David Van Couvering

(He / him / his)

Senior Principal Architect @eBay

David Van Couvering has been designing, building and delivering enterprise software since he first started at Sybase in 1988, converting tests from C to COBOL. His checkered past includes architecting one of the first Java application servers at Sybase, working on a series of explosively failing startups, architecting a clustered Java EE application server at Sun Microsystems, migrating a Ruby monolith to Java microservices at a health care startup, and using domain-driven design to drive a re-architecture of the core space management system at WeWork. He is currently working under eBay’s chief architect on a company-wide initiative to improve software delivery performance at eBay. David also offers his services as a consultant to organizations who want help scaling and optimizing their software architecture and software delivery practices.

Session

Talk Like a Suit: Making a Business Case for Engineering Work

We all know the feeling. We see these scary problems in our code and architecture, we raise our concerns, leadership nods their head encouragingly, but every planning session and backlog grooming, only features show up on the list. You think, well, I guess we'll have to wait for something horrible to happen, and then finally they'll be motivated. This can be frustrating and discouraging; you want to do the right thing for the company and avoid disaster, but nobody seems to be listening.

Being able to "talk like a suit" - make a compelling business case for engineering work - is a key skill we need to learn as we grow in our career. Over the years I have learned some great strategies for doing this. I have found when I work to make a solid business case, I become even more convinced and confident that what I've been worried about is a real issue, or, sometimes, I realize that the investment needed just isn't worth it for the value it will bring.

In this talk I'll walk through some of the approaches and strategies I use to make a business case, and will walk through a few examples to help make it concrete. You should hopefully walk away with your own ideas on how you can reframe the problems you're trying to fix in business terms, and feel more confident that you can make a larger positive impact for your organization.

Date

Tuesday Nov 2 / 10:10AM PDT (40 minutes)

Track

Becoming a Better Developer

Topics

Developer ExperienceBusinessDevelopmentProgrammingTechnical Debt

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PANEL DISCUSSION

Becoming a Better Developer Panel

In this panel, we'll discuss ways to improve as developers. Are better tools the solution or can simple changes in mindset help be a more effective developer as well as a better team player? And what practices are already here but not yet universally adopted? 

Date

Tuesday Nov 2 / 12:10PM PDT (40 minutes)

Track

Becoming a Better Developer

Topics

Developer ExperienceProgrammingDevelopment

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