Keynote: Magnificence: Culture Hacking, the Common Platform, and the Coming Golden Era

Jim McCarthy, McCarthy Technologies Inc.

A culture is the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that both describes and shapes a group. The unique challenges of creating software have demanded totally new types of corporate culture. In response, we have created agile, Scrum, and XP. These represent the birth of culture engineering and, although significant, are very primitive compared to what will follow. Jim McCarthy introduces “culture hacking,” a kind of cultural engineering that focuses on protecting personal freedom, extending openness, and embodying rationality. In the near future, a system made up of shared commitments and interpersonal protocols for hosting cultural innovations is likely to become available and standardized, leading to enormous personal and collective cultural and productivity gains. Happily, these gains will be based on culturally designed nobility of purpose, and a potent and virtuous cycle will emerge, whereby profit derives from ennobled behavior. This cycle will lead to an era of widespread and abundant greatness—an era of unparalleled magnificence.

About the Presenter

While leading projects at Bell Laboratories (where his life as a tester began), The Whitewater Group, and Microsoft, Jim McCarthy saw that the best way to build products was by focusing on the team. He led the creation of the Visual C++ team. Much of Microsoft benefitted from Jim’s ideas as articulated in his book, Dynamics of Software Development. His approach and observations formed the basis of Microsoft Solutions Framework and were a catalyst for the extreme and agile programming movements. Jim and his wife Michele, coauthors of Software for Your Head, run McCarthy Technologies, Inc., providing technology, training, and consulting that enable organizations and teams to consistently generate the greatest possible results.

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