North America Away Day 2011
June 3 | 4 | 5
1405, North Fifth Avenue
St. Charles, IL 60174
Phone #: 877.774.4627
Please use the following hash tags while tweeting about this event #TWAwayDay #mytw
Welcome to the North America ThougthWorks Away Day
Welcome to St. Charles, Illinois and the 2011 TW North America Away Day. This gathering represents a key event
in building of our ThoughtWorks community. It provides the opportunity to reconnect with TWers you haven’t
seen in years, meet TWers who have joined us since our last Away Day, learn and share on a number of highly
relevant subjects, and of course to have some fun! I personally can’t wait for the first ever North America
‘ThoughtWorks : Got Talent?’ competition on Saturday night.
We face interesting times as a company. Demand for our services has never been stronger but at the same time
we struggle to keep pace with our sourcing and hiring efforts. We are continuing to bring innovative thought
leadership to our clients as well as the greater industry but we struggle internally to find the full leverage of our
combined services and product offerings. Our commitment to social impact type work in the US and Canada is
strong and we are faced with figuring out a way to balance the growing social impact opportunities with the
remainder of our business goals. Over the course of this weekend, there will be numerous opportunities to listen,
debate, and engage in the conversation that is happening. Get involved, seek out the session or discussion that
you are most passionate about, and engage! We need to know what you have to say.
While there are always exciting challenges to face, I will say that without question it feels like it is our time to
shine as an organization. We can become the role model for not only what a sustainable business looks like, but
a company committed to our parallel missions of social justice and software excellence. We must not let the
massive opportunities that exist to impact our clients, the software industry, and the greater world pass us by.
This is also the opportunity to celebrate all the hard work undertaken over the past few years at the client,
market, country, and regional level. Be proud of all that we have accomplished!
Managing Director, The Americas
(You can also view this schedule using our Colloquium application for the iPhone & Android.)
Friday | June 3
Transport from O'Hare and Midway will be organized for you based on your flight info. You will be transported by shared
towncar/limo based on your arrival information entered in your registration. Upon arrival to the airport, please call A1 at
1-630-833-3788. They will give you instructions on where to meet the car. If you've not booked transportation via the
registration site, you can also call A1 and tell them you're with ThoughtWorks and need transport to the QCenter and they'll
provide a driver and a towncar for you. Do not pay the driver or provide gratuity, that will be included on our master
If you've indicated you'll be in Chicago already or live there you can take the bus transports from the Aon Center leaving at
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
2:00 pm - 6:00 pm
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Arrivals, check-in & registration
Buses leaves Aon Center for people who live in/already are in Chicago
Cocktail Reception at Pavillion
BBQ Buffet Dinner (with vegetarian options)
Open Bar Closes**
** Clubhouse is open until 12:45 am for people who want somewhere to go after 11:00 pm
Saturday | June 4
Please note that snacks & refreshments will be provided at every break.
Breakfast 6:30 am - 8:00 am
Welcome, Opening Remarks (Craig), Key Note on OpenMRS by Burke Mamlin (Guest Speaker) - Fox River Ballroom (FRB 1/2/3/4/5)
Opening Session 8:00 am - 9:15 am
9:15 am - 9:45 am
Plenary Panel Discussion moderated by Michael Aguilar (aka Mikey) at Fox River Ballroom (FRB 1/2/3/4/5)
Opening Session 9:45 am - 10:45 am
10:45 am - 11:00 am
Session 1 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
The Future of
Java (Ola Bini)
Playbook (Hai Ton)
Bartlett and Kim
How Does TW
Make $$$ (Sheila
Ourselves in a
World of Smoke
and Mirrors TW Experience
What is Twist
Lunch 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Science Fair Walk Through
12:00 pm - 1 :15 pm
Julie Crosby from Democracy Now (10 Minutes), Roy’s Talk (45 Minutes), Rae Abileah from Code Pink (20 Minutes) Fox River Ballroom (FRB 1/2/3/4/5)
1:15 pm - 2:30 pm
Break (snacks and refreshment provided)
02:30 pm - 02:45 pm
Session 2 2:45 pm - 3:45 pm
to Lower Classes
to the Enterprise
"I Would Never
Have Thought of
How to Build a
lessons from the
front lines of
03:45 pm - 04:00 pm
Session 3 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Agile UX Design
at Studios (Jef
Chef on RapidFTR
The Agile BA Techniques and
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
7:00 pm - 11:00 pm
** Clubhouse is open until 12:45 am for people who want somewhere to go after 11:00 pm
to a Feedback
Tricks and Ideas
Free Time - Sport Activity (Organizer Molly Bartlett)
Cocktails - Fox River Ballroom (FRB 1/2/3/4/5)
Buffet Dinner, ThoughtWorks : Got Talent ?, Open Bar - Fox River Ballroom (FRB 1/2/3/4/5)
Mingle: Best practices, tips, tricks
Learn more about Mingle, even if you've been using it for years. I'll cover a few best practices for setting up a new Mingle project and will offer up some ideas
for how to configure Mingle to do your bidding. I'll show several Mingle add-ons and connectors to other applications that make Mingle do new things. We'll
talk about the black art of creating charts and reports in Mingle, including the not-so-well understood daily history chart. Finally, we will show how several
different integration points between Mingle and Go, our continuous integration / release management application.
What is Twist?
A introduction to Twist, the agile testing tool from Studios. I'll show how to create automated functional tests in Twist, will break a few hundred tests by
changing the app we are testing and then show how to fix all of those broken tests without working all weekend to make it happen.
The Future of Java
We will soon see the release of a new version of the Java platform. This has been long in the coming, due to several circumstances. After Oracle's acquisition
of Sun, there has been lots of discussions about what the future of Java will bring. At the end of 2010, a major upheaval went through the JCP. And Oracle is
suing Google over Android. All of these events and many more mean that it's hard to see exactly what is in store for Java. This presentation will cover the
current state of the Java landscape.
Lean is a hot word these days. Our clients are asking for us to support transforming their organization, but what does it mean when they want to become
Lean? This session will focus on articulating the different applications of Lean to an enterprise, including lean software development, continuous design and
delivery, enterprise architecture, strategy deployment, continuous process improvement, and Lean management principles in general. We will also discuss
different ways to identify where each of these applications is opportune, who from the client side needs to be bought in, and what skills we need in order to
support the applications of Lean in each of these areas.
Tools and techniques which enable you to develop the front-end of a web app in a sane, test-driven way. We'll cover tools for things like automated
style-checking and out-of-browser unit testing with Jasmine and node.js. We'll cover patterns which keep jQuery and the DOM contained in a thin layer,
keeping the rest of your code-base happy and testable.
Chef on RapidFTR
RapidFTR is an open source project intended to be deployed in emergency situations. This sets a high bar with respect to deployment infrastructure. I'll talk
through the tools we've used, including chef, vagrant, EC2, and Linode, and how they've worked out for us.
Sheila DePalma & Amy
How Does TW Make $$$$$
We will give an overview of how TW makes money and spends money. Where does $1 of profit go..how does TW recover costs...how do we determine what
types of deals/clients to engage..how is margin calculated..ect, good stuff.
Social Impact Program update
Since last year SIP has taken on dozens of projects, paid, pro bono, and volunteer. Come get a break down of what we've been doing and what is coming up.
No SQL Session
External speakers Kyle Banker (10gen), Dan Reverri (Basho), Tim Berglund (August Technology) and Dr. Jim Webber (Neo Technology) talk about MongoDB,
Riak, Cassandra, Neo4J & technologies that are powering highly scalable web properties like Twitter, FourSquare, Facebook, Etsy and many more.
TW Experience Design Differentiating ourselves in a world
of of smoke and mirrors
Many of us have been the unfortunate recipients of spit and polish design work that doesn't survive the first contact with reality. Tired of always having to be
the bad guy telling clients that their beautiful design is either impossible or horendously expensive to execute we at TW have decided to create a design
offering of our own to give clients an alternative to the all show no go design strategies of the agencies. This session will differentiate the TW design approach
from our competitors by laying out a typical agency design engagement side by side with our methodology.
Integrated, Continuous Experience
ThoughtWorker Growth Cycle:
Your Professional Development
Coaching can be mean a variety of things. Regardless of definition, the fundamental underpinings of coaching are fairly universal. This session is for you if you
are interested in honing your coaching skills to coach clients, sponsor a TWr, provide good coaching to a team, or simply improve your communication skills
by learning coaching techniques. By the end of the session you will have understand the CLEAR fundamentals of coaching and be able to apply them to many
Sonic the Hedgehog does
genetics: A short introduction to
the evolutionary architecture:
The Pragmatic Programmers say that you should learn a new language every year. So how about learning something about the most important language on
the earth - the genetic code? I will introduce some of the recent discoveries in the field of genetics, and introduce evo-devo*, which is a new branch of biology
that is explaining how all this DNA stuff works. *no, that's not a band.
Language, Biology, Development
Kanban and beyond: Don’t limit
Let's talk about the reasoning behind the Kanban WIP limits, and the reason I propose a more flexible and effective control: the target-variance score.Kanban
limits have some clear benefits: bring focus on active tasks, control the WIP and balance the workflow. The target- variance score has a more refined control
and purpose. Instead of a limit, the target- variance score represents the target with an acceptable variation. Thus, the team controls the WIP according to the
target, and the variance. I will illustrate various scenarios of variation in work flow and WIP on a board. We will discuss these scenarios on the traditional
Kanban board (based on limits) and on the Kanban board with target-variance score. We will also talk about the origin of Kanban (and limits), and the influence
of TOC Replenishment to the Lean movement in motion and the proposal of the score of target variance.
Kanban, Lean, Technology
The New Inception Playbook
Are you a new ThoughtWorker and have never been on an Inception? Or a grizzled veteran looking for a new way to skin a cat? I'd like to share an Inception
stack that we've tested and refined over the past few years that incorporates User Centered Design elements including persona development and scenario
design alongside bread and butter ThoughtWorks exercises like Product In A Box, Hopes and Concerns and Speed Boat. We'll review the exercises in the
stack alongside facilitation techniques and lessons learned as well as touch upon hot topics such as BDUF vs Agile design/requirements gathering.
What if Technology was available
sooner to Lower Classes in
In developing countries technology is usually available at early ages for people that belong to the upper to middle classes. This fact has a huge impact on the
professional choice of people in the lower classes and also on the development and economic growth of the country. Since, there's an urgent need to find
more ways to attract people to the IT area and to have more diverse teams with gender balance and people with different social backgrounds, I am proposing
a possible solution based on my personal experience.
Pillar 3, Diversity, Women in IT
Agile User Experience Design at
Everyone's talking about Agile UX, but how do you actually deliver it? This presentation looks at the evolution of the design process within Studios, with a
focus on the process, skill, and cultural changes that are required for this to be successful. We examine in-depth activities such as pattern libraries, rapid
prototyping, designing in the browser, pairing with developers, and usability testing. What lessons can be drawn from this experience and what are the
implications for for our broader Continuous Design offering?
User Experience, Continuous
"I Never Would Have Thought of
That" - A Scientific Exploration of
the Basis for the power of
This talk examines the history of science, genetic algorithms and evolutionary computation, agile methods and possibly additions from fine arts to demonstrate
when and why diverse teams are more effective, how to decide when these conditions hold and some strategies for both exploiting the diversity and mitigating
Diversity, Women in IT, Pillar 3
Mikey Aguilar, Tarsha
McCormick, Staci LaRock
& Joanna Parke
Performance Reviews - Moving to
a feedback culture
Open discussion regarding the future of our performance review process. Some focus will be a retrospective of our most recent review cycle. Discussion will
also center on what the future holds. Moving to a feedback culture, what that means, and how it can be most valuable for TWrs.
Charlotte Chang & Dave
How to Build a Mobile Site:
lessons from the front lines of
We have a dream of a site that would work on phones of every kind. A site that would not be judged by the storefront it appears in, but that would be judged
instead based on the content it delivered. To make this dream come true we assembled a tour de force to conjoin efforts with the team at Democracy Now! to
rethink their daily show as a stream of topical content. We prototype a site based on other top news sites. In short days, we assembled html5, css3 and ruby
in to a basic working site and uploaded it to cloud-hosting at heroku. By the end of the first week we brought in users to get hands on with the site and let us
and Democracy Now, know what they thought. Hear about the journey and the ongoing exploits.
Social Impact, Continuous Design,
Mobile, Project Report, HTML5, 3
The Agile BA - techniques and
games for gathering stories
This is a presentation I am working on for BA World in June, so feedback is welcome! I believe we need to change the way we figure-out what our cusomers
want - we need to become more personal with them. We must understand the "why awell as the "what". We ned to get some soul, some passion, into our
solutions, and we need to personaly connect with our customers. This session will introduce some fun techniques and games to break the barriers to
communication, and allow you to connect to your customer, while discovering the things that are really important.
Taking DevOps to the Enterprise
The DevOps movement only came to my attention in the final year of writing my book, Continuous Delivery. I quickly concluded that in any organization which
had an operations department, implementing the culture and practices DevOps discusses is a necessary condition for achieving continuous delivery. However
in the kind of organizations I normally see, this is not an easy task. Even with the best will in the world from the people on the ground – which is not always to
be found – there are profound organizational barriers to achieving collaboration between DevOps.
Molly Bartlett & Kim Szuta
This session will be a discussion that will focus on understanding some of the perceptions and barriers a women may experience when joining an all male
Sunday | June5
Transport to O'Hare and Midway will be organized for you based
on your flight info. If you've not provided this at registration you
can provide it the Q Center at checkin so you can leave when
you need to catch your flight. If you're staying in Chicago, buses
to the Aon Center will depart at 11:30am and 1:30pm.
6:30 am - 9:00 am
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
(Follow-on Discussion/Working Group)
NA Away Day Affinity Groups (Sunday!)
9 am – 10am
10 am – 11 am
11am – 12 pm
12 pm – 1 pm
for our clients –
how do we move
1pm - 2 pm
Champions (Elena Techie Growth
NA PM Community (Joe Z) – Agenda at: https://my.thoughtworks.com/docs/DOC-4069
Sukrupa / SIP /
Joung & Yujun
SIP Code Jam
Training (Doc List)
Indi Bands (Jann
2 pm – 3 pm
Affinity Group Descriptions
Potential Topics for Discussion
NA Project Management Community
Current PM's, IM's, people who might like to be either
State of project management in TW, best practices, ways to better share info across projects, how
Delivery Services can help
Mini Grace Hopper Celebration
Specifically those people that have been working on submissions
for GHC 2011 - But anyone is welcome
Supportive space for people to either practice their session submission for GHC2011 or to practice
speaking in front of a small group
Learning / training
People who create and/or deliver training/learning experiences
What we're doing internally and externally as regards providing training/learning
Sukrupa / SIP / TWU
Sukrupa is a slum school TWU has worked with building software, can we expand this to more
schools, what next, how to make interesting tech match the SIP partner so we get TWers working
out of work on it, doing distributed open source SIP of the TWU project,
LGBT-identified TWers and their friends!
Filming an "It Gets Better" video to be used for outreach and recruiting of LGBT candidates to TW.
BAs and people that want to know how important we think we are
What's been discussed in the past few months about BA life; therapy; what people want to do in
the next few months and training
Supporting techie growth within TW
Supporting techie growth within TW
Mobile strategy for our clients
How do we move beyond mere apps?
SIP Code Jam
Devs, BAs, QAs, Designers (people who build stuff!)
Anyone who wants to connect and learn more about the various
tips, tools, and war stories around mobile development.
Mobile Development vs. Web Development
OS specific break out discussions
Consultants and Change Agents
How do we get better at leading change?
Can you really change the culture?
What are popular Org Change Approaches (Kotter,Appreciative Inquiry, others?)
Who has Practical Case Studies
Why is this stuff so hard?
What's the difference between Kaizen vs Kaikaku?
Is there such a thing as Organizational Change?
TAs across TW (past and current)
What do TAs do throughout TW? How do we define and measure success? Is there a career path
for TAs in TW or elsewhere?
Anyone who wants to learn about how UX methods help pinpoint
the most valuable/minimal viable product.
How do we know which features will provide the most value to users and give a business the best
Problem solving, organizational
improvement, systems thinking
Anyone who's interested
PDCA and the scientific method, Deming's system of profound knowledge, problem solving
systems, improving problem solving approaches within TW etc. Might be a good session to follow
the organizational change session
Americas MPs, any guest MPs from other regions
Market Development, People Development, Shared Services, Collaboration
Anyone interested in learning more about Innovation Games
Innovation Games theory and practice. How to plan Innovation Games, how to run them, what to
look for, and (most importantly) what to do with the results. Part knowledge/experience sharing,
possibly part playing some actual games.
Emotional Intelligence: What is it, how
can you improve on it, why is it
something you should care about?
Grant Joung & Yujun
Anyone who's interested in learning or participating in discussions
on what EI is and why it is so important for consultants to hone
their skills in this area.
- What is EI?
- Take an online test to obtain an EQ score for yourself
- Brainstorm ways to institutionalize EI development
Studios Product Champions
Current NA champions of MIngle, Twist, or Go, and anyone who
is interested in being a champion
- General: What is a champion? Who are the current champions? Who else should we ask?
- In product groups (Mingle, Twist, and Go): who has used them? who needs help? what kind of
help do you need? How do the Studios products compare to their competitors for their target
markets? What competitor products are you familiar with? What are the "real" selling points (or
not) for people who have to use the tools? What features should be added? How can we best
make the products successful for ThoughtWorks? Go-ahead plans for further local meetings.
Everyone! Prodigies, amateurs, jazz cats, rockers, and rollers, as
well as any aspiring musicians looking for support.
Networking. When and where can we get together and start playing? Tools and techniques for
practicing on the road. Online musical collaboration among ThoughtWorkers. Music theory topics
- circle of fifths, relative-minor keys, major-scale modes, etc. The basics of the blues, bluegrass,
jazz, etc. Psychological theory with regard to musicianship, math, and foreign language acquisition.
Small expose on Wes Montgomery and how he redefined jazz guitar. Music hot spots in Chicago,
New York, elsewhere. The potential topics are endless!
Friday Night Menu: "The Midwest BBQ"
Vegetarian Burgers, Herbed Orzo Salad, Three-Cabbage Slaw, Mixed Green Salad with Two Dressings, Smoky BBQ
Beef Brisket, Pulled Pork, BBQ Bone-In Chicken, Herb Roasted Potatoes, Corn on the Cob with Lime Butter and
Tarragon, Grilled Seasonal Vegetables, Hamburger Buns and Dinner Rolls, Assorted Cookies and Brownies & assorted
Hot and Cold Beverages.
Saturday Night Menu: "The Brewmaster"
Appetizer Station :
Assortment of Domestic and Imported Cheeses, Lime-Curried Chicken Wings and
Ginger-Glazed Shrimp, Beer: Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier.
Soup And Salad Station :
French Onion Soup, Mixed Greens with Herb Vinai grette, Beer: Samuel Smith’s
Main Course Station:
Garlic Mushrooms with Barley & Brown Rice (Veg), Chef-Carved Tenderloin of Beef
with Maytag, Blue Cheese and Demi-Glace, Pollo Borracho (Drunken Chicken),
Creamy Mashed Potatoes and Parmesan-Garlic, Broccoli, Beer: Bell’s Double Cream.
Dessert Station :
Warm Chocolate Bread Pudding, New York Cheese cake with Dark Chocolate
Sauce, Beer: Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout.
Skyy Vodka, Beefeater Gin, Dewar’s Scotch, Canadian Club, Jack Daniel’s, Bacardi
Superior Rum, Jose Cuervo Gold Tequila.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot
Beck’s, Corona, Budweiser, Miller Light & Sharps (non-alcoholic) along with
assorted soft drinks & bottled water.
*General note: All meals will have indicated ingredients so people who have indicated allergies can steer clear. If you've indicated you
want a halal meal please approach one of the QCenter servers and they'll have this meal brought out for you.
1. Should I book my own flights? Yes. Everyone is responsible for booking their own flights. Of course, you're welcome to
coordinate with one another and try to get on the same flights to/from Chicago. But, each of you will need to book your own tickets.
Do try and do this soon!
2. How should I book my flights? You are encouraged to book your flights through Cliqbook. By using Cliqbook, the cost of your
flights will be charged directly to TW. Alternatively, you could opt to book your flights directly with the airline of your choice. If you
choose to do that, you'll have to pay for your flights up-front and submit the costs to be reimbursed.
3. Should I book my own transportation to/from the airport? No. TW will be arranging group transportation for everyone between
the airport (or the Chicago office) and the Q Center. See more details below.
4. Should I book my own accommodations? No. The Q Center will be arranging all of our rooms. Everyone will get individual (single)
rooms unless you have specific needs.
5. If I am non-billable, what expense code do I use to be reimbursed for my flights? TWORKS1 AWD_US AWAY_DAY (for US
TWers) or TWORKS1 AWD_CAN AWAY_DAY (for Canadian TWers). This also applies if you are billable but on a local project where
you typically do not bill your client for travel.
6. If I am non-billable, what expense code do I use to report my time at Away Day? Use the same code as for your flights.
7. What airport should I fly into? You can fly to either Chicago O'Hare (ORD) or Midway (MDW).
8. What time should I plan to arrive in Chicago? Try to arrive in Chicago by around 4pm on Friday, June 3rd.
9. What time should I plan to leave Chicago? You can leave anytime on Sunday, June 5th. There will be breakfast served in the
morning & lunch at noon, and you are welcome to stay at the Q Center till 4pm to participate in any of the activities planned for that
day e.g. Affinity Groups. (Keep in mind that we all have to check-out of our rooms by 12pm.)
10. Can we bring our spouses or significant others to Away Day? No, sorry. This is a TW-only event.
12. Is there a handy-dandy app I can download for the conference? Yes. Search for the "Colloquium" app. It is available for
iPhone or Android phones.
13. I see there are only limited times where there is an open-bar, what about outside those hours? There is a clubhouse
on-site that is open until 12:45am where you and your colleagues can go after the Friday and Saturday events have ended. However,
any drinking that happens there is on a cash-bar basis, and on your own expense. ThoughtWorks will not reimburse drinks receipts
expensed during the away day - we are only covering the open bars on Friday and Saturday nights.
14. Will there be Halal, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free food options? Yes, but please be sure to specify any or all of these
dietary needs when you register for the event. If you've ordered a Halal meal please approach a server during meal times to receive
your specially prepared meal.
15. I live in/around Chicago and want to take the TW bus. What time do the buses leave from the Aon Center on Friday to
head to the Q Center? 12pm on Friday.
16. I live in/around Chicago and want to take the TW bus. What time(s) do the buses leave from the Q Center on Sunday
to head back to the Aon Center? 11:30am and 1pm on Sunday. If you wish to leave later than 1:30pm, call the A-1 Limousine
Service for a towncar.
17. I live in/around Chicago and want to drive my own car. Is there parking at the Q Center? Yes, there is parking there.
18. I just arrived at the airport - how do I get a hold of ground transportation to the Q Center? Once you collect your bags
call A-1 Limousine at 1-630-833-3788. They will give you instructions on how to get to your towncar/limo.
Please Read For Chicago Bus People
We've had a small change of plans due to traffic concerns on the Friday afternoon in Chicago, so the buses leaving the Aon Center
will now depart at12:00pm instead of 2:00pm. We're sorry for the inconvenience this might cause, but the transportation company has
advised us that you could all be sitting in traffic for several hours unless we leave earlier.
For Those Flying In Read This
If you're flying into Chicago on Friday once you collect your bags you can call A-1 Limousine Service at 1-630-833-3788 (write this
down somewhere!). They will give you instructions on where to connect with your towncar/limo. Yes I said Limo. Don't worry the Away
Day Organizing Committee is not blowing TW's hard earned cash...it's the most economical way to get you to the QCenter by sharing
a towncar/limo to get there (they charge us by car, not per head).
ThoughtWorks Organizing Committee
Anne J Simmons
Joseph M. Zenevitch
Open Spaces & Got Talent Competition
Swag, Prizes, & Welcome Desk
Science Fair, Scavenger Hunt, and Opening Session
Global Guests and Breakout Sessions
Affinity Groups & Got Talent Competition
Prizes & Scavenger Hunt
Video Producer & Final Program Booklet
Signage & Printing
Catering & Food Services
Please feel free to reach out to the volunteer group
in case you have any queries.