Dave Thomas

Breaking the Rules – Dave Thomas – 21 Oct

or 30 years Objects have dominated the software agenda as a technology and a set of practices from client through mid tier to mainframe. OOAD, Design Patterns, IDEs, OO Libraries, Refactoring, OO Middleware, Object Persistence, GUI Frameworks etc.

For over a decade Agile has been the way to build software, particularly OO software. Properly implemented Agile brings improved predictability and quality but it doesn’t deliver software faster or the Agility that the organization had hoped it would. The reality is that more and more organizations are plagued with an OO legacy and Object think which prevents them from innovating and delivering in response to market needs.

In this talk Dave will look briefly back at 30 years of software evolution and discuss the darker side of Objects and why they have many organizations stuck in a legacy “big ball of mud”. We also discuss Agile and specifically what it does and doesn’t deliver. In order to compete it a global market one can’t rely on best practices alone. One needs to find ways to do things differently and optimize the software development value chain. Radical solutions requirement management of risks associated with unconventional practices and technologies. We describe example solutions – simple to sophisticated that enable innovative organizations to move ahead of their competition.


Dave Thomasis a popular humorous albeit opinionated keynote speaker. Dave Thomas is a founding director of the Agile Alliance and is a Managing Director for Object Mentor a leader in XP, Craftmanship and Lean and Agile in the Large. Dave is doing the opening keynote for the Agile 2010 Conference.

Dave Thomas has an unusual depth and breadth in the software industry spanning developer to executive and investor. Dave is founder and CEO of Bedarra Corporation; which provides virtual CTO, CFO and CEO, business mentoring and seed investment to emerging companies. He is chairman of Bedarra Research Labs which undertakes speculative client funded applied research using emerging technologies. Current Projects are Collaborative Analytics and Next Generation Pervasive Platforms.

He was founder and CEO Object Technology International Inc. (OTI) (now IBM OTI Labs) and led the commercial introduction of object and component technology. The company is often cited as the ideal model of a software technology company. In the late 1980s Dave pioneered an early Lean and Agile process called Just In Time Software portions of which appear today in IBM Team Concert.

He was the principal technical and business visionary and architect for IBM VisualAge Smalltalk and Java tools and virtual machines including the popular Eclipse.org IDE. OTI pioneered the use of virtual machines in embedded systems with Tektronix shipping the first commercial products in 1988. He was instrumental in the establishment of IBM’s Pervasive computing efforts and in particular the Java tooling.

Dave is an adjunct research professor at Carleton University, and Queensland University of Technology and is widely published. Dave is the organizer of the YOW! Conference and on the program committee for JAOO Conferences as well numerous other program committees.