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How Did We End Up Here?

YOW! 2014 Melbourne

Have you ever wondered how our software industry has got itself into the pickle it is currently in? Most projects end up being massively late, costing way more than expected, and delivering big balls of mud that no one truly understands and thus are a nightmare to maintain. In desperation we try out the new approaches we hear about from the analysts and press. Approaches which often have wacky names and sort of make sense, yet, when we try them we still seem to be no better at successfully delivering software than we were a few decades ago.

This talk will be a full scale rant, attacking the technology industry’s sacred cows by exposing the motivations that hide behind them. We’ll show how these motivations lead us into practices that hinder rather than help us deliver quality software, practices that often make our lives just plain miserable.

However, all is not doom and gloom. Some organisations, notably the new breed of online technology lead companies, seem to be achieving things that the traditional corporate IT departments can only dream of. What are they doing differently? We’ll finish by exploring this question and what we can all learn from it.

Martin Thompson

High-Performance Computing Specialist

Real Logic

United Kingdom

Martin is a Java Champion with over 2 decades of experience building complex and high-performance computing systems. He is most recently known for his work on Aeron and SBE. Previously at LMAX he was the co-founder and CTO when he created the Disruptor. Prior to LMAX Martin worked for Betfair, content companies with the world largest catalogues, and some of the most significant C++ and Java systems of the 1990s.

He blogs at, and can be found giving training courses on performance, concurrency, and distributed systems when he is not cutting code to make systems better.