“This is Apollo 13 – Cambridge, we have a problem.”

by Prof. Barry Dwolatzky

MIT ImageAt 9:08pm on April 13 1970, astronaut James A. Lovell Jr, commander of Apollo 13, spoke the now famous words, “Houston, we have a problem.” If Lee Harvey Oswald hadn’t shot President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22 1963, Lovell would have informed Cambridge, Massachusetts, rather than Houston, Texas, of his “problem”. Continue reading

Creating Something Significant from Nothing – Reflections on planning Agile Africa 2013

by Prof Barry Dwolatzky

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In just under 6 weeks we will be running the inaugural “Agile Africa” Conference. Registrations opened today (details here) and social media started buzzing with questions and comments. Why no African keynote speakers? Why no women? Why so expensive? While all of these comments are important and valid (and deserve a response), I got to thinking about something quite different – How did the great annual conferences in the world get started? Continue reading

Agile Africa 2013

Martin Fowler

Martin Fowler – one of the Agile Africa 2013 keynotes

I’ve been rolling up my sleeves to help get the “Agile Africa 2013″ Conference going. “Agile India”, “Agile South America” and others have all appeared on the international conference landscape, so why not an “Agile Africa”.

The idea was first explored in 2012. Unfortunately the people driving the idea didn’t manage to pull it off. The JCSE, in partnership with the company “ThoughtWorks”, and a group of interested Agile practitioners decided to make it happen in 2013.

We now have a date – 12 & 13 August, a venue – the Alex Theater in Braamfontein, and a great list of keynote speakers – Martin Fowler, Ivar Jacobson, David Hussman, Mitch Lacey, Amr Noaman.

We are now going live with a call for sponsors and registrations.  For more details contact me (until we have our official website). I’m at barry@jcse.org.za .

 

Reflections on CeBIT 2013

by Prof Barry Dwolatzky

Marc, Gordon and the wonderful Pavilion assistants

This is my last evening in Hanover.

I visited Dean Yon’s store in the centre of Hanover. Dean is a South African who has lived in Germany for several years. His store in the Markthalle (which is something like a permanent Rosebank Flea Market) specializes in everything South African. He sells an amazing array of dozens of different South African wines, Simba Chips, Rooibos Tea and biltong. The seating area around his store was packed with people enjoying a bit of South Africa – and I was the only South African there (apart from Dean). It’s crowded like this every evening. As Dean says, “Germans love South African wine and anything else South African.” Continue reading

CeBIT – Reflection on Day 3

by Prof Barry Dwolatzky

A day in the life of an exhibitor at CeBIT has three parts.

Early in the morning a few early risers sit at their stands dealing with emails or chatting with fellow exhibitors over their first mug of coffee for the day. There is a sense of calm before the storm, which comes just after 9am, when the gates of the show open for the day.

Between 9am and 6pm the day goes in waves. Visitors flow past like a never ending stream – CeBIT attracts more than 300,000 visitors each year from every corner of the world. As an exhibitor one fields questions, has pre-arranged meetings, and tries to slip off from time-to-time to grab some food or see something of CeBIT oneself. Continue reading

CeBIT – Reflections on Day 2

by Prof Barry Dwolatzky

Nithia Govender, Tjad Clark and Mohammed Badat at CeBIT 2013

As far as I see it there are two reasons to come to CeBIT – to meet people and to learn new things. On both of these accounts my second day at the world’s biggest ICT trade fair was hugely successful.

I spent some time today meeting exhibitors on the SA National Pavilion. (Isn’t it strange to travel thousands of kilometers to meet fellow South Africans!) There are 14 companies on the Pavilion, most of them are small and innovative with an eye on the future. Continue reading