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People leave the company, software stays Wenn das Wissen die Firma verlässt und die Software bleibt

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That’s my experience ...

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So, what’s the problem? There are 10

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● Bill Hinshaw ● CEO and Founder of Cobol Cowboys, LLC ● Worked the age of 75 for different financial institutions to maintain their Cobol based applications Source: -manager-holen-cobol-veteranen-zurueck-a-1143632.html #1: Who knows this guy?

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#2: Who knows these kind of applications? Source: 1413011668553730/photo/1

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Sounds like a different story? It’s not! It will be even worse!

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This Is The Future! ● More digitalisation → More stuff to maintain ● Shorter product cycles → More stuff to maintain ● Faster change of technologies (on all levels → programming languages, frameworks, infrastructure, ...) ● Less loyalty of employees

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How to deal with software - if there is only little knowledge left?

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Turn it off! Well ...

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Local Global Internal External

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No content

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Strive For Transparency ● Non-Tech people don’t understand the complexity of technology ● Make it tangible (e.g. what’s impact) ● Use KPI (churn, service maturity, ...) ● Repeat! Redundancy drives relevance!

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Maintain A “Tech Improvement List” ● Get the full picture, involve everyone ● Prioritize and consider step-fixed costs ● Use as input for roadmap planning ● As a tech leader: Support overall prioritization

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Offer Different Software Development Modes And Apply The Right Mode To Your Project Ideas ● ● Will result in a prototype/ MVP Emerging Products ● Time to market matters ● Iterative approach (solution will be changed/ enhanced/ replaced in the future) Core Services/ Products ● Needs to scale ● May stays “forever” ● Allows fast development but will no care about every detail ● Will result in slow development but a robust solution

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Optimize For Maintainability Onboarding ● Have some up-to-date overall documentation in place (system architecture, domain, ...) ● Documentation of core decisions (e.g. ADR) ● Pay attention to readability ● Favor automation (every manual process will break sooner or later) ● Simplicity is king, make it a habit/ principle

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Separation helps ● Modularisation on code level (e.g. Micro-Service, Lambda Functions) ● Isolation and clear responsibility on system level

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Don’t Fall in Love With The Shiny New Technology Syndrome Be aware: There is always a technology which is handling one aspect better than the technologies you already have in use. Focus on the big things rather than the details: ● Maturity of technology ● Available ecosystem (e.g. support) ● Organisational impact Credits to: Boring Technology Club

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Aim for a small “Tech-Zoo” ● Choose your technologies wisely ● Organise them in a Tech Portfolio/ Tech Radar ● Apply Standards where individual solutions don’t add value ● Most importantly: Remove technologies! ● Apply a threshold (“For every new technology, another one has to leave”)

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How To Introduce New Technologies Asses Trial Adopt On hold ● Research & Prototyping of promising technologies ● No use in production ● Deepen experience ● Limited usage in production for side application ● Allow usage technology in large scale across all systems ● No usage for new projects ● Constant review to define End-of-Lifetime ● Only purpose statement required ● Requires a consent decision (absence of objections) based on assessment ● Requires consensus decision (two-thirds majority) ● Decision criteria Developer experience, Costs of change, ... ● Requires consensus decision (two-thirds majority)

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Again, Care For the Slow One’s

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Minimize Bus Factor 1. Have an overview of (key) knowledge areas 2. Identify gaps → Use skill management (for technologies as well as domain knowledge) 3. Close them (Pair programming, trainings, brown bag sessions) Def: “[...] minimum number of team members that have to suddenly disappear from a project before the project stalls due to lack of knowledgeable or competent personnel.” Source: Bus Factor

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Implement Service Maturity Model Goal: What’s the state of a service? ● Define the base line based and make it measurable → fully automated KPI ● Offer standard solutions to meet criteria ● Iterate from status quo

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Run Software Development as Craftsmanship ● Focus on well-crafted software and strive for mastery ● Not only responding to change, but also steadily adding value ● Make use of the pull system ● Apply Scout Principle (“Always leave the code better than you found it.”)

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Set The Course Early Source::THE PRODUCT PORTFOLIO MATRIX Investments Investments change over product lifecycle but decrease earlier compared to benefits

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Set The Course Early 20% of next Sprint Legacy

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Force Company Into Zero-Legacy-Policy ● Legacy software is unlike wine, aging doesn’t help* ○ Knowledge, commitment and motivation will decrease over time → It’s just gets more expensive. ● Give freedom & responsibility to where it needs to be handled ● Introduce Zero-Issue-Policy like for bugs to keep legacy software manageable ● How to handle existing stuff? Just start, use status quo as threshold and constantly reduce it * actually also not true for most wines

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Local Global Internal External Run Software Development as Craftsmanship Strive For Transparency Minimize Bus Factor Set The Course Early Small “Tech-Zoo” Zero-Legacy-Policy Implement Service Maturity Model Set The Course Early Separation helps Optimize For Onboarding Offer Different Software Development Modes

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People leave the company, software stays Wenn das Wissen die Firma verlässt und die Software bleibt