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Speaker from Facebook at Agile Africa 2015

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The third annual Agile Africa will feature Facebook’s Kent Beck. Taking place at the Protea Hotel, Parktonian from 24 – 26 August 2015, this year’s line-up, according to hosts Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE), includes some of the software industry’s brightest minds.“We are excited to have Kent Beck as one of our keynote speakers at this year’s Agile Africa. He is world renowned as a pioneer of Agile and the father of eXtreme Programming, or XP. We look forward to his address titled ‘Managing by the ‘Book: Ten Improbable Policies that Conquered the World’,” says Prof Barry Dwolatzky, JCSE director.

In his keynote, Beck will discuss how Facebook seized the social networking opportunity when others fumbled it. Having worked as a programmer for Facebook since 2011, Beck says that one of the many factors that had to go right was for the engineering to keep up with unprecedented, unpredictable, explosive growth of social media. The secret, according to him, is not so secret: “Everyone takes personal responsibility for the entire system and instead of making up for a lack of responsibility, Facebook’s engineering policies foster and exploit personal responsibility. My Agile Africa 2015 talk presents the thinking behind ten of these policies that contradict conventional wisdom,” explains Beck.

Over the four years at Facebook, Beck has worked on privacy, messaging infrastructure and coaching for promising engineers. Before that he was a pioneer in patterns for software, Extreme Programming, Test-Driven Development, and the xUnit family of testing frameworks. His research includes syntax-tree-based development tools and the quantitative study of software design and software process.

“This is by far our best Agile Africa line-up yet and we are looking forward to Kent’s keynote and his wisdom after 43 years of programming,” says Dwolatzky.

Agile Africa 2015 will take place at The Parktonian Hotel and will yet again part of the Fak’ugesi Digital Africa Festival, which runs from 24 August until 13 September 2015.