Humane teams at home and around the world

A 45 minute Case Study by:

Daniel Young


Emma Jane Hogbin Westby

The United Nations

About this Case Study

Software development is a social activity that favours direct human contact, yet 21st-century life can often get in the way, forcing us to reconsider our communication patterns. Whether you're building a collocated, remote, or distributed team, there is one component in software development that remains unchanged: the human element.

Using the experiences of two team leaders from startup and enterprise, this presentation will guide you to building happier, more resilient teams regardless of where its humans are located.

You will leave this presentation with a better capacity to examine and optimise your own teams by:

  • identifying patterns and anti-patterns of distributed and collocated teams
  • comparing the prescription for “how we work” from your existing working process to one that matches your team’s needs
  • anticipating and understanding changes that can impact your team’s communication, happiness and productivity over time

No specific skills are required to get value from this talk. Experience of working in a software development team with other humans, together with some knowledge of agile methodology, will definitely be useful.

About the Speakers

Daniel Young

Dan is one of the founders of EngineerBetter, a small, London-based software consultancy helping customers with Cloud Foundry PaaS and organisational change. His team places a strong emphasis on XP values and practices, including pair programming in co-located teams. He’s always been driven by a strong desire to reduce friction and find more effective ways of working in large organisations.


Emma Jane Hogbin Westby

Emma Jane Hogbin Westby leads the operations team for shared digital services at United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). In this role she uses the Agile Manifesto to manage a distributed team of developers across eight time zones. She is the author of 'O’Reilly’s Git for Teams' and two books on web development.


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full programme