2 DAY CONFERENCE

CukeUp! 2015

Topics covered at #cukeup

Thursday, 26th - Friday, 27th March in London

34 experts spoke.

Overview

CukeUp isn’t just for geeks - Here's the format

Product owners, testers and business analysts are fundamental to making BDD work, and this year's programme will reflect that.

Over both days, the format will switch from short talks to two-hour long workshops. The workshops are designed to allow you to dive into specific aspects of BDD and Specification by Example that interest you the most. Team up with fellow devs, testers, and BAs and work through problems together!

Code of Conduct

At Skills Matter we're eager to have an environment for everyone to learn regardless of sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and religion or lack thereof. Please take a minute to read our Code of Conduct.

Sold out!

This year's conference is now sold out. You can join the waiting list here.

If you want to get your annual BDD fix, why not check out the Agile Testing and BDD eXchange in November? Or closer still, the DDD eXchange, Europe's premier event for Domain Driven Design enthusiasts takes place on June 12th.

Quotes

It was one of the best conferences I've ever been to. I learnt so much in just two days. Keep up the good work. - Shirley Leah, Sopra

Thought it was fantastic. Should have pushed for our Product Owners to attend!

Excited? Share it!

Programme

Taking back BDD

What if we have it backwards and they were actually together all along? What if most of the misunderstandings and challenges we face in implementing BDD are spawned from the very simple mistake of us separating something that was created as a whole? In this talk we'll delve into BDD as it was meant to be done from the beginning and look at its clearly-stated objective of delivering software that matters.

Konstantin Kudryashov

When not speaking at conferences Konstantin Kudryashov is an Agile blogger, organiser of BDD London meetups, the creator of Behat, Mink, co-creator of PhpSpec and leads the Behaviour-Driven Development (BDD) practice at Inviqa, a leading digital consultancy in Europe. As a communication coach, he has helped teams in many organisations bridge the gap between business and IT using Agile processes and development practices like Scrum, Kanban, BDD, TDD, Collaborative Product Ownership and Deliberate Discovery.

Coding from Examples - A Dojo [Workshop]

It is hard to get up to speed with Behaviour Driven Development, although the concepts are explained easily enough. To do it right, you have to learn how to interview your business users, choose your examples, properly write them up as scenarios, choose a framework, and only when you’ve got all that covered, you get to code to your scenarios. For this dojo we’ll be sure to arrange all these preparations for you, so you can hit the ground coding.

We will prepare for coding in Java. Please bring a laptop with IDE.

Martin van Dijken

Software developer, agilist, maximizer, builder, freelancer.

Wim Heemskerk

Wim Heemskerk helps teams to be agile in their practices. He is an Agilist, a software craftsman, and a Stoosian. As a hands-on change agent, he stimulates the alignment of process, technology and organisation. Wim connects the dots to translate complementary models and their principles to day to day actions.

Agile - You keep using that word

As Inigo Montoya continually chides his companion Vizzini in The Princess Bride: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

In this talk Dan North attempts to unpack the popularity of these anything-but-agile methods and proposes an alternative that might just work in the enterprise. A combination of lean thinking, hypothesis-based change and giving people control of their own workplace could be the solution. It’s harder to sell certificates though.

Daniel North

Daniel North uses his deep technical and organisational knowledge to help CIOs, business and software teams to deliver quickly and successfully. He puts people first and finds simple, pragmatic solutions to business and technical problems, often using lean and agile techniques. With over thirty years of experience in IT, Dan is a frequent speaker at technology and business conferences worldwide.

Ignorance Mapping [Workshop]

Matt Wynne

Matt is the author of The Cucumber Book, and in 2013 he cofounded Cucumber Limited with Aslak Hellesøy and Julien Biezemans. Their company was acquired by SmartBear in 2019 and he now works as a BDD Advocate with a mission to maximise the adoption of BDD practices in the software industry.

Aslak Hellesøy

Aslak Hellesøy

Aslak Hellesøy is the creator of Cucumber and co-founder of Cucumber Limited. He is a co-author of The Cucumber Book and an early adopter of XP and BDD. Aslak works as a programmer, software architect, business owner and trainer in a variety of industries, including finance, telecom and retail.

Arti Mathanda

Arti Mathanda

Arti has worked as a QA Analyst at companies like ThoughtWorks, Argos, HomeAway and the BBC

Keeping it Real [Workshop]

We’ll cover how to start small, guiding development through use of incremental examples, giving the whole team a laser-like focus on the outcome, and helping the learning process start as early as possible.

We’ll explore ways of breaking the giant boulder down into small manageable pieces, using meaningful real-world data at every level of detail to facilitate great collaboration and feedback.

We’ll demonstrate the value of collaborating with real examples, driving conversations all the way to specific data from the start, identifying and solving domain problems early, and transferring this understanding into the design and implementation.

Exercises will help you use BDD practices in context, aiming to give the whole team some useful techniques to start using straight away, whatever your in-house development methodology.

This workshop is limited to 40 on a first come first serve basis.

Jenny Martin

Jenny Martin coaches in Agile delivery, quality improvement and innovation gaming. She has a deep appreciation for business goal segmentation and the visualization of what she labels ‘horizons of value’ within business strategy.

Pete Buckney

Pete is CTO at Railsbank - enabling fintech companies to access global banking with 5 lines of code, and driving the costs out of finance infrastructure so finance can be more inclusive and less abusive.

Experiments with Flow - learn how to get more done by doing less [Workshop]

Quite often we apply established economic trade off’s taken directly from manufacturing to knowledge work without questioning their validity in this different context.

Given that our work systems are complex in nature (as opposed to complicated cynefin fans) the relationships between variables that we can affect are not clear and often contrary to what we might expect.

In this highly interactive and practical session (bring your gym kit…...only joking), Ben and Tom will take you through an experiment driven approach that will highlight why we often need to stop starting and start finishing.

We will uncover relationships between;
1. Local and Global WIP levels
2. Batch size
3. Bottlenecks
4. Utilisation
5. Arrival rate
6. Push versus Pull
7. Quality

Ben Williams

Ben is a coach, consultant and transformation specialist, who works with organisations that want to deliver real business impacts consistently faster. Drawing predominantly from agile and lean disciplines like Scrum and Kanban, Ben has been involved in driving some radical and very large scale agile transitions, working as a coach and servant leader amongst some really great teams and people.

Tom Roden

Tom Roden is a software delivery consultant, coach and quality enthusiast, helping teams and people make the changes needed to successfully adapt to the changing demands of their environment.

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly [Workshop]

- The Good (BackLog)
Middle managers should be ensuring that you adopt the right approach to filling the backlog. We will introduce the Cynefin Framework to identify the appropriate approach to filling the backlog for your context. There is a fun exercise to make this real!

- The Bad (Risk)
Middle Managers should be the "Catcher in the Rye". Instead of imposing process, they should identify risks that need to be managed, and then coach the teams to acquire the skills to manage the risk. You will get practice at this in this part of the session.

- The Ugly (Culture)
Culture eats Strategy for Breakfast. It also eats Change initiatives, Good intention and the Will to live in many of us. The problem with Culture is that it is invisible to us. Play a game called Given-When-Then to help you see your culture, and to decide on what needs to be done so that your Manager can house train it so that it doesn't ruin everyone's fun.

*All workshops are limited. The sessions are on a first come first serve basis.

Chris Matts

Chris Matts has over 10 years of experience in investment banking including strategy work as a practitioner rather than as a consultant. His specialist areas are real options, IT risk management, business value and agile analysis. He has been working in exotic credit derivatives for the past few years.

Richard Warner

Richard has been a Product Manager since 2007. In that time he’s worked on B2B and B2C products with a mix of HIPPO- and product-led backlogs. Having become frustrated with Product Management often being a sink or swim discipline, he’s joined Tesco as an Agile Coach to start adapting the techniques and principles that have served Software Development well to the Product world.

Cucumber.js [Workshop]

Requirements:

  • A laptop with Node.js 0.12 installed.
  • Git installed
  • Your favourite text editor
  • Basic JaveScript knowledge, previous experience with it recommended

Pair programming (a.k.a. two people working on a single computer) is recommended!

Julien Biezemans

Julien is a fervent BDDer who loves writing code, building well-crafted conducive software as well as sharing knowledge and techniques with other passionate people.

Less is more [Workshop]

We’ll work in small groups, in 3 Amigos style, using detailed examples, to demonstrate the value of delivering small, low-fidelity pieces of work early rather than prematurely focusing on fully-polished final versions.

By the end of this session, you’ll see that small IS beautiful, and understand just how small, small can really be.

Seb Rose

Consultant, coach, trainer, analyst and developer for over 30 years. Seb has been involved in the full development lifecycle with experience that ranges from Architecture to Support, from BASIC to Ruby. He’s a partner in Cucumber Limited, who help teams adopt and refine their agile practices, with a particular focus on collaboration and automated testing.

The Cucumber That (Nearly) Ate Itself

Thousands of companies around the world rely on Cucumber to tell them whether their software works or not. Yet for years the codebase for Cucumber carried the same scars as your codebase probably does: a top-heavy test suite that was brittle and took too long to run and a domain model that lagged behind our current understanding of the problem.

That was then, and this is now. Learn how Cucumber 2.0 has solved a lot of these problems. Learn what we’ve learned from the project: about releasing into the market early, about slow software, and about how having a good domain model fixes everything.

Matt Wynne

Matt is the author of The Cucumber Book, and in 2013 he cofounded Cucumber Limited with Aslak Hellesøy and Julien Biezemans. Their company was acquired by SmartBear in 2019 and he now works as a BDD Advocate with a mission to maximise the adoption of BDD practices in the software industry.

The failed pet projects of powerful public figures: what we can learn from Jeff Bezos, Sergey Brin and Barack Obama's painful public failures.

The approach taken to understanding the problem, the target goals and ultimately the solution is often flawed from the beginning and those flaws weave their way into the DNA of the product development cycle. In this talk we’ll do an armchair retrospective of some of these high profile failures and we’ll take some ideas from the agile toolbox to discuss a more iterative and collaborative approach to product development that might have saved these organisations a lot of time, money and the goodwill of their customers.

Megan Folsom

From the early days of the dot-com era to the lean startup culture of the 21st century, Megan is a veteran of product delivery. She has been involved in numerous high profile product launches from start-up to enterprise scale including: Amazon.com's early international expansion,HomeAway's growth from start-up to household name and Ebay's local delivery efforts.

Visualising Cukes: A Case Study in using Rich Representations to Achieve Client Consensus on End-to-End Experience

This talk describes and critiques our experiences with using visual presentations of specifications-by-example for achieving client consensus on a recent project with a large healthcare provider in the UK. In the process, we describe a technique of using rich visual representations that parallel the textual specification-by-example scenarios. This allowed us to present the requirements to the stakeholders so they can understand, validate, and agree on them quickly and effectively. We illustrate the talk with practical examples from the project, and welcome discussion on the methods and approaches we have used.

Chris Young

Chris has been leading engineering teams since 1999. He was pivotal in the BBC’s adoption of Agile in 2000-2001 using it to deliver the pioneering Multi-Screen Wimbledon Service for Sky.

Joe Geldart

Joe has over a decade of experience in business analysis and requirements engineering in both industry and academia, combining practical experience across a wide range of verticals — from FMCG to media — with a strong engineering background, anchored in a behaviour-driven approach to building solutions for customers. He uses this experience to allow him to translate with high fidelity between business and technical perspectives.

Hands-On with the Cucumber Ruby 2.0 Formatter API [Workshop]

We'll then split into pairs and see who can build the best new formatter for Cucumber-Ruby in the time available - voted for by the workshop participants.

Steve is a member of the Cucumber-Ruby core team, and will be on-hand throughout the workshop to offer help and guidance.

Prerequisites

Attendees will need to bring a laptop with a reasonably modern version of ruby (2.0+) and a text editor. You are encouraged to work in pairs.

Steve Tooke

Steve is an independent programmer, trainer and coach. Passionate about improving his craft and helping others improve theirs. He specialises in helping teams produce business value continuously through improving communication and keeping their code maintainable. BDD is at the core of this process.

BDD Tips and Tricks

In this talk we'll provide the audience with distilled tips that works for us, on how to approach user stories, acceptance criteria and scenarios. We are aiming to involve the audience with a couple of practical exercises.

Borja Navarro

Borja Navarro is a developer and business analyst with ten years of experience. Since the last eight years, he works as business analyst and consultant for a AIDA (Domingo Alonso Group), the biggest automotion group in the Canary Islands, also operating in Europe and America.

Carlos Ble

Carlos started using computers at 6, when his father bought a PC with the Intel 8086 and some books on the Basic programming language. Since then, he has been learning how machines can be used to build a better world.

Software, Faster [Workshop]

For more information on concepts explored in this session, head to dannorth.net.

Daniel North

Daniel North uses his deep technical and organisational knowledge to help CIOs, business and software teams to deliver quickly and successfully. He puts people first and finds simple, pragmatic solutions to business and technical problems, often using lean and agile techniques. With over thirty years of experience in IT, Dan is a frequent speaker at technology and business conferences worldwide.

Technical Bankruptcy

In this talk Lukas will explain all, using code as the basis, but using ideas that transfer to other realms.

Then he will investigate how a small amount of math can demonstrate why bankruptcy comes more quickly than most would expect. He pulls together ideas from Organisational Change Management and Metcalf’s Law and connects them to the quality of the code base, and how easy systems are to change.

Be prepared for some novel, innovative and challenging ideas, whilst getting an intuitive sense of how complexity in multiple dimensions affects the ability to make changes over time. And keep your ears open for a reference to the Iraqi Army.

Lukas Oberhuber

Lukas joined Simply Business as Chief Technology Officer in September 2010 with the aim of increasing flexibility and agility of the organisation through technology. Since joining he has implemented a number of new systems and processes including Agile and Build-Measure-Learn, transforming the speed and efficiency of new product development.

Lessons Learned Breaking The TDD Rules

I'll share some experiences from recent projects and thoughts on the essential nature of TDD and BDD.

Nat Pryce

Nat Pryce is a co-author of Growing Object­-Oriented Software Guided by Tests. An early adopter of XP, he has written or contributed to several open source libraries and tools that support TDD and was one of the founding organizers of the London XP Day conference.

WTF is BDD?

This is your opportunity to fire questions at the conference speakers, plus voice your own opinion. If you want to do this in advance, use the twitter hashtag #cukeup.

Tom Stuart

Tom is a computer scientist and programmer. He has lectured on optimising compilers at the University of Cambridge, co-organises the Ruby Manor conference, and is a member of the London Ruby User Group.

Cucumber: a tasting menu [Workshop]

noun de·test·ta·tion: intense hatred or abhorrence of gherkins

noun de·gus·ta·tion: the action or instance of building a taste for gherkins through a series of small portions

Do you think all tests taste the same? Can you tell a Michelin starred test from a greasy spoon, roadside café test? All tests may fill you up but what about the subtle tastes, the gastronomy, the outcomes of the testing? This session, through a number of courses will aim to build your palette, to help you identify the tastes and smells of well structured tests, tests which deliver more than just removing your hunger.

This workshop is limited to 30 and is first come first serve.

Debbie Evans

Systems thinker, Analyst & Delivery Lead at BAML.

Peter Thomas

Peter Thomas is an independent software developer, trainer and coach. A generalising specialist, he tries to uncover better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it.

Hypotheses & Measures [Workshop]

You will come out of the workshop with a working knowledge of good & bad hypotheses, some pitfalls & how to build the right things and not just build things right.

*This workshop is first come first serve and limited to 35

Adam Scott

I’ve worked in the insurance industry for 7 years. I previously worked at Hiscox as an underwriter and latterly as change co-ordinator for my division, before moving to Simply Business where I have been working as a Product Manager.

Arti Mathanda

Arti has worked as a QA Analyst at companies like ThoughtWorks, Argos, HomeAway and the BBC

Hands-On with the Cucumber Ruby 2.0 Formatter API

We'll then split into pairs and see who can build the best new formatter for Cucumber-Ruby in the time available - voted for by the workshop participants.

Steve is a member of the Cucumber-Ruby core team, and will be on-hand throughout the workshop to offer help and guidance.

This workshop is limited to 30 attendees. Attendance is first come first serve.

Steve Tooke

Steve is an independent programmer, trainer and coach. Passionate about improving his craft and helping others improve theirs. He specialises in helping teams produce business value continuously through improving communication and keeping their code maintainable. BDD is at the core of this process.

BDD Skills You Don't Even Know You're Missing [Workshop]

Many start using Cucumber as a testing tool, but fail to realize its true value as a team collaboration tool. What essential team skills might be lacking? If you are wondering why your team is struggling to put BDD into practice, perhaps they lack crucial skills they need to succeed with BDD, and may not even know it. Or if your team is doing BDD but unable to take it to the next level, what is missing? This workshop explores critical, but often overlooked, skills teams need to practice and master in order to move forward in their BDD journey. It is open to all those operating in software - developers, testers, BAs, products owners - all are welcome!

*All workshops are limited. The sessions are on a first come first serve basis.

Paul Rayner

Paul Rayner is a programmer, coach, mentor, trainer, and popular international conference speaker.

Building better teams and the real business value of BDD

But I have also seen how BDD done really well transforms the way teams work together, building trust and camaraderie between different disciplines, increasing morale, productivity and staff retention. This is the real business value that BDD brings, building high performing teams with a lasting effect well beyond the delivery of the code to production.

J​o Wickremasinghe

Jo is currently Head of Product at Which? and has previously led product teams at the BBC and Microsoft. Jo's team were responsible for the product redesign and development of the BBC Homepage in 2012, as well as the market leading BBC Weather mobile apps. Jo's passionate about designing and delivering great digital products that users love.

Semantic BDD: Using ShouldIT? to visualise your project through features.

ShouldIT? tries to make it simpler to communicate tasks that need to be done.

Playing on semantics that many spec’ing frameworks give you, a relationship map of your features can be made. Then with ShouldIT? visualisation you have a clear view of your entire project.

This can give you a clear indication of delivery progress that you can share.

  • As a BDD enthusiast
  • I want to use ShouldIT?
  • So that I can have simpler feature files and can test in any language
Richard McIntyre

Richard is a polyglot freelance developer having a key role in delivering the BBC Olympics App, iPlayer for XBox One as well as being involved in projects for Mamas & Papas, William Hill, BBC World Cup. He lived in Japan for 15 years and speaks Japanese fluently - be assured this session is in English!

#NoEstimates does not mean "no estimates

When Woody Zuill first started using the hashtag he sparked a debate that has caused tempers to flare and blood to boil, but Woody himself doesn’t think that estimates are inherently bad:

“If our response every time we reach the end of a project is to say ‘we must produce better estimates’ then we’re in a cycle of continuous ‘no improvement’”

In this session we’ll cut through the #NoEstimates rhetoric and sketch out the dysfunctions at the heart of software development that gave rise to the hashtag in the first place. We’ll investigate some possible ways that we can turn this around, so that we can improve the outcomes for customers AND development teams. We might even find out how to use estimates effectively.

Seb Rose

Consultant, coach, trainer, analyst and developer for over 30 years. Seb has been involved in the full development lifecycle with experience that ranges from Architecture to Support, from BASIC to Ruby. He’s a partner in Cucumber Limited, who help teams adopt and refine their agile practices, with a particular focus on collaboration and automated testing.

Breaking Out of the Pickle Factory

The essence of BDD is a change in how we think about what we’re going to build and deliver in thin slices. The increase in communication around that and increase in collaboration across an organisation can be hard work and expose conflict. Along with a little strife, adopting BDD helps us drive iterative delivery, which fosters more humanity and enjoyment in our work. To achieve results we should expect each BDD installation to be freshly prepared and constantly renewed through team reflection.

At Unruly, we work in the fast-moving market of social media advertising. Like BDD practitioners, we always want to be working on the most valuable changes to our systems, in the smallest slices possible. We practice a radical approach to this which is not based around tools or testing. Instead we've made a shift around who drives story discovery and planning. Our approach is radically different from BDD but we hope it might inspire you to break out the "pickle factory" of canned solutions.

Aimy Ko

Aimy is US Product Manager at Unruly, the leading global platform for social video marketing. Building on her expertise in the online advertising industry, Aimy has three years experience working with Unruly’s business stakeholders around the globe and XP developers based in London.

Rachel Davies

Rachel Davies is author of the first “Agile Coaching” book and an invited speaker to software conferences worldwide. Rachel started out working as a software developer and became fascinated with debugging software organizations. Her mission is to create workplaces where developers enjoy delivering valuable software. She's been working in the field of Agile software development since 2000 and pioneered techniques that are now used by teams all around the globe. Rachel currently works at Unruly, the leading global platform for social video marketing and is the organiser of Extreme Programmers London meetup.

Why BDD doesn't fix things forever (and why that's a good thing)

She’ll also explore the limitations of BDD, and how the nature of innovative industries can defeat its best intentions.

Katherine Kirk

Katherine Kirk is a solidly experienced independent Agile/Lean Coach and regular international conference speaker. Her primary area of expertise lies in co-discovery and insight facilitation through exploring and combining eastern and tribal philosophy to find practical answers to tough, on-the-ground issues, specifically involving contextually driven edge-cases and the cultural interaction between hierarchical management and Agile/Lean teams.

Illustrating Scenarios

Imagine instead transforming the room into a cheerful, creative place where team members and stakeholders are laughing and working together. Imagine remembering details about scenarios months after they have been implemented.

By illustrating your scenarios instead of writing them, the examples become easier to remember and overview, fun to create and also trigger our creative side.

Ulrika Malmgren

Ulrika has been passionate about testing for almost a decade and has worked with test on a bunch of different products, using both exploratory and automated testing. She believes that when creating good systems, everyone needs to care about quality and think about it from the very beginning and she loves to have the conversation on how you can do that.

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