Leadership and Career Success—On Purpose: An Interview with James Whittaker


James Whittaker talks about two of his three separate presentations at the Agile Development Conference & Better Software Conference West 2014, "Giving Great Presentations: The Art of Stage Presence" and "Leadership and Career Success—On Purpose," as well as his legacy to testing. 

James Whittaker will be presenting three seperate presentations at  Agile Development Conference & Better Software Conference West 2014, which will take place June 1 through 6, 2014. James is presenting two half-day tutorials titled "Giving Great Presentations: The Art of Stage Presence" and "Leadership and Career Success—On Purpose," as well as a keynote titled "Beyond the Web and Apps: The Domestication of Knowledge."


About "Leadership and Career Success—On Purpose":

Line up all the successful people in the world. Take away the pedigree and the prodigies—you know the people who are going to succeed no matter what. Remove the brown-nosers and right-time-right-place lottery winners. And whom do you have left? People who succeeded on purpose. Study these folks carefully, and you’ll find their paths to the top have common themes. James Whittaker exposes the career strategies of the ultra-successful and analyzes them in detail. Learn about personal strategies for identifying high-payoff activities and gain insight into being more effective as an individual contributor, manager, and leader. Discover how to identify and interact with the right set of career mentors and role models. Being successful doesn’t have to be an accident. Join James and learn how to succeed—on purpose.

About "Giving Great Presentations: The Art of Stage Presence":

Every hour of every day in every country where business is conducted, the same scene plays out―dozens of well-paid people sitting in a conference room being bored senseless. Death by a thousand slides. This mind-numbing, soul-crushing, grotesquely expensive experience ends here and now! James Whittaker reveals the secrets to conceiving, building, and delivering a great presentation. Whatever your level of presentation skills, this tutorial will hone them. Learn how to build a compelling story from the ground up. Receive advice on how to remember and recall that story as you deliver it. Learn how to use oratory and literary instruments to make the story come alive for your audience. Do your part to put an end to crap presentations―attend this tutorial.

About "Beyond the Web and Apps: The Domestication of Knowledge":

Since the dawn of computing, we've invented only two ways to get work done―the web or apps. We hunt for information on the web or we gather functionality from the app store. In each case, users must take the initiative to find the information they need. We've become used to this life of hunting and gathering, but its time is ending. A new era of domesticated information and functionality is dawning. In this new world, the web's information comes to users when and where they need it. Apps won't have to be installed and updated; their functionality will simply find its own way to users when it is needed. James Whittaker describes the technologies that are enabling this new era of domestication and describes how both developing software and using computers will fundamentally change the world in which users—and especially developers—live and work. New knowledge APIs and cloud functionality are waiting to make your apps more capable than ever before. Come hear about it. It's going to affect us all.


Cameron Philipp-Edmonds: Today we have James Whittaker, who will be speaking at Agile Development Conference & Better Software Conference West 2014, which is June 1 through June 6. James Whittaker is a technology executive with a career that spans academia, start-ups, and top tech companies. With a PhD in computer science, James worked for IBM, Ericsson, SAP, Sysco, and Microsoft. In 1996 he joined the faculty at Florida Institute of Technology, where his work in Y2K testing and software security earned many awards. James' first stint at Microsoft was in Trustworthy Computing and then Visual Studio. In 2009 he joined Google as an engineering director and led teams working on Chrome, Chrome OS, Maps, and Google+. In 2012 James rejoined Microsoft to build the Bing information platform. Of his five books, two have been Jolt Award finalists. Did we catch everything, James?

James Whittaker: Yeah. You caught some things I didn't even know about or I forgot.

Cameron: Now, you're giving three presentations at Agile Development Conference & Better Software Conference West 2014.

James: Yeah. They're wearing my ass out, man.

Cameron: You're giving a presentation called "Giving Great Presentations: The Art of Stage Presence," another presentation called "Leadership and Career Success—On Purpose," as well as a keynote titled "Beyond the Web and Apps: The Domestication of Knowledge." You are also somewhat of a testing legend. With that being said, I have a few questions regarding that. The first question is, with a career that includes experience with start-ups, work at industry-leading tech companies, and spans of time spent in academia, you have certainly made your mark on testing. However, what do you feel your legacy is to testing?


About the author

Cameron Philipp-Edmonds's picture Cameron Philipp-Edmonds

When not working on his theory of time travel, Cameron T. Philipp-Edmonds is writing for TechWell, StickyMinds, and AgileConnection. With a background in advertising and marketing, Cameron is partial to the ways that technology can enhance a company's brand equity. In his personal life, Cameron enjoys long walks on the beach, romantic dinners by candlelight, and playing practical jokes on his coworkers.

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