About this Case Study
Reflection and storytelling are key parts of agility. We use retrospectives and share case studies to learn from our work. This session takes us back to a formative period in modern computing when computers changed from being isolated silos to the network of networks we know today.
The ARPANET was made possible because of a belief by the US government that it should be ‘supporting the nation’s most advanced computer research-and-development projects’. This vision begat the purpose of allowing the hitherto isolated computers to talk to each other, and so allow scientists to share their work and resources.
For the ARPANET to become a reality, its proponents had to overcome the resistance of incumbent experts to outsiders with new ideas. It also required a division of the problem space into smaller separate problems.
The ARPANET was built with testing and measurement as first class citizens. As the network grew, the technology evolved - it created communities of practice and enabled the sought-after sharing of knowledge, but in a way that its founders had not anticipated.
Whilst the technology has changed since the 1960s, there is still much to learn and apply from this compelling origin story.
This session draws heavily on Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon’s book, Where Wizards Stay Up Late - The Origins of the Internet.
There will be a fair amount of audience participation as we will model the growth of the ARPANET with some - not to scale - models, wires and blinkenlights.
About the Speaker
Chris has been leading engineering teams since 1999. He was pivotal in the BBC’s adoption of agile in 2000-2001. Since then, he has worked for broadcasters and platform owners including Dish Network in the US and Deutsche Telekom in Europe.
He is currently Vice President, Engineering at Linius Technologies. He is an active member of the lean/agile/DevOps community, speaking at meetups and conferences across Europe including GOTO Berlin, Agile Cambridge, CukeUp and QCon. His favourite language is Python.