Radhesh will be presenting the following session
  • Radhesh Radhakrishnan

    Radhesh Radhakrishnan - Can dictators enhance agility?

    20 Mins
    Experience Report

    As a leader, can you always play the servant-leader role and leave it to the team to figure everything out? Turns out, inertia, status-quo and management pressure can discourage agile squads from making disruptive changes towards hyper productivity or superior quality of work. In this talk, I'll cover my first-hand experience on how timely leadership interventions resulted in a profound impact on the quality and productivity of my agile squads. 

    I'll walk you through real engineering decision examples on shift-left quality in DevOps and testing via ephermal envs, faster release cycles through necessary but sufficient testing, maximizing work not done, architecture documentation standardization, quality of unit tests to catch bugs over line coverage emphasis

1. What got you started/interested in modern software development methods?

Eversince I started writing code 2 decades ago, felt that waterfall technique very popular at that time was a misfit. So, I kept exploring other not so popular techniques at that time such as XP. Was also following Goldratt and his methods and kept wondering how to apply zero-inventory approach to software engineering. It was later when agile manifesto came out, for the first time felt that we are on the right path. 

2. What do you think is the biggest challenge faced by the software product engineering community today?

With the open-source and cloud gaining traction, it has never been so easier to put your innovative thoughts and ideas to action to solve some of the challenging problems. At the same time, the sheer pace at which the tools and technologies are evolving and diverging to solve complex problems, leaves the decision makers puzzled on evaluating, switching and still keep the large systems developed and kept up and running 

3. What do you think are the most exciting developments in software product engineering today?

We were talking shifting left 2 decades ago but that largely remained a philosophy and could only be enforced via behavioral changes which was not sustaining. Today, for the first time in history, shifting left is made so much easier, thanks to the wonderful community of thinkers, frameworks and technology. We can fail super fast and that is a beautiful accomplishment to fix and make progress

4. Why did you choose the topic(s) you will be speaking about at the conference?

While the entire software industry is adopting agile, there was interestingly a recurrent sentiment expressed by the leadership on how to improve quality and productivity. Interestingly, most of them focus on the incremental goals and felt that it was entirely up to the teams or squads to solve the problem. Surprisingly, expectations from leadership on how to guide the team to quantum leaps on quality on productivity did not come up for discussions. I could experience it first hand that timely leadership interventions are super important for the team to leverage the best of modern innovations to enhance agility

5. What are some of the key takeaways from your session(s) at Agile India?
  • As a leader, should you leave it to the squads to figure out your productivity and quality goals?
  • When should the leadership intervene?
  • What are some of the simple and effective intervention techniques
  • Why is a defined philosophy up-front is more important that mere selection and application of tools?
  • How you as a squad member can nudge the leadership to help you drive the goals
6. Which sessions are you particularly looking forward to attending at Agile India this year?

This conference is so unique that it brings in experts and thought leaders from across the geographies and industries. I'm really looking forward to hear from everyone, not particularly anyone.

7. Any personal remarks/message you want to share with the software community?

To tackle the challenge of too many options moving too fast in too many dimensions, my humble request: "can we join hands and consolidate as much as possible?". Leave out the short-term pains, let's look forward to long-term benefits for the community.