YOW! Data 2019 Day 1

Mon, May 6
08:00

    Registration for YOW! Data 2019 - 45 mins

08:45

    Session Overviews & Introductions - 15 mins

09:00
09:50
10:20

    Morning Break - 30 mins

10:50
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    Roger Qiu

    Roger Qiu - Image Classification in a Noisy Fraudulent World - A Journey of Computational and Statistical Performance

    schedule  10:50 - 11:20 AM place Red Room people 52 Interested

    Formbay's fraud detection system relies on classification of photographic evidence to verify solar installations. Over the last 10 years, Formbay has amassed over 10 million labelled images of solar installations. Image classification over Formbay's dataset sounds easy. Lots of data, apply neural networks and profit from automation! However with such a large dataset, there is room for lots of noise. Noise such as mislabelled images, overlapping classes, corrupted image data, imbalanced classes, rotational variance and more.

    This presentation demonstrates how we built our Image Processing pipeline tackling these noise issues while addressing class/concept drift. First we'll examine the data-situation of Formbay when we started and our initial model. Then we'll address each statistical and computational problem we met and how we decided to address them, slowly evolving our data pipeline over time.

    This presentation focuses on the complexities of engineering production ready ML systems which involve balancing between statistical ("how accurate") and computational performance ("how fast").

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    Dana Ma

    Dana Ma - Building Rome Every Day - Scaling ML Model Building Infrastructure

    schedule  10:50 - 11:20 AM place Green Room people 85 Interested

    "I want to reset my password". "I ordered the wrong size". "These are not the droids I was looking for". Every day, a support agent fields thousands of these queries. Multiply that by the thousands of agents a company might have, and the sheer vastness of data being generated becomes hard to imagine. How can we make sense of it all? It seems a formidable task, but we have a formidable weapon in our arsenalwe have machine learning.

    By combining deep learning, natural language processing and clustering techniques, we built a machine learning model that can take 100,000 tickets and efficiently cluster and summarise them into digestible topics. But that's only part of the challenge; we also had to scale it to build for 30,000 customers, in production, every day.

    In this talk I'll share the story of Content Cues - Zendesk's latest Machine Learning product. It's the story of how we leveraged the power of AWS Batch to scale a model building platform. Of how we tackled challenges such as measuring how well an unsupervised model performs when it's not even clear what "well" means. Of how our team combined our pool of skills across data engineering, data science and product management to deliver a pipeline capable of building a thousand models for the price of a cup of coffee.

11:25
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    Enrique Bustamante

    Enrique Bustamante - From Sparse Data-sets to Graphs: When Explicit Relationships Bridge the Gaps

    schedule  11:25 - 11:55 AM place Red Room people 82 Interested

    The various ways we frame a problem have significant impact on how we approach it. From the questions we ask to the tools we use. A simple change can have great repercussions and be of significant benefit to how you tackle the issue at hand.

    At EB Games, in trying to develop a customer segmentation/targeting model, we struggled with traditional clustering algorithms on tabular data. All the necessary information was there, but the resulting datasets were so sparse that results were difficult to come by. When we changed to a graph based model, it greatly increased the ease with which we could ask questions and add further detail. The power afforded to us by having explicit relationships meant that suggestions and ideas from subject matter experts were more easily translated into something that could be quantified and/or qualified.

    In this presentation I will share the process and journey of this project and provide insights on the benefits gained from using a different structure to store and analyse your data.

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    Suneeta Mall

    Suneeta Mall - The Three-Rs of Data-Science - Repeatability, Reproducibility, and Replicability

    schedule  11:25 - 11:55 AM place Green Room people 60 Interested

    Adaptation of data-science in industry has been phenomenal in the last 5 years. Primary focus of these adaptations has been about combining the three dimensions of machine-learning i.e. the ‘data’, the ‘model architecture’ and the ‘parameters’ to predict an outcome. Slight change in any of these dimensions has potential to skew the predicted outcomes. So how do we build trust with our models? And how do we manage the variances across multiple models trained on varied set of data, model-architectures and parameters? Why the three Rs i.e. “Repeatability, Reproducibility, and Replicability” may have a relevance in industry application of data-science?

    This talk has following goals:

    • Justify (with demonstrations) as to why “Repeatability, Reproducibility, and Replicability” is important in data-science even if the application is beyond experimental research and is geared towards industry applications.
    • Discuss in detail the requirements around ensuring “Repeatability, Reproducibility, and Replicability” in data-science.
    • Discuss ways to observe repeatability, reproducibility, and replicability with provenance and automated model management.
    • Present various approaches and available tooling pertaining to provenance and model managements and compare and contrast them.
12:00
  • schedule  12:00 - 12:30 PM place Red Room people 62 Interested

    No longer is the ‘spray and pray’ methodology for finding customers working. No more is spamming people with numerous, unsolicited emails effective. Never again will 'stalking' with clumsy banners be cutting edge. Today it’s all about a strategy based on finding the right prospects, using the right channels, at the right time AND making them feel like they found you – not the other way around.

    I will walk attendees through Marketing Science in the era of big data. We’ll begin with defining an ‘ideal/value customer’ , and - spoiler alert - it is not set in stone, smart tracking elements and AI models will allow your company to create your own portraits of the perfect customer and adjust it as you learn more, then you will know every little thing about them – inside and out.

    With this knowledge half the journey is complete. We then capture those customers – at the right time and at the right place. How? We work to understand their behaviour, we capture their signals, we leverage advertising platform optimisation models, and we let the magic of data science do its thing – and shine. Every competitive advertising platform today incorporates optimisation models. I have extensive experience with some of them (Facebook, Google, Instagram) and I want to share what I have learnt and how you can take advantage of a gigantic data science effort put into those smart machines. To illustrate all of this we’ll go through various approaches, & will conclude will the model I built; the one ultimately probed & used with data scientists – at one of the biggest online advertising platforms in the world.

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    Antoine Desmet

    Antoine Desmet - From Zero to Tensorflow: Building an Analytics Dept.

    schedule  12:00 - 12:30 PM place Green Room people 76 Interested

    Day 1: one engineer vs. a heap of time-series data on a 1990s-era database
    Four years on, there's 8 of us, we run TensorFlow analytics on a Hadoop cluster to detect subtle signs of a potential breakdown on earthmoving equipment. We've prevented million-dollar component failures, and reduced a lot of "parasite" stoppages.

    This talk details the strategy and lessons learned from building an analytics department from scratch, in particular:

    • Many analytics depts. were created as a "Flavour of the month". How do you approach this perception, survive and go beyond?
    • Choosing the right projects to create a credible and sellable offering as quickly as possible to build your reputation.
    • Expectation management, and choosing projects: Dealing with those who think "it won't work", and those who think you can solve all problems,
    • Growing from a "start-up in a large company" to a more mature group. Change management, scaling, velocity, etc.
    • Approach to R&D and launching new projects, dealing with the "shiny toys"
12:30

    Lunch Break - 60 mins

01:30
02:05
02:40
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    Ananth Gundabattula

    Ananth Gundabattula - Auto feature engineering - Rapid feature harvesting using DFS and data engineering techniques

    schedule  02:40 - 03:10 PM place Red Room people 63 Interested

    As machine learning adoption permeates across many business models, so is the need to deliver models at a much faster rate. Feature engineering arguably is one of the core foundations of model development cycle. While approaches like deep learning tend to take a different approach to feature engineering, it might not be exaggerating to say that feature engineering is the core construct which can make or break a classical machine learning model. Automating feature engineering would immensely shorten the time to market classical machine learning models.

    Deep Feature Synthesis (DFS) is an algorithm that is implemented in the FeatureTools python package. DFS helps in rapid harvesting of new features by taking a stacking approach on top of a relational data model. DFS also has first class support for time dimensions as a fundamental construct. Some of these factors make the feature tools package a compelling tool/library for data practitioners. However the base algorithm itself can be enriched in multiple ways to make it truly appealing for many other use cases. This session will present a high level summary of DFS algorithmic constructs followed by enhancements that can be done on featuretools library to enable it for many other use cases

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    Reza Yousefzadeh

    Reza Yousefzadeh - Bringing Continuous Delivery to Big Data Applications

    schedule  02:40 - 03:10 PM place Green Room people 56 Interested

    In this presentation I will talk about our experience at SEEK implementing Continuous- Integration & Delivery (CI/CD) in two of our Big Data applications.

    I will talk about the Data Lake project and its use of micro-services to break down data ingestion and validation tasks, and how it enables us to deploy changes to production more frequently. Data enters SEEK’s data lake through a variety of sources, including AWS S3, Kinesis and SNS. We use a number of loosely coupled serverless microservices and Spark jobs to implement a multi-layer data ingestion and validation pipeline. Using the microservices architecture enables us to develop, test and deploy the components of the pipeline independently and while the pipeline is operating.

    We use Test-Driven Development to define the behaviour of micro-services and verify that they transform the data correctly. Our deployment pipeline is triggered on each code check-in and deploys a component once its tests pass. The data processing pipeline is idempotent so if there is a bug or integration problem in a component we can fix it by replaying the affected data batches through the component.

    In the last part of the talk, I’ll dive deeper into some of the challenges we solved to implement a CI/CD pipeline for our Spark applications written in Scala.

03:10

    Afternoon Break - 30 mins

03:40
04:15
04:50
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    Gareth Seneque

    Gareth Seneque - Search at Scale: Using Machine Learning to Automate Content Metadata

    schedule  04:50 - 05:20 PM place Red Room people 61 Interested

    For media organisations, reach is everything. Getting eyeballs and ears in front of content is their raison d'être.

    Search plays a critical role in connecting audiences with t-1 content (yesterday's news, last week's podcast). However, with audience expectations conditioned by Google and others, it is challenging to deliver robust, scalable search that people actually want to use.

    The relevance of your results is everything, and to produce relevant results you need good metadata for every object in your search index. With hundreds of thousands of content objects and an audience of millions, the ABC has unique challenges in this regard.

    This talk will explore the ABC's use of Machine Learning (ML) to automatically generate meaningful metadata for pieces of content (audio/video/text), including AWS MLaaS for full transcripts of audio podcasts and a platform developed in-house for NLP tasks such as entity recognition and automated document summarisation, and image-related tasks such as segmentation and tagging.

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    Larene Le Gassick

    Larene Le Gassick - Data Driven Diversity

    schedule  04:50 - 05:20 PM place Green Room people 43 Interested

    Since January, we have RSVPd “yes” 26,610 times to tech Meetups in Brisbane*. That’s a lot of pizza.

    Every Monday, I run a script which posts in the #meetup channel of the Brisbane Developers Slack group. It's a simple Node script that calls the Meetup API, and lists every tech event in Brisbane for the following week. The script was conceived from curiosity, a want to share information, and because I'm a stats nerd.

    Apart from writing code, I also co-host two Brisbane tech Meetups: Women Who Code and CTO School. In 2018, these user groups have grown from a humble handful of regulars, to almost standing room only.

    I will share with you a statistical analysis of a years worth of Brisbane tech Meetup data (updated for YOW! Data 2019), the secret life of a Meetup organiser, and how the transparency of information (such as speaker gender ratio) has started to affect change in this community, for the better.

    *data from Jan 1 to Sept 30, 2018

05:30

    Conference Drinks, Canapés & Networking at The Arthouse Hotel, 275 Pitt Street - 60 mins

YOW! Data 2019 Day 2

Tue, May 7
08:45

    Session Overviews & Introductions - 15 mins

09:00
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    Simon Kaplan

    Simon Kaplan - Lessons from Building a Data Platform for Smart Cities

    schedule  09:00 - 09:45 AM place Red Room people 108 Interested

    We've built a data platform for smart cities. This has been deployed in over a dozen cities, and we've learned a lot in the process, about:

    • why data ingestion from IoT networks can range from trivial to very painful, and how to cope;
    • how to architect the system to easily handle many different 'data domains';
    • getting the architecture to work well including making additions of new data sources as simple as we can;
    • approaches to analytics and visualisations that have been useful;
    • why end-user analytics and visualisations are critical;
    • how user permissions for smart city applications can be different to more 'normal' applications.
    • and lots more

    In the talk, I'll walk through the lessons learned and show off examples of the system in action.

    The goal is to use the platform as an exemplar of the design principles, this is not a sales pitch for the tool itself.

09:50

    Sketch algorithms - 30 mins

10:20

    Morning Break - 30 mins

10:50
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    Kevin Jung

    Kevin Jung - Bitcoin Ransomware Detection with Scalable Graph Machine Learning

    schedule  10:50 - 11:20 AM place Red Room people 62 Interested

    Ransomware is a type of malware that has become a major threat, rising to 600 million attacks per year, and this cyber-crime is very often facilitated via cryptocurrency. While ransomware relies on pseudonymity to send and receive payments that are difficult to trace, the fact that all transactions on the bitcoin blockchain are written publicly presents an opportunity to develop an analytics pipeline to detect such activities.

    Graph Machine Learning is a rapidly developing research area which combines entity attributes and network structure to improve machine learning outcomes. These techniques are becoming increasingly popular, often outperforming traditional approaches when the underlying data can be naturally represented as a graph.

    This talk will highlight two main outcomes: 1) how a graph machine learning pipeline is formulated to detect bitcoin addresses that are suspected to be associated with ransomware, and 2) how this algorithm is scaled out to process over 1 billion transactions using Apache Spark.

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    Brad Urani

    Brad Urani - My 5 Biggest Database Blunders

    schedule  10:50 - 11:20 AM place Green Room people 64 Interested

    We've all made mistakes. With databases, mistakes are particularly costly because they lead to performance bottlenecks, deployment disasters, lost data and intractable technical debt. Join us and learn from my mistakes. You'll hear harrowing tales of schema design blunders that were never rectified, and where recursive SQL is a path to a dark place. You'll learn why databases make lousy queues, and what to use instead. You'll learn the perils of table locking and botched migrations that can cause downtime and data loss. You'll laugh at my futile attempt to tune queries after choosing the wrong database, and why certain workloads work well on some databases, but not on others. Whether you're new to database engineering, or have made all the same errors, hearing about my missteps will help you avoid mistakes in your own data engineering challenges.

11:25
12:00
12:30

    Lunch Break - 60 mins

01:30
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    Paris Buttfield-Addison

    Paris Buttfield-Addison / Mars Geldard - Game Engines and Machine Learning: Training a Self-Driving Car Without a Car?

    schedule  01:30 - 02:00 PM place Red Room people 83 Interested

    Are you a scientist who wants to test a research problem without building costly and complicated real-world rigs? A self-driving car engineer who wants to test their AI logic in a constrained virtual world? A data scientist who needs to solve a thorny real-world problem without touching a production environment? Have you considered AI problem solving using game engines?

    No? This session will teach you how to solve AI and ML problems using the Unity game engine, and Google’s TensorFlow for Python, as well as other popular ML tools.

    In this session, we’ll show you ML and AI problem solving with game engines. Learn how you could use a game engine to train, explore, and manipulate intelligence agents that learn.

    Game engines are a great place to explore ML and AI. They’re wonderful constrained problem spaces, tiny little ecosystems for you to explore a problem in. Here you can learn how to use them even though you’re not a game developer, with no game development experience required!

    In this session, we’ll look at:

    • how video game engines are a perfect environment to constrain a problem and train an agent
    • how easy it is to get started, using the Unity engine and Google’s TensorFlow for Python
    • how to build up a model, and use it in the engine, to explore a particular idea or problem
    • PPO (proximal policy optimisation) for generic but useful machine learning
    • deep reinforcement learning, and how it lets you explore and study complex behaviours

    Specifically, this session will:

    • teach the very basics of the Unity game engine
    • explore how to setup a scene in Unity for both training and use of a ML model
    • show how to train a model, using TensorFlow (and Docker), using the Unity scene
    • discuss the use of the trained model, and potential applications
    • show you how to train AI agents in complicated scenarios and make the real world better by leveraging the virtual

    We’ll explore fun, engaging scenarios, including virtual self-driving cars, bipedal human-like walking robots, and disembodied hands that can play tennis.

    This session is for non-game developers to learn how they can use game technologies to further their understanding of machine learning fundamentals, and solve problems using a combination of open source tools and (sadly often not open source) game engines. Deep reinforcement learning using virtual environments is the beginning of an exciting new wave of AI.

    It’s a bit technical, a bit creative.

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    Mel Flanagan

    Mel Flanagan - Transparent Government: The Stories we can Tell with Data

    schedule  01:30 - 02:00 PM place Green Room people 50 Interested

    There is an increasing and powerful global push to open up the trove of information governments generate, collect, and manage. There is a vast array of data ranging from; open data, big data from multiple sources, sensitive information about citizens, and complex information about businesses interactions with government, such as contracts and procurement, taxes and royalties.

    This creates many opportunities to use this data to tell stories. To help citizens and the private sector understand what is happening across governments, means not just access to this data, but tools that allow people to dig through, analyse it, use diagrams and maps to make sense of it and to connect information in a way that is understandable, engaging and useful to the general public.

    This talk shows some of the possibilities available today and looks at what may be possible as governments around the world open up. It shows some of the ground-breaking work done in Australia. The talk touches on issues around transparency, accountability, systems of protection, data ethics frameworks, and ultimately how to build trust.

    Throughout, we'll see some of the work by Nook Studios building systems for government, including the ground-breaking Common Ground mining title information system, as well as tools that help link and connect information in a meaningful way using data pathways.

02:05
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    Mat Kelcey

    Mat Kelcey - Practical Learning To Learn

    schedule  02:05 - 02:35 PM place Red Room people 82 Interested

    Gradient descent continues to be our main work horse for training neural networks. One recurring problem though is the large amount of data required. Meta learning frames the problem not as learning from a single large dataset, but learning how to learn from multiple related smaller datasets. In this talk we'll first discuss some key concepts around gradient descent; fine-tuning, transfer learning, joint training and catastrophic forgetting and compare them to how simple meta learning techniques can make optimisation feasible for much smaller datasets.

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    Brendan Hosking

    Brendan Hosking - Custom Continuous Deployment to Uncover the Secrets in the Genome

    schedule  02:05 - 02:35 PM place Green Room people 38 Interested

    Reading the genome to search for the cause of a disease has improved the lives of many children enrolled in clinical trials. However, to convert research into clinical practice requires the ability to query large volumes of data and find the needle in the haystack efficiently. This is hampered by traditional server- and database-based approaches being too expensive and unable to scale with accumulating medical information.

    We hence developed a serverless approach to exchange human genomic information between organisations. The framework was architected to provide instantaneous analysis of non-local data on demand, with zero downtime costs and minimal running costs.

    We used Terraform to write the infrastructure, enabling rapid iteration and version control at the architecture level. In order to maintain governance over our infrastructure created in this way, we developed a custom Continuous Deployment service that built and securely maintained each project, providing visibility and security over the entire organisation’s cloud infrastructure.

02:40
03:10

    Afternoon Break - 30 mins

03:40
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    Pantelis Elinas

    Pantelis Elinas - Practical Geometric Deep Learning in Python

    schedule  03:40 - 04:10 PM place Red Room people 77 Interested

    Geometric Deep Learning (GDL) is a fast developing machine learning specialisation that uses the network structure underlying the data to improve learning outcomes. GDL has been successfully applied to problems in various domains with network-structured data, such as social science, medicine, media, finance, etc.

    Inspired by the success of neural networks in domains such as computer vision and natural language processing, the core component driving GDL is the graph convolution operator. This operator is used as the building block for deep learning models applied to networks. This approach takes advantage of many algorithmic and computational developments from modern neural network research and practice – such as composability, optimisation, and end-to-end training – to improve predictive performance.

    However, there is a lack of tools for geometric deep learning targeting data scientists and machine learning practitioners.

    In response, CSIRO’s Data61 has developed StellarGraph, an open source Python library. StellarGraph implements a number of state-of-the-art methods for GDL with a clean and consistent API. Furthermore, StellarGraph is designed to make the application of GDL algorithms to network-structured data easy to integrate with existing machine learning workflows.

    In this talk, we will start with an overview of GDL and its real-world applications. Then we will introduce StellarGraph with a focus on its design philosophy, API and analytics workflow. Finally, we will demonstrate StellarGraph’s flexibility and ease-of-use for developing solutions targeting important applications such as product recommendation and social network moderation. Lastly, we will touch on the challenges of designing and implementing a library for a fast evolving machine learning field.

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    Linda McIver

    Linda McIver - The Sceptical Data Scientist

    schedule  03:40 - 04:10 PM place Green Room people 49 Interested

    More and more decisions are data driven now - and that’s awesome! Much better than ideologically driven, or personality driven, or “whatever mood management’s in today” driven. But it does mean we want to be confident of our analyses. And there’s a tendency to have deep faith in data science. “Look! I did a calculation! It must be true!” Numbers don’t lie. And maths is reliable.

    But so much depends on the questions we ask, how we ask them, and how we test those results.

    So how do we create a generation of sceptical data scientists? Whose first approach to a result is to challenge it. To try to disprove it.

    We need to give them confidence in their skills, but teach them to doubt their own work.

04:15
04:50
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    Anthony I Joseph

    Anthony I Joseph - Techniques Used to Analyse the Affordability, Commutability and Demographics of Real Estate in School Catchment Areas

    schedule  04:50 - 05:20 PM place Red Room people 35 Interested
    School catchments, otherwise known as priority placement areas or intake zones are a zone where children are entitled to enrol in a public school. Recent media coverage has drawn attention to the increased demands for residential real estate within high performing school catchments. While school catchment areas remain a controversial and influential factor in determining student enrolments, the impacts of school catchment areas on its local community is only recently being studied. This presentation will describe some of the analytical techniques used to analyse school catchment areas, as expressed as geospatial concepts as well as some of the results obtained from analysing school catchments across Australia. This analysis involved combining different spatial and non-spatial datasets across various jurisdictions. These geospatial analytical techniques were used to draw insights on the affordability, commutability and demographic changes that school catchments may have on urban environments. Urban environments and school catchments across Australia have been analysed. The insights obtained from this analysis could be used to influence property investment decisions for individuals, and policy decisions on:
    - public housing locations,
    - public transport infrastructure,
    - school catchment area designs, and
    - future school locations
    for government agencies.
    This presentation will cover analytical techniques including geoprocessing, vector data analysis and isochrones. The slides for this presentation are available at:
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    Hercules Konstantopoulos

    Hercules Konstantopoulos - Is Agile Data Science a thing now?

    schedule  04:50 - 05:20 PM place Green Room people 51 Interested

    How come there’s no standard text on how to operate a Data Science team? At its current scale this is a young practice without a widely accepted mode of operation. Because so many practitioners are housed in technology shops, we tend to align our delivery cycles with developers… and hence with the Agile framework.

    I will argue that if a data team fits within Agile it is probably not performing data science but operational analytics—a separate and venerable practice, and a requisite for data science. To ‘do’ science we need a fair bit of leeway, although not a complete lack of boundaries. It’s a tricky balance.

    In this talk I will share my experience as a data scientist in a variety of circumstances: in foundational, service, and advisory roles. I will also bring some parallels from my past life in scientific research to discuss how I think data science should be performed at scale. And I will share my current Agile-ish process at Atlassian.