This event is co-located with Testing Showcase North
Delegates may attend any sessions from across the two conferences.

Agile and DevOps have shared environments that facilitate working together.  These methods are more than simply adopting new tools and processes and the synergy involves building a development and a stable Continuous Integration (CI) infrastructure, as well as an automated pipeline that moves deliverables from development to production.  They can work together and the entire build process should be transparent, and it should enable and support development and operations.  This transformation depends on: significant changes in culture; roles and responsibilities; team structure; tools and processes.

There is also an exhibition alongside featuring leading service providers, consultants and Agile & DevOps tool vendors.

Other highlights of the day:

Joint morning session of Keynote presentations with Testing Showcase North

The Round Table session:This session is for 45 minutes. The speaker at each table will have a set theme and delegates join any table that they are interested in. This is a discussion group and so no presentation slides are necessary. Please submit a topic if you would like to chair a discussion on a topic related to Testing, Agile and DevOps.

Benefits of attending:

  • Learn from subject experts addressing topical issues
  • Learn from others’ best practices, ideas and expertise
  • Discover latest technical skills, tools, tips and tricks in the industry
  • Hear about new developments in Agile and DevOps
  • Share ideas and brainstorm new approaches
  • Meet executives and professionals from your same industry area
  • Develop and benchmark your working Strategies
  • Take away insights and lessons from presentations not specifically focused on your main interest area
  • Discussion and networking are encouraged via Q&A sessions after the presentations and during the breaks

Topics to be covered:

  • Agile frameworks provide guidance for efficient operational software
  • Adopt a “build-and-run” teams concept
  • Agile and DevOps – moving with flow based awareness
  • Improve DevOps with SAFe
  • Automating for improved flow
  • Agile: The changing face of business
  • How DevOps and Agile can help Digital Transformation
  • The agile release train and continuous integration
  • Scrum board Gamification
  • Mob Programming
  • Team leadership
  • Individuals and interactions over process and tools
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

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Call for Participation

We are inviting speakers – thought leaders, subject experts and start up entrepreneurs – to share their knowledge and enthusiasm about their work and their vision in the field of Agile and DevOps.

We understand that successful projects are written up as “White Papers”. Please share these with us. But projects that did not achieve their targets – “Black Papers” – are of interest to us too. They can be a very important topics of discussion / panels that you can present. Talk to us about both, we welcome your input.

Please complete the speaker’s response form and submit a proposal to present at this event.

Code of Conduct & Diversity

UNICOM’s Code of Conduct & Views on Diversity

We at UNICOM strive to be a leading provider of knowledge to the business community and to engage the global business community as a specialised provider of knowledge. We strive to do this maintaining a culture of co-operation, commitment and trust. We want every UNICOM conference and training day to be a safe and productive environment for everyone – a place to share research and innovation and to build professional networks. To that end, we will enforce a code of conduct throughout all our events. We expect cooperation from all participants to help ensure a safe environment for everybody.

Our approach is that our events are dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity or religion. We do not tolerate intimidation, stalking, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of sessions or events, and unwelcome physical contact or sexual attention. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks, workshops, Twitter and other online media. Event participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the event without a refund at the discretion of the conference organisers. Please bring your concerns to the immediate attention of the event staff.

Diversity: In our endeavour to be the provider of knowledge to the business community, we understand that this depends on hearing from and listening to a variety of perspectives that come from people of all races, ethnicities, genders, ages, abilities, religions, sexual orientation, and military service. We welcome diverse speakers for all our events, we do not always fully achieve this goal, but it is an ongoing process.

Read more…


  • Joint session with Testing Showcase, North -

  • 09:15 -

    Keynote: A Bluffer's Guide to Technical Debt for other people

    Steve Freeman, Zuhlke Engineering Limited

    We need to explain Technical Debt to people who are not technical, partly so that they can make better choices because they understand the real trade-offs, and partly to so that we understand it better too. Some of the tension between trying to get product out and developing something you can live with is an essential feature of trying to do anything new, but some is the result of a mismatch of understanding between Product and Development. The metaphor of debt does not really convey the risks that arise from poor technical quality. Instead, I will introduce some other metaphors for looking at technical risk that we think match the problem more effectively, and propose some strategies to help product and development teams approach a solution.


    Steve Freeman

  • 09:55 -

    Questions & discussions

  • 10:00 -

    Keynote: Choose Your WoW! A Disciplined Agile Delivery Handbook for Optimizing Your Way of Working (WoW)

    Mark Lines, Managing Partner / DA Fellow, Disciplined Agile

    We like to say that agile teams own their own process by choosing their way of working, their "WoW." This of course is easier said than done because there are several aspects to WoW. First, our team needs to know how to choose the appropriate lifecycle for the situation that we face. Should we take a Scrum-based approach, a lean/Kanban-based approach, a continuous delivery approach, or an exploratory/lean startup approach? Second, what practices should the team adopt? How do they fit together? When should we apply them? Third, what artifacts should the team create? When should they be created? To what level of detail? Finally, how do we evolve our WoW as we experiment and learn?

    There are several strategies that we could choose to follow when we tailor and evolve our WoW. One approach is to bootstrap our WoW, to figure it out on our own. This works, but it is a very slow and expensive strategy in practice. Another approach is to hire an agile coach, but sadly in practice the majority of coaches seem to be like professors who are only a chapter or two ahead of their students. Or we could take a more disciplined, streamlined approach and leverage the experiences of the thousands of teams who have already struggled through the very issues that our team currently faces. In this talk you’ll discover how to develop your WoW without starting from scratch and without having to rely on the limited experience and knowledge of "agile coaches."

    In this talk, Mark Lines, co-creator of Disciplined Agile, and co-author of four books on Disciplined Agile, shows how to reference the DAD "Toolkit" to help you make better decisions that make sense for your organization, for your teams, for their unique contexts.  Better decisions lead to better outcomes!


    Mark Lines

  • 10:40 -

    Questions & discussions

  • 10:45 -

    Introduction to sponsoring bodies and coffee break

  • 11:15 -

    Panel: The Future of Testing within Agile and CD

    Moderator: Chris Thacker, Test Manager,

    Position statement:

    Agile Development, Continuous Delivery, and Continuous Deployment changed in fundamental ways how software intensive systems are designed and tested.
    Giovanni Asproni, Principal Consultant, Zuhlke Engineering Ltd [to be confirmed]

    DevOps at Scale
    Ahmed Singer, Senior Solutions Architect, MicroFocus

    Modern Software Testing
    Ian Bissett, Technical Director, Infuse

  • 11:45 -

    Round Table Session

    Table 1 - Increasing software reliability: traditional vs. new methodologies and technologies
    Dr Greg Law, CTO, Undo

    Table 2 - Operability
    Matthew Skelton, Head of Consulting & Training, Conflux

    Table 3 - Scaling Agile but really retaining autonomy
    Shabbir Naqvi, Programme Delivery Lead, YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP

    Table 4 - Creating teams based on shared rules, values and purpose - an interactive roundtable
    Tom Hoyland, Agile Delivery Lead, Sky Betting and Gaming

    Table 5 - What can we do to bring agility (proactively responding to change) back to Agile?
    Colin Deady, Head of Product and Innovation, Capita Application Services

    Table 6 - Artificial Intelligence in Operations (AIOps)
    Jonathon Wright, Chief Technology Officer, Digital Assured

    Table 7 - Critical Skills for software testers
    Paul Gerrard, Principal, Gerrard Consulting

    Table 8 - The Importance of test automation
    Ian Bissett, Technical Director, Infuse

  • 12:15 -


  • Agile & DevOps Track -

  • Conference Chair: Steve Freeman, Zuhlke Engineering Limited -

  • 13:15 -

    Chair’s scene setting

  • 13:20 -

    DevOps ICU: Improving DevOps Results by (Correctly) Integrating UX

    Debbie Levitt, CEO, Ptype UX & Product Design Agency

    UX is driving you crazy, a black throwing off timelines and killing ideas. UX doesn’t seem Lean or Agile. Can’t anybody make wireframes? Can’t we circumvent or exclude these people?

    DevOps is about so much more than how developers connect with IT, how infrastructure is managed, and how frameworks can be improved. It’s about recognizing how many teams are truly involved in the software development process and finding better ways to make sure everybody is at the table.

    This session will explain how the UX process fits into Agile; saves companies money; augments DevOps goals; and increases customer satisfaction.


    Debbie Levitt

  • 13:40 -

    Questions & discussions

  • 13:45 -

    Make your Developer your Customer

    Colin Deady, Head of Product and Innovation, Capita Application Services

    In high-agility teams "shift left" is but a starter for ten. While the goal is clearly stated, for example: deliver maximum benefit for the client for minimum engineering effort, compromise occurs when "client benefit over engineering creativity" is unwittingly added as a Manifesto item. Minimum effort often translates to short-term "do it now" attitudes and siloisation, the exact opposite of agility. Let us discover who the customers of the team really are and step away from the binary end points of "client" or "end user". Sometimes, we will discover that the Customer is the Developer and not the Client at all.


    Colin Deady

  • 14:05 -

    Questions & discussions

  • 14:10 -

    Agents of Change

    Jon Fulton, Equal Experts

    Agile practitioners everywhere work hard to build successful delivery capabilities and achieve great outcomes. More often than not, that means helping change the way things get done.

    Jon will explore behaviours that can be both helpful and unhelpful when trying to influence organisations and be an Agent of Change.


    Jon Fulton

  • 14:30 -

    Questions & discussions

  • 14:35 -

    Continuous Intelligence (AIOps) delivering Enterprise AI platforms

    Jonathon Wright, Chief Technology Officer, Digital Assured

    Artificial intelligence is rapidly becoming part of every organisations 2020 business strategy. How do you bridge the Cognitive knowledge GAP? How can you apply bespoke domain knowledge to deliver Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) platforms?


    Jonathon Wright

  • 14:55 -

    Questions & discussions

  • 15:00 -

    Coffee and tea break

  • 15:20 -

    Five Practical Operability Techniques for Teams

    Matthew Skelton, Head of Consulting & Training, Conflux

    In this talk, we explore five practical, tried-and-tested, real world techniques for improving operability with many kinds of software systems, including cloud, Serverless, on-premise, and IoT.

    ♦ Logging as a live diagnostics vector with sparse Event IDs 
    ♦ Operational checklists and ‘Run Book dialogue sheets’ as a discovery mechanism for teams
    ♦ Deployment Verification Tests as a way to assess runtime dependencies and readiness for service 
    ♦ Correlation IDs beyond simple HTTP calls 
    ♦ Lightweight ‘User Personas’ as drivers for operational dashboards 

    Based on work in many industry sectors, we will learn how to improve the operability of software systems using these team-friendly techniques.


    Matthew Skelton

  • 15:40 -

    Questions & discussions

  • 15:45 -

    Growing Pains: Attempting to Scale Teams, Maintain Culture & Deliver in an Agile Manner

    Shabbir Naqvi, Programme Delivery Lead, YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP

    We will be looking at a case study of a company that has experienced exponential growth. The tech teams have grown from 500 strong to 1,000+ and the complexity of work has increased tenfold as the company navigates through the merger as well as natural growth.


    Shabbir Naqvi

  • 16:05 -

    Questions & discussions

  • 16:10 -

    How to Make Agile Delivery More Effective

    Iwona Winiarska, Agile Delivery Manager, Automation Logic

    In a world of complexity, uncertainty and shifting priorities, it’s important to be nimble and adapt to the rapidly changing environment. This means organisations need to change the ways of working and how they deliver digital services and products.

    This talk delves into agile delivery, principles of agile governance and ways of working as key elements for successful delivery.


    Iwona Winiarska

  • 16:30 -

    Questions & discussions

  • 16:35 -

    DevOps and the Database - how to INSERT value into your pipelines

    Chris Unwin, Compliant DevOps Specialist, RedGate Software

    Traditionally a blocker in DevOps processes, in this session we will discuss Database change management and how it can be better leveraged to provide value faster in both directions by 1) integrating it with existing CI/CD activities and 2) provisioning sanitised copies for development.


    Chris Unwin

  • 16:55 -

    Questions & discussions

  • 17:00 -

    Chair’s summing up.

  • 17:05 -

    Close of conference and drinks reception.


Colin Deady

Head of Product and Innovation, Capita Application Services

Steve Freeman

Zuhlke Engineering Limited

Jon Fulton

Equal Experts

Tom Hoyland

Sky Betting and Gaming, Agile Delivery Lead

Debbie Levitt

CEO,Ptype UX & Product Design Agency

Mark Lines

Managing Partner / DA Fellow, Disciplined Agile

Shabbir Naqvi

Programme Delivery Lead, YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP

Ahmed Singer

Lead Solution Architect in Application Delivery Management, MicroFocus

Matthew Skelton

Head of Consulting & Training, Conflux

Chris Unwin

Compliant DevOps Specialist, RedGate Software

Iwona Winiarska

Agile Delivery Manager, Automation Logic

Jonathon Wright

Chief Technology Officer, Digital Assured

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