Dave Thomas

Mature Legacy Seeking Sexy New Technology for Fun and Profit – Dave Thomas – 12, 14, 19 Apr

Mature Legacy Seeking Sexy New Technology for Fun and Profit
Extracting Gold from Legacy Code
Sponsored by Bedarra Research Labs, DiUS, and YOW! Conferences


In this talk we describe the huge opportunity for innovation in Legacy systems We argue there has never been a better time for creative legacy renovations that leverage new hot technologies – languages; data bases; web; cloud and Agile practices. Many talented developers turn up their noses or run away in fear from what they see as baroque environments with arcane tool chains. Talent panic often pushes for a grand rewrite using modern technology. Sadly experience shows the grand rewrite has too much risk and way too little business value. Given legacy investments, the only option therefore is innovation!

We illustrate legacy innovations via several case studies spanning a wide spectrum of legacy systems including: mainframe IT; Unix products; military systems; telecom; data banks and multi-vendor EAI and EAP applications. We explain the appropriate practices, teams, and tools to achieve high impact renovations by inserting new technology. We discuss appropriate investments in training, tooling and practices for different legacy environments. We look at approaches to ensuring lasting high value relationships between legacies and bleeding edge technology.



Dave Thomas is 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 presented 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 services, business mentoring and seed investment to emerging companies. He is also chairman of Bedarra Research Labs, which undertakes speculative, client-funded applied research using emerging technologies. Current Projects involve Collaborative Analytics and Next Generation Pervasive Platforms.

He was founder and CEO of 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, 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 adjuct research professor at Carleton University and Queensland University of Technology and is widely published. Dave is the organiser of the YOW! Conferences and on the program committee for JAOO Conferences as well as numeros other program committees.