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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.

Todd L. Montgomery

Founder and Principal Consultant


United States

Todd Montgomery is a networking hacker who has researched, designed, and built numerous protocols, messaging-oriented middleware systems, and real-time data systems, done research for NASA, contributed to the IETF and IEEE, and co-founded two startups. He currently works as an independent consultant on high-performance systems and is active in several open-source projects, including Agrona, Aeron, ReactiveSocket, and the FIX Simple Binary Encoding (SBE).