InfoQ Editors' Recommended Talks from 2019 - Jonathan Cartu Internet, Mobile & Application Software Corporation
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InfoQ Editors’ Recommended Talks from 2019

InfoQ Editors’ Recommended Talks from 2019

Key Takeaways

  • Many of the InfoQ editor-recommended presentations focus on the organizational and people aspects of software engineering.
  • InfoQ editors enjoy presentations that provide insight into industry trends and direction as to where technologies and processes are evolving.
  • A good conference talk connects with attendees emotionally, as well as providing good information.
  • Popular technical topics recommended by the InfoQ editors include: Rust, WebAssembly, and Microprofile
  • In the DevOps space, InfoQ editors recommend learning about building systems that are resilient, from both technical and organizational aspects.


All of the InfoQ editorial team contribute to the website in a part-time capacity, as one of our core shared values is that our content is created for and by practicing senior software engineers and technical leaders. In addition to their day jobs, many editors like to attend software development and delivery conferences, and also to watch online recordings from talks available via InfoQ and YouTube. As part of the 2019 end-of-year-summary content, this article collects together a list of recommended presentation recordings from the InfoQ editorial team.

How Do We Heal

Alex Qin

Alex Qin explores why current approaches to tackling issues with diversity and inclusion in the tech industry are yet to produce meaningful change, and offers an alternative approach drawing inspiration from restorative justice practices and her work with the Code Cooperative, as well as her personal healing journey. It is an extraordinary talk; raw, deeply personal, and emotional, but ultimately offering a hopeful vision.

Crossing the River by Feeling the Stones

Simon Wardley

“I used to work for this company”, began Simon Wardley in his QCon Talk.

“Fotango is an online photo service, 16 different lines of business. Many millions of users—small by today’s scale, but quite big back then. Revenue rapidly growing, very profitable. I had a problem though, and it was the CEO. The CEO was a fake CEO who didn’t have a clue what he was doing. I know this because I was the CEO, I wasn’t some sort of chess player, I was more the alchemist making it up as I went along.”

His solution, now known as Wardley mapping, or value chain mapping, is becoming something of a phenomenon and more and more people I meet and talk to are applying it successfully. The third annual Map Camp took place in the beautiful Sadlers Wells Theatre in London with 660 people in attendance, and we filmed the event. But this talk, which was my introduction to Wardley mapping, is wonderful and if you’ve not seen it before you really should.

Why Culture Change Can Blow Up in Your Face, and How to Prevent It

Katherine Kirk

“Thank you for having me here today, because the last time I was on this stage I did a pretty bad job. My brain was infected with a parasite at the time … and halfway through the presentation I was giving on this stage, all of a sudden I couldn’t connect concepts together. And people were very kind, but then I never was invited back for like three years. So this is a big one for me.”

Culture change is notoriously hard.  During this talk Kirk explores reasons why changing culture is so difficult,  and why anyone trying to turn culture around can rapidly burnout.  She also explores reasons why every work culture eventually seems to degrade and dysfunction over time, and suggests approaches to help implement real cultural change.

It is also so lovely to see Katherine back and she completely smashed it with this talk.

Ben Linders Independent Consultant in Agile, Lean, Quality, and Continuous Improvement

A New Generation of Anti-Pattern: Self-Diagnosis as Solution

Raji Bhamidipati

Raji Bhamidipati discusses A New Generation of Anti-Pattern: Self-Diagnosis as Solution at in London. Many people in the room recognize the anti-patterns that she presents, and welcome her insights and ideas to deal with them.

Who Broke Prod?—Growing Teams Who Can Fail without Fear

Emma Button

At QCon London, Emma Button presents Who Broke Prod? — Growing Teams Who Can Fail without Fear. It’s a great case study that shows the benefits of doing blameless post-mortems and what it takes to establish a culture where people feel safe to speak up.

Creating Cultures of Empathy

Sharon Steed

In the opening keynote at ACE Conference Creating Cultures of Empathy, Sharon Steed explains that as people we’re all different, which is actually an advantage if we’re brave enough to accept that by having empathy for each other.

Arthur Casals AI Researcher, Computer Engineer, Entrepreneur

Speed without Shenanigans: How Rust and WebAssembly is Changing the Web as We Know It

Szmozsansky Istvan

In this talk, Szmozsánsky István (“Flaki”) introduces WebAssembly from a historical perspective, tracing its origins since the earliest efforts of compiling JavaScript and making web applications compatible across different browsers. The presentation also features an overview of how WebAssembly works and how it fits into the current and future web development scenarios, including its relationship with Javascript, Rust, and existing web browsers. This was presented at FOSDEM 2019.

Manuel Pais DevOps and Delivery Consultant

DevOps & Modernization: An Engineering Excellence Story

Scott Prugh

Scott Prugh takes us through a journey of modernization in a large enterprise. Fighting byzantine vendor practices and pointless CABs, while keeping a pragmatic focus on continuous delivery practices like feature toggles and the strangler pattern to modernize their application stack while supporting billions of transactions per year. “Don’t be legacy, be heritage” is one of the key phrases I take away from 2019.

Where Cloud Native Meets the Sporting Goods Industry

Fernando Cornago & Benjamin Grimm

Adidas went from being a company mostly outsourcing IT work and suffering from internal power struggles to a fast-paced digital competitor with a growing engineering force. In this talk they present their cloud-native approach, especially how they set up a bleeding edge platform that engineers actually love to use. And you can see the passion that they have for their code and their engineers!


Software Development Cartu Jonathan

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