March 28-29, 2020
Amman, Jordan

Agenda & Speakers

Kevin Goldsmith

Developing Your Developers: Constructing Career Paths For Your Technologists

Everyone knows that career development is a critical part of employee retention. Many companies put little effort into how they build their career development frameworks. Startups especially are moving so fast and don’t want to exert effort on things that don’t meaningfully push the business forward. Companies will often borrow liberally from other companies with little thought to the impact on their organization.

How you construct development paths in your company can support and deepen your company values. It can be a competitive differentiator for attracting talent and retaining your best employees.

Where and how do you start? What pitfalls do you need to avoid? How do you roll out your framework, and how do you update it over time? How can technology and people team leaders cooperate in the creation of a career pathing plan?

This talk answers those questions using the real experience and lessons learned from building career frameworks at Spotify, Avvo, and Onfido. Three very different companies with different cultures, but a shared understanding of the importance of career development for their employees.
Kevin Goldsmith
CTO - Onfido
Kevin Goldsmith has been a developer, software architect, technology manager, and senior technology executive for over 27 years. He is currently the Chief Technology Officer at Onfido in London, a machine learning and computer vision company helping users own their identities on the internet. Previously, he was the Vice-President of Engineering at AstrumU, a startup whose purpose is to help students find meaningful careers.

Kevin was the Chief Technology Officer at legal marketplace Avvo from 2016 through their acquisition in 2018, overseeing all Product Development, Data, Dev Ops and IT teams. For three years, he was the Vice President of Engineering, Consumer at Spotify in Stockholm, Sweden, leading the development of the multi-platform product and streaming services for three years. Kevin spent nine years at Adobe Systems as a Director of Engineering, leading the Adobe Revel product group and the Adobe Image Foundation group. He spent eight years as a developer and development lead at Microsoft in the Windows and Research teams.
Daron Yondem

Function Orchestration in the world of Serverless

Do you have a function, or two, or maybe more? Now is the time to talk about making sure you have full control over how data and communication flows between your functions. You need something to control how your functions interact with each other. You need something that can give you granular control, or sometimes maybe a simple user interface to get it done. This session is about your options in Azure to accomplish all that. We will look into Durable Functions and Logic Apps to understand where they can help us scale our serverless move.
Daron Yondem
Daron is a Microsoft Regional Director and an Azure MVP since 2008. He is a regular speaker at international conferences focusing on AI, Serverless, and IoT. Daron currently works as a CTO in XOGO where they are building a decision signage platform.
James Birnie

What Does Great Architecture Look Like?

When we talk about architecture in software, what does it mean? If you ask 10 technology professionals "what is architecture?", you get about 15 different answers. In this talk James explains how modern architecture and architects should work, based on our experience of helping complex organisations to move away from their legacy culture and systems.
James Birnie
Principal Consultant - Codurance
James has worked in software since the 1990s, when TDD was something you studied but never did and Agile and Lean were words you used to describe athletes. After working in a startup for 9 years, where he learnt the hard way about Agile, Lean Experiments, Microservices and Pipelines, he started a new life as a consultant in 2005. James is now a principal at Codurance where he tries to encourage positive business transformation through software excellence, a focus on outcome driven cross functional teams and above all a relentless drive to improve every day.
Birgitta Böckeler

Cultivating Architecture

Many organizations today strive to establish autonomous development teams who can move as independently of each other as possible. The goal is to achieve speed, scalability and empowerment - but what does architecture governance look like in such a decentralised setup? I’ll discuss ways to walk the line between hard rules and helpful guidance, ways to keep everybody aligned on a shared understanding of the architecture, while avoiding prescriptive standardisation on the one side, and chaos on the other.
Birgitta Böckeler
Principal Developer - ThoughtWorks
Birgitta is a Technical Principal with ThoughtWorks, a global software consultancy. She has been building software for more than 15 years, mainly in the space of large custom-developed websites. At ThoughtWorks, she spends her time on software delivery teams with coding, architecting, coaching and consulting.
Sander Hoogendoorn

It’s a small world after all

Our world changes at increasing speed. Things that weren’t possible 5 years ago come into reach. Incumbents need to adapt to match start-ups. We evolve towards smaller, faster, shorter. Smaller teams or even micro-teams, flat organizations, no management, even shorter cycles, smaller components. During this inspiring talk, Sander discusses Cynefin, how development goes wrong, how to go beyond Scrum, why self-organization is hard, why continuous delivery allows you to stop doing projects.
Sander Hoogendoorn
Chief Architect - Quby
Sander Hoogendoorn is an independent dad, speaker, writer, traveler. He is a freelance consultant, craftsman, CTO, architect, programmer, beyond-agile coach. Seasoned in agile, Scrum, Kanban, continuous delivery, (no) software estimation, smart use cases, design patterns, domain driven design, UML, software architecture, microservices, and writing beautiful code.
Ahmed El-Helw

Your Multiplatform Captain has Arrived

"Captains on the Careem platform recently got the ability to use iOS last year with the launch of the iOS Captain app. Under the hood, this iOS release is powered by Kotlin Multiplatform. Having been in production for several months now with a large number of captains using both apps daily to transport people from one place to another, this talk is about our journey and things we learned on the way.

Some of the points this talk will cover:
  • How we got buy-in to work on Kotlin Multiplatform in the project (both from the management and from our iOS colleagues)
  • The different approaches we tried when developing the SDK and sharing it between the iOS and Android developers - what worked, what didn't, and how we resolved these issues
  • How we handle our library releases
  • How we organized and set up our code
  • How we decide what code to share and what not to share
While this is a technical talk, it is intended to focus more about the development process and how we overcame some of the challenges that we faced on the way to releasing this app."
Ahmed El-Helw
Android Lead - Careem
Ahmed is an Android engineer working at Careem. Prior to Careem, Ahmed worked on UI Infrastructure at Facebook and the Android apps at Twitter and Evernote. Ahmed also writes his own apps, his most popular of which has over 20 million downloads and a 4.7 rating on the app store.
Ronald Ashri

Building AI-powered software: Business as usual or do you need a new approach?

AI techniques are here to stay. The problems we are facing are of such scale and complexity that automation is necessary to tackle them successfully. The question, for developers, is how should such techniques be incorporated in day-to-day thinking about software architecture. Is it business as usual or do we need new ways of approaching, communication about and designing systems that incorporate AI techniques?

In this talk I will build on work started with my team that takes an agent-based view of AI-powered systems. I will provide a conceptual framework that will help to identify where AI fits in a specific context, what type of AI makes sense and how you can begin to talk about it in systems architecture terms. This is the framework we use ourselves to design intelligent services. Agent-based or agent-oriented development is the space within AI where the concerns of engineering AI architectures are most explicitly addressed.

The best part of the talk is that by the end of it you will not need to use the term AI anymore. Instead, you can pinpoint and describe the actual thing you need to build in clear, unambiguous terminology.

Ronald Ashri
Founder - GreenShoot Labs
Ronald Ashri is always trying to find a balance between his appreciation of academic rigor and his attraction to the necessary chaos of creating practical and usable, products. This split also describes his working life, from PhD student to research fellow to a technically focused entrepreneur and consultant. For the past 15 years he has been either building products in startups or working for organizations such as BT Labs, UCLA, McGill University, the NHS, TripAdvisor, the Italian Government, the UK government and BDO to help them build useful products. Most recently he is the co-founder of a conversational AI consultancy called GreenShoot Labs, based in London, and leading the development of an open-source conversational application management platform called

Ronald specializes in AI systems design, knowledge management, agent-based systems and conversational AI. He frequently writes and speaks about AI-related issues, has authored and has co-authored a variety of articles (both academic and not) on AI as well as wider software engineering issues, is the co-author of a book titled “Agent-Based Software Development” (Artech House Publishers, 2004) and the author of “The AI-Powered Workplace” (Apress, 2020). He holds a BSc (First Class) in Computer Systems Engineering from Warwick University and a PhD in Computer Science from Southampton University.
Kim van Wilgen

Continuously delivering continuous delivery

As organizations are maturing in agility the only constant is change. Enabling fast change is essential to meet the needs for speed, changing requirements and experiments. Increasing your speed means you’re also investing in your brakes: security, governance, and sustainability. Organizations will have to deal with the complexity of simultaneously changing architectures, ways of working, technology, and foremost culture. How to continuously deliver continuous delivery? During this session, Kim van Wilgen will give practical insights on the process of transformation to continuous delivery, with real-life examples from her experiences. She'll share the lessons learned from the successes and the mistakes.

Kim van Wilgen
Customer Director - Schuberg Philis
Kim van Wilgen is an experienced leader in software product development. She works at Schuberg Philis, an IT outsourcing company for mission critical IT solutions, delivering a 100% customer satisfaction. She’s passionate about topics such as DevOps, continuous delivery, agile and continuous security. Dealing with today’s complexity and innovation asks for empowering people to levels that are uncomfortable for most of us. And it asks us to upskill our ability to automate and innovate our work in the field of IT. Kim is interested in the cultural, organizational and technological changes associated with these developments. Although a nerd at heart, she also has over a decade of experience on the other side: the business. A huge benefit to bridge the gap between business and IT. She is a speaker at national and international conferences on topics such as agile and continuous delivery.
Hanna Prinz

Service Mesh - what the new Infrastructure for Microservices is all about

Let’s be honest: Sometimes we wish we could go back to the good old monolith. A single application which can be easily operated, secured and monitored and that does not have to deal with all the challenges a network introduces. But instead, many companies have decided to go with Microservices, for many good reasons such as faster delivery and more independence for developer teams.

Yet, the cross-cutting concerns developers implement around the business logic seem to have gotten a bit out of hand. Think about monitoring, circuit breaking, canary releasing, TLS termination. This is exactly what a Service Mesh promises to change. It lifts monitoring, resilience, routing, and security into the infrastructure. Sounds too good to be true? Indeed, a Service Mesh does not come without a price: cognitive complexity, increased resource consumption and latency. We need to talk: about meaningful use cases for Service Meshes as well as the drawbacks and implementations such as Istio and Linkerd.

Hanna Prinz
Consultant - INNOQ
Hanna is a Consultant at INNOQ, focusing on Service Mesh and Infrastructure. Before that, she worked as a developer for backend, web and apps and as a lecturer for programming. Ever since she experienced the challenges of Ops, she has been  most interested in the field of automation and DevOps like Kubernetes, CI/CD and Service Meshes.
Ricardo Sueiras

Choas Engineering: Why breaking things should be practiced

With the wide adoption of micro-services and large-scale distributed systems, architectures have grown increasingly complex and hard to understand. Worse, the software systems running them have become extremely difficult to debug and test, increasing the risk of outages.

With these new challenges, new tools are required and since failures have become more and more chaotic in nature, we must turn to chaos engineering in order to reveal failures before they become outages. In this talk, we will make an introduction to chaos engineering, a discipline that promotes breaking things on purpose in order to learn how to build more robust systems.

Ricardo Sueiras
Technical Evangelist - Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Ricardo is an enterprise evangelist at Amazon Web Services; he works with enterprise executives and technology leaders to help them adopt the cloud and transform their businesses.

He has over twenty years of experience leading emerging technology and innovation programmes and has been working with cloud technologies since 2008. He is passionate about cloud, innovation and open source and is excited about how cloud accelerates and amplifies customers’ ability to innovate.

Prior to joining AWS Ricardo worked for one of the largest professional services firms. For the past few years he has been leading emerging technology and innovation programmes.
Michael Plöd

Visualizing sociotechnical architectures with Context Maps

When designing a system, we usually make sure to document the technical integration towards other systems. We thereby make call- or consume-relationships explicit. This approach ignores an important aspect, which often is hidden implicitly: the other teams who are owning these systems and their domain models. However, we must consider the impact of teams, organizational aspects and political dynamics.

Context Maps, are a part of strategic Domain-driven Design and aim at delivering a holistic overview over such sociotechnical architectures. They make the implicitly hidden organizational dynamics explicitly visible. This talk introduces you to the motivation and the benefit for Context Maps. It also digs deep into the patterns which explain various relationship-types between systems, teams and the associated domain models. The talk concludes with a consistent visual representation of Context Maps in practice.

Michael Plöd
Principal Consultant - INNOQ
Michael currently works as a Fellow for INNOQ in Germany. His main areas of interest are Domain-driven Design, modern software architectures as well as coding in the Java space. He is a regular speaker at national and international conferences.
Adel Khalil

Scaling services for millions of users

Time-traveling the tech scaling journey for explosive growth startups.

How can we build this service very fast? Providing value as early as possible is a priority.
Now with 1 million DAU? How about with 10 or 100 million how our service will evolve overtime.

We will cover servers, distributed systems, load balancers, replication, partitioning, caching, proxies, CAP theorem and consistent hashing.

Adel Khalil
VP Engineering - Talabat
Adel has extensive experience in software development across a range of industries and systems.

His technical experience includes leading the creation of large-scale distributed applications, building consumer and business web and mobile applications.

He brings more than a decade of experience in the tech industry as a CTO, VP of Engineering and business leader.

Adel is now serving as Delivery Hero MENA | Talabat Vice President of Engineering, where he is responsible for the operations technology group both in UAE and Egypt.  

Prior to this role he was the CTO for building the engineering and technology. The startup in few years has become the leading health startup in the region and has raised $24 million from investors like IFC, STV, BECO Capital & Silicon Badia.
Sinan Taifour

The Technical Founder's Checklist

As a technical person in a team that's working on a new project that you expect to grow, there is a lot you need to consider and do (apart from writing code and releasing it). What works well for a small pet project that will live for a year is not enough for your startup that has a team of tens of engineers and paying customers.

Unfortunately, every so often, we forget to do some of these things. Going through a number of projects that Sinan started from scratch, he learned this the hard way by continuously ​figuring it out a little too late​. That's why he compiled a checklist of things to consider. Some might be very obvious. Some might be too early for the phase your project is in. Hopefully, some of them will be ones relevant to your project where it currently stands.
Sinan Taifour
Co-Founder & CEO - Maqsam
Sinan's technical skills began developing in his early teenage years, landing him his first technical job at the age of 15. His most notable employment was as Senior Software Developer at Google, where he developed the internal Java authentication libraries and redesigned the server-to-server authentication mechanism across Google.

Sinan served as a partner and technical architect to a number of companies over his career, most notably: He was the first engineer at Jawaker ( where he designed and implemented an architecture that allowed the real-time card gaming website to scale while keeping a low latency. He was the co-founder and tech lead of CashBasha, where he wrote most of the in-house software that grew the company to a multi-million dollar company.

Today, Sinan is the co-founder & CEO of Maqsam. His technical days are not just in the past; he still is involved in the high-level technical direction of the company.
Hatem Odeh

Evolution of Service Discovery Implementations in Microservices

Service discovery has evolved as infrastructure and software architectures have been evolving through the years. At the beginning of the networking age, different devices had to find each other, and this was done through host files such as HOSTS.TXT. Addresses were added manually, as new hosts were infrequently added. As distributed systems have emerged, hosts were added at an increasing rate, and an automated and more scalable system was needed.

Microservices distributed nature is driving the continued evolution of service discovery solutions, The highly transient nature of microservices is again pushing the limits of today’s technologies.

In this talk I will be highlighting what challenges are introduced to service discovery with cloud and containers infrastructure, categories of service discovery solutions and a comparative approach to their implementations such as consul, Eureka and Service Mesh.
Hatem Odeh
Cloud Native Architect - Dell Technologies
Hatem Odeh is a Cloud Native Architect at Dell Technologies | Pivotal Software BU, with a proven track record in helping organizations to get better in building software by utilizing OSS development frameworks and modern platforms such as Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes.

Hatem started his career as a Java developer and through out his career he gained an intensive hands-on development experience and extensive exposure to different technology stacks, with specific passion for the Pivotal Spring Framework.

Throughout his career Hatem has contributed to challenging legacy system application modernization journeys that map to key organisation business needs.
AlFaisal ElDajani

Scaling Leadership: Why I sucked, and what I did about it

Working at startups is scrappy and fun, but what do you do when the team grows beyond the original nucleus? As a company grows, the problems and processes required to solve these problems change, and leaders that were used to being at the center of things start to find themselves the bottleneck and losing the ability to inspire the team. In this talk, I'll go over my local experience, how it shaped my leadership style, and how the tools I had didn't work when I joined a global corporate like Expedia. I'll then discuss the journey I went through to develop a new toolset that allowed me to scale my leadership and how I turned things around.
AlFaisal ElDajani
Director, Technology - Expedia
AlFaisal has been infatuated with everything geeky ever since his dad procured an IBM a day before he was born. Writing code professionally for more than 15 years gave him deep insights into microservice design, event driven architecture, and stream processing. Lately, he has been moving into people management roles, where he is excited about the human element and growing people.
Fouad Mardini

One Algorithm To Rule Them All

This talk to will be about using checklists to take the stress out of software engineering interviews. Modern software engineering interviews are often stressful experiences for many of candidates that go through them.

Stress affects people's ability to think clearly, retrieve information and communicate effectively. So, an interviewer could misjudge a candidate’s ability and both the hiring company and the candidate could miss out on what would have otherwise been a great match.

Several high stakes industries, like healthcare and aviation, have adopted the use of checklists to help people operate better under stress.

With the use of simple checklists engineers can do much better on the dreaded whiteboard algorithms interview.

In this talk, I'll present my checklist on how to approach and solve interview questions, and I'll also give some general advice on interview prep.
Fouad Mardini
Software Engineer - Google
Fouad is currently an engineer at Google. He started working in software 15 years ago by joining Aktaboot and later co-founding Jawaker. He has a Master's degree from the University of Bonn.
Abed Kasaji

It takes a village to build an enterprise AI use case

It takes a village to raise a child and that’s more true for AI use cases than anything else in the tech world. In this talk, I’ll be taking you on a journey of the different people that are commonly ignored in the process of building a robust and value delivering AI use case in an enterprise.

We’ll talk about what engineers, product managers, product designers, QA testers, DevOps, and different stakeholders should know about the process of brainstorming, developing, deploying, integrating and sustaining a single AI use case.
Abedulazez Kasaji
Senior Product Manager, Enterprise AI - Careem
"Abed Kasaji is a Senior Product Manager currently managing the AI & Machine Learning Platform that powers AI use cases across Careem. With use cases including marketplace efficiency, fraud prevention, safety and security, pricing, personalization and Time Series Forecasting. Abed led a few of Careem’s flagship demand growth products like Careem Rewards the region’s largest loyalty program and Careem Packages. Before that Abed worked as a product manager in various industries such as retail, logistics, and e-commerce. Previously he founded startup “Mallna"" which got acquihired by N2V back in 2013.”"

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