YOW! December 2022: Online

Topics covered at #YOW22

Monday, 5th - Tuesday, 13th December, Online Conference

26 experts will be speaking. Starts at 8:45 AM AEDT (9:45 PM UTC)

Join us for the return of YOW! December: a livestream featuring the best of YOW! Sydney, YOW! Brisbane and YOW! Melbourne.

Over these conference days, you'll learn from thought leaders, architects and developers as you connect with like-minded people to share skills, insights, and lessons from the comfort of your laptop, be it at home or at work.

YOW! speakers are chosen based on their expertise; they provide excellent, technically rich content with no sales pitches, just lots of case studies and stories from the trenches.

Software professionals and IT leaders from all across the organisation will benefit from attending. Whether you’re a developer, architect, product owner, team lead, coach, or manager, don’t miss this learning opportunity. Our speakers have a wealth of experience they’re eager to share with you.

Jessica Kerr at a previous YOW! Conference

This live-streamed version of the live YOW! Conferences will be hosted on Hopin.

This livestream is exclusively available to Skills Matter Premium Members. Learn more about Premium Membership here.

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Programming Systems for Analog Hardware

Analog computing platforms, implemented on a range of electrical and optical substrates, are becoming pervasive and crucial for satisfying the computational needs of different domains. Delivering the potential of such hardware platforms to domain specialists is a challenge as these devices exhibit a host of analog behaviors that must be considered when mapping computation to the target hardware. This talk will discuss how software techniques can be leveraged to map programs to analog computing substrates at high fidelity.

Sara Achour

Assistant Professor
Stanford University

Metaflow Data Science Framework: a Case Study on Building Products That Users Love

In this talk, you’ll learn about Metaflow, an end-to-end Machine Learning and Data Science framework from Netflix that shortened the time to get ML models in production from months to days. After its 1.0 release, Metaflow quickly became a beloved environment for rapid prototyping all the way to full scale ML. It’s been tested across thousands of ML projects and dozens of companies since its open sourcing in 2019. Currently, Metaflow is the 7th-most popular Netflix open source project of all time.

In the latter portion of the talk, we’ll discuss how Metaflow was made and the engineering mindset of the team that built it. You’ll walk away with practical takeaways that you can apply to your project.

Disclaimer: I do not represent Netflix and the views expressed in this talk are solely my own.

Julie Amundson

Former Machine Learning Infrastructure Team Leader

[Keynote] Astrid Atkinson

Astrid Atkinson

CEO and Co-Founder
Camus Energy

C4 models as code

"Diagrams as code", as featured on the ThoughtWorks Tech Radar, is becoming a popular way to create software architecture diagrams for inclusion in long-lived documentation. The benefits of creating diagrams from text are well understood - text is version controllable, easy to diff, easy to integrate into build pipelines, and automatic layout facilities allow authors to focus on content. The majority of these tools (e.g. PlantUML and Mermaid) are focussed on diagramming though, and require you to create one text file per diagram, with only a limited ability to reuse diagram elements across multiple diagrams. At scale, this causes maintenance problems, and leads to inconsistencies between diagrams.

This talk will introduce and demonstrate the open source Structurizr DSL - a way to create a model of your software architecture using a textual DSL that's specifically targeted towards the C4 model. We'll also see how the DSL separates content from presentation, allowing you to render your diagrams with a number of tools, which in turn offers some answers for the tricky question of how to use the C4 model at scale.

Simon Brown

Founder of Coding the Architecture and either a software architect who codes or a software developer who understands architecture

How Cognitive Biases affect our software architectures

At the time of writing this, Wikipedia’s “Cognitive bias codex” has more than 200 entries, and it feels like Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking Fast and Slow” is referenced in every other software conference talk. It’s official: Human beings are just not the rational thinkers we like to think we are.

When we approach software architecture in an agile way, we are trying to embrace the uncertainty that comes with all software delivery, but at the same time we want to be diligent about the decisions that are harder to change later. This talk will go through just a few of the cognitive biases that can trip us up as architects and developers when we are making these decisions, and how to soften their potentially negative impact.

Birgitta Böckeler

Technical Principal

Making the most of your manager

Unless you sit at the very top of an organisation hierarchy, you have a manager. Your manager may be someone you enjoy working with, or not. You may respect their skills and experience, or not. You may rely on them for guidance and advice, or not. Whether you think you have a good manager or a bad manager, there are opportunities for you to leverage your manager to help build your own career. If you want a promotion or a pay rise, your manager is the first person who you need to get onside. This talk is not about "managing up". This talk is about how to turn your manager into your advocate and sponsor.

Katrina Clokie

Chief Technology Officer

Adrian’s Greatest Hits, B-Sides and Re-issues

Adrian retired from Amazon in June 2022, and like a classic rock band on a farewell tour, Adrian will rerun and comment on excerpts of talks he's given in the past, including some of the original Netflix Architecture content from Qcon SF 2010, Microservices from MicroXchg Berlin, the GigaOM Cloud Trends talk from 2015, Communicating Sequential Goroutines from 2016, and AWS talks featuring animated kitchen sinks and lego spaceships. It will rock! Headbanging optional.

Adrian Cockcroft

Partner and Analyst

Aino Vonge Corry

Aino Vonge Corry


[Keynote] Engineering for Software - How to Amplify Creativity

In most disciplines "Engineering" means the stuff that works, an application of scientific reasoning to solving practical problems. In Software, depending on your background, it either means something bureaucratic that doesn't work, or it is just another name for software development.So what are the ideas that we can use as tools to give real, practical advantage in our work in the way that other disciplines achieve? What ideas should we treat as "the tools of our trade" whatever the technology or problem before us? This presentation explores two "tools" that we can use, Testability & Speed.

Dave Farley

Independent Consultant
Continuous Delivery

Simple Functional Effects with Tag Unions

There are many ways a programming language can support effects. For many years, side effects were the only game in town. Today, there are a variety of ways to model effects in a more functional way, with each effect system having its own set of tradeoffs.

This talk introduces a simple, high-performance effect system based on tag unions - which can be implemented in the Roc programming language, as well as in OCaml using polymorphic variants. The system allows for easily mixing I/O operations that can fail in different ways (such as HTTP requests and file I/O), while still offering exhaustiveness checking on all the error cases. It also makes it easy to tell which functions are using which effects (for example, "this part of the code base does HTTP and reads from the filesystem, but is guaranteed not to write to the filesystem"), and to enforce at compile time that certain calls may result in some effects but not others.

If you're interested in a simple, high-performance effect system with these characteristics, come see what it's all about in this talk!

Richard Feldman

Head of Open Source

Managing to your SLO in the face of chaos

Setting a Service Level Objective for your service is only the start of your quantified reliability journey. What do you do when you've had a few too many incidents and blown your error budget? Or had a pile of near-misses that burned the team out even though the user-facing SLO wasn't violated? What if the incident trigger was the infrastructure refactoring meant to improve, not harm, reliability & maintainability?In this talk, you'll learn how the team at Honeycomb handles incidents, chaos engineering, and the engineering feedback loop for reliability with social practices and architectural design.

Liz Fong-Jones

Principal Developer Advocate

Sabotaging a Transformation

Transformation efforts must overcome a myriad of challenges to achieve success. Some of the inhibitors we will discuss include:

  • Executives unaware of the transformation
  • Failure to engage all the necessary parties
  • Individuals losing power with the transformation
  • New roles and disappearing roles
  • Lack of an effective Change Agent
  • Success conservatism
  • Lazy buyers
  • Blame-oriented cultures

For each of these inhibitors, we will cite a) situations where this occurred, b) mitigation actions to overcome the inhibitor, and c) the effectiveness of these efforts.

We will conclude by suggesting some best practices we are currently employing in anticipation of likely inhibitors, including our newest proposal process of only selling complete solutions to our clients (not just body-shopping people).

Brendan Gregg

Brendan Gregg

Intel Corporation

Saša Jurić

Saša Jurić


Lars Klint

Lars Klint

Senior Developer Advocate

James Lewis

James Lewis

Technical Director

Lily Mara

Lily Mara

Engineering Manager

Rebecca Parsons

Rebecca Parsons

Chief Technology Officer

Matt Ranney

Matt Ranney

Principal Engineer

Peter Sbarski

Peter Sbarski

AWS Serverless Hero, Author of Serverless Architectures on AWS

Geeta Schmidt

Geeta Schmidt

VP of Humio

One does not simply add MFA

MFA (Multi-factor authentication) is a vital security pillar for any application, but sometimes it fails us as users and developers. How you use and implement MFA can significantly impact how secure it will be and the protection it ultimately provides. Finding best practices for implementing MFA can be difficult, so learn from a real-world implementation and know how to protect yourself and not let down your users.

Christine Seeman

Senior Software Engineer
WP Engine

Systems Architecture at Massive Scale: The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Simplicity

Building distributed systems that work is quite challenging. But systems that provide customer value will grow and evolve, and scaling those systems by multiple orders of magnitude is even harder. Citing specific failures and successes from internet-scale consumer properties like Google and eBay, and measuring customer value through the architecturalilities, this session deep-dives into the often counterintuitive architectural principles of simplicity, orthogonality, asynchrony, and feedback.

Simplicity helps us turn seemingly intractable problems into discrete and solvable ones. We will discuss component responsibilities, single-threaded straight-line processing, and making changes in small steps.

Orthogonality allows us to compose separate concerns and bound the complexity of each dimension of the problem. We will discuss processing abstractions like mixins and addons, as well as communication abstractions like channels and pipes.

Asynchrony and eventual consistency further reduce complexity and lead us to drive the system design directly from what really matters – what is actually changing in our core business domain. We will explore events, caching, and dataflow.

Finally, fast and consistent feedback help us continually maintain and improve a complex system. We will discuss quality feedback in the small, as well as systems feedback in the large.

You will take away some interesting anecdotes, as well as actionable insights you can put into practice in scaling your own systems.

Randy Shoup

VP Engineering and Chief Architect

Jessica Tai

Code Red: The Business Impact of Code Quality

Code quality is an abstract concept that fails to get traction at the business level. Consequently, software companies keep trading code quality for new features. The resulting technical debt is estimated to waste up to 42% of developers' time, causing stress and uncertainty, as well as making our job less enjoyable than it should be. Without clear and quantifiable benefits, it's hard to build a business case for code quality.In this talk, Adam takes on the challenge by tuning the code analysis microscope towards a business outcome. We do that by combining novel code quality metrics with analyses of how the engineering organization works with the code. We then take those metrics a step further by connecting them to values like time-to-market, customer satisfaction, and road-map risks. This makes it possible to a) prioritize the parts of your system that benefit the most from improvements, b) communicate quality trade-offs in terms of actual costs, and c) identify high-risk parts of the application so that we can focus our efforts on the areas that need them the most. All recommendations are supported by data and brand new real-world research. This is a perspective on software development that will change how you view code. Promise.

Adam Tornhill

Founder and CTO, CodeScene

Simon Wardley

Simon Wardley

Simon is a former CEO, former advisory board member of startups (all now acquired by US Giants), fellow of Open Europe, inventor of Wardley Mapping, a regular conference speaker and a researcher for the LEF. He uses mapping in his research for the LEF covering areas from Serverless to Nation State competition whilst also advising / teaching LEF clients on mapping, strategy, organisation and leadership.


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