component for their newsfeed implementation.

About the Speaker

Sylvia Dieckmann is a software engineer with a diploma from the Technical University Braunschweig, Germany, and an MSc from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has lived on three continents and has worked for some of the big names in IT, including Google, Sun, and most recently, Mxit. At Mxit she served first as senior software engineer on the backend team and later as development manager on the client team. She is most interested in scalable systems and high performance server applications but has recently found a new hobby in mobile app development.

Venue


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 via Meetup.

Agenda

18:15 Welcoming and Introduction – Chris Oloff
18:25 Cassandra@Mxit – Sylvia Dieckmann
19:25 Closing and Thanks – Chris Oloff
19:30 Networking & Discussion

CT-SPIN #105: Scaling the Organisation for Success

Snack Sponsor

VISA Cape Town

Wine Sponsor

Polymorph Systems

One of the greatest challenges facing the global IT organizations of today is how to effectively scale the organization for success. With today’s plethora of take-overs and merges, the effective transitioning and incorporation of start-up development resources and processes into existing global structures is imperative. Scalability, alignment and maturity need to be of key strategic importance. While these challenges are immense, we have successfully demonstrated that teams can be transformed by embracing change, understanding the team dynamics and providing structure to scale. By taking a unique approach to truly understanding our team dynamics and acting on the needs of teams and individuals, we were able to provide leadership, direction and the structure needed by the teams to be successful.

About the Speaker

Carol May is the Head of Product Development, Planning and Delivery for Visa Cape Town. Visa is a global digital payments network that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments.
Carol has established herself as a manager with an extensive track record of business and Information Technology (IT) consulting experience, primarily in the commercial sector.
Since starting her career in the UK as an Independent Consultant to the Financial Services sector, Carol has gained international experience fulfilling roles such as Strategic Program Manager, VP of Product Management as well as Executive Consultant. She has successfully pursued consulting roles in various US Fortune 500 companies; established and led a mobile product innovation group for a major US Bank group and has now pulled on her years of experience to lead the emerging markets mobile banking product development group within Visa.
With over 20 years’ experience in a variety of technology domains, she has honed her ability to rapidly grasp concepts, think creatively, innovate solutions and build and motivate teams. Her proven ability to establish thought leadership and centers of excellence within organizations only serves to further concrete her reputation as one of the most innovative and successful IT strategists in this space.
Her recent successes with Strategic Product Management within the burgeoning Mobile Payments space pays testament to her true agility. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Carol’s most recent claim to fame is the successful re-alignment and transitioning of a large software development team and the related planning, release and development apparatuses from a local startup company into a global corporation.

Venue

Wednesday, 15 October 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 via Meetup.

Agenda

18:15 Welcoming and Introduction Chris Oloff
18:25 Scaling the Organisation for Success Carol May
19:25 Closing and Thanks Chris Oloff
19:30 Networking & Discussion

CT-SPIN #102: Office Optional

Wine and Snack Sponsor

Polymorph Systems

REMOTE, the book by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson of 37signals claims that it is possible for employers and employees to work together, remotely, from any desk, in any space, in any place, anytime, anywhere (http://37signals.com/remote/).
POLYMORPH agrees and Wim Morris will be sharing why.
Presentation slides are available here.

About the Speaker

Wim Morris: Interested in Tech. Really excited about Mobile. Trained as Industrial Engineer. Part of the Polymorph team. Proudly South African.

Venue

Wednesday, 16 July 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 via Meetup.

Agenda

18:15 Welcoming and Introduction
Chris Oloff
18:25 Office Optional
Wim Morris
19:25 Closing and Thanks
Chris Oloff
19:30 Networking & Discussion

CT-SPIN #96: Failing Fast! Case Study on achieving the elusive Time, Cost & Quality

Wine Sponsor

Polymorph Systems

One of the largest Financial Services companies in the world with a workforce of 54000 staff and 14 million clients worldwide, decided to embark on an ambitious journey of radical change. This study looks at its insurance quotation tool used by 8000 users and responsible for all new insurance policies issued. Being in operation for approximately 15 years and managed by a distrusting business unit, out dated technology stack and tiring IT team, this mission critical tool was reaching a point where it was almost unmaintainable and becoming a liability. Radical changes were needed, including technology, people, process and morale. The vehicle identified to be a driver of this holistic change was Agile. Saratoga was selected as a partner to help rescue this dire situation by bringing a healthy dose of insight, innovation and experience to introduce agile in an iterative fashion from business to IT. The intervention achieved a 55% end-to-end quality improvement including a more stable technology stack. There was a 98% increase in productivity which led to a 20% decrease in costs. The key drivers for these changes were the methods used to bring business into the agile vehicle and getting the Business Analysts eliciting the right requirements as quickly as possible and validating the requirements repeatedly (failing fast). This allowed the development and testing teams to ship working software as quickly as possible with minimal to no rework. This presentation will walk the audience through the 7 key drivers employed to achieve these phenomenal results.

Continue reading CT-SPIN #96: Failing Fast! Case Study on achieving the elusive Time, Cost & Quality

CT-SPIN #90 – Scrum Outside of Software Development

Event Sponsor

KRS

Wine Sponsor

Polymorph Systems

Ever heard of Scrum used outside of software development and inside book publishing?

Neither did Sharna Sammy. So if you enjoy mash-ups, storytelling, things of software, agile tools, scrum, cats, design and book publishing, then you’re guaranteed to enjoy her story!

Slides of the talk are available here.

Venue

Wednesday, 19 June 2013, 18h15
Bandwidth Barn,
3rd Floor,
Block B,
66 Albert Road,
Woodstock

Note: It is one of those old industrial buildings in Woodstock that is getting a revamp. 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.

RSVP

Anyone is free to attend. Please RSVP at ctspin90.eventbrite.com.

Continue reading CT-SPIN #90 – Scrum Outside of Software Development

CT-SPIN #87: The Case for Personal Agility (or Why I left software development)

Event Sponsors

Unboxed Consulting
Polymorph Systems web site

Join Maritza van den Heuvel, as she shares her views of how we need to foster individual agility by reinventing education and supporting individuals to embrace personal agility.

Exceptionally on a Tuesday!

Snacks kindly sponsored by Unboxed Consulting.
Wine kindly sponsored by Polymorph Systems.

Venue

Tuesday, 19 March 2013, 18h15
Bandwidth Barn’s NEW location,
3rd Floor,
Block B
66 Albert Road,
Woodstock

Note: It is one of those old industrial buildings in Woodstock that is getting a revamp. 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. We will also try to organise some undercover spaces.

RSVP

Anyone is free to attend. Please RSVP at ctspin87.eventbrite.com. Alternatively, RSVP by sending YES or MAYBE via our contact form.

Continue reading CT-SPIN #87: The Case for Personal Agility (or Why I left software development)

CT-SPIN #83 – Sleeping with the enemy: The agile affair between developers and testers

Event Sponsors

Growing Agile web site
Polymorph Systems web site

Traditionally developers and testers have been sworn enemies, each vehemently defending their own realm. Then agile came along and started talking about the whole team approach. Suddenly developers and testers are sitting together, collaborating, even pairing. Join Karen and Sam in an undercover investigation to expose the truths about what’s happening in agile teams today. Could this really be true? Have developers pulled the wool over tester’s eyes, or is it the developers who have become test infected…

View the Presentation Slides: Agile Affair [PDF, 2.4MB]

Snacks kindly sponsored by Growing Agile.
Wine kindly sponsored by Polymorph Systems.

Venue

Wednesday, 17 October 2012, 18h15
Bandwidth Barn’s NEW location,
3rd Floor,
Block B
66 Albert Road,
Woodstock

Note: It is one of those old industrial buildings in Woodstock that is getting a revamp. 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.

RSVP

Anyone is free to attend. Please RSVP at ctspin83.eventbrite.com. Alternatively, RSVP by sending YES or MAYBE via our contact form.

Continue reading CT-SPIN #83 – Sleeping with the enemy: The agile affair between developers and testers

CT-SPIN #78: Starting up on Mobile and Money

Event Sponsors

Alacrity web site
Polymorph Systems web site

Technology startups are hard and risky, why would anyone who’s not young and reckless get involved? Two experienced (and not so young any more) IT professionals will give inside views into their South African based startups: Kenny Inggs will share his passions and challenges up to and including his current endeavor 22Seven. Wim Morris will explore building today’s mobile applications, using ExpenZa as a case study.

Update: Wim Morris’ presentation.

Snacks kindly sponsored by Alacrity. Wine kindly sponsored by Polymorph Systems.

Venue

Wednesday, 16 May 2012, 18h15
Events Room, 5th floor
Bandwidth Barn
125 Buitengracht Street,
Cape Town

RSVP

Anyone is free to attend. Please RSVP at ctspin78.eventbrite.com. Alternatively, RSVP by sending YES or MAYBE via our contact form.

Continue reading CT-SPIN #78: Starting up on Mobile and Money

CT-SPIN #73: The Challenge of Distance

One of the principles behind the agile manifesto highlights face-to-face conversation as the best method for conveying information within a development team, yet there are times when teams consist partly or entirely of members who are geographically dispersed. While there is currently no true substitute for face-to-face interaction, there are some steps that can and should be taken to improve the quality of dispersed interactions.

In this talk, Philip Anastasiadis will be sharing some of the insights from his research, which includes analysis of some of the recent case studies reported by Jeff Sutherland on hyperproductivity in dispersed Scrums.

Amazon Web Services Logo

Snacks kindly sponsored by Amazon Web Services (Cape Town). Wine kindly sponsored by Yila Consulting.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011, 18h15

Events Room,
5th floor,
Bandwidth Barn,
125 Buitengracht Street,
Cape Town

RSVP

Anyone is free to attend. Please RSVP at ctspin73.eventbrite.com.
Alternatively, if you experience any problems, RSVP by sending YES or MAYBE via our contact form.

Continue reading CT-SPIN #73: The Challenge of Distance