Coté Speaking

I speak a lot at conferences, internal events, and meetings here and there for work. Usually, I’m talking on the topic of doing better software at large organizations. Many of these talks are based on and draw from my books.

Here are the talks I’ve been giving recently:

The Culture Talk (30 to 50 minutes)

Abstract: reating an innovation-driven culture is difficult and requires deliberate and well managed change to how you operate. Scaling it to a large organization is even harder. You also need the organizational context and norms – the culture – that allows innovate practices and thinking to thrive. Nailing these down, let alone what “culture” even is, can be hard. This talk will define what an innovative culture is and then cover several proven methods for leading culture change. Throughout, we’ll draw from use cases from large organizations that have tackled the challenge of changing to a innovation-driven culture.

This can talk be presented in 30 or 50 minutes. There’s also a recording of a longer, more casual version of the talk.

Platform as a Product Talk

Abstract: Most ops groups can’t give developers what they need. Ops is limited by traditional service delivery mindset and tools. Stability & reliability are now table-stakes when you’re releasing software daily. What developers need now from ops is innovation. Operations has rarely takes this innovation-driven, product approach to providing services, & instead focuses on delivering to specification & limiting SLAs. As with development, ops creates value with continuous operations, product managing their platforms and releasing frequently. This talk covers how ops groups are transforming from a service delivery mindset a platform-as-a-product approach. With examples from Discover Financial Services, Rabobank, the US Air Force, & others the talk covers the concept, technologies & tools commonly used, & ops tactics needed to kick-off a platform-as-a-product strategy.

This can talk be presented in 30 or 50 minutes. See also this longer, more casual version of the talk.

Beyond DevOps Metrics

In this talk, you’ll hear about three types of metrics that organizations are using to get better at building and running software. You know, those organizations that are doing the “digital transformation” thing so that they can run their business with software that isn’t ancient and lame.

Be like a tech company! We all know development and operations metrics like lead time, error budgets, and mean time to repair. But we don’t focus on business metrics enough. And least of all, we don’t talk about internal, organization, or “culture” metrics enough. This talk gives an overview of 15 metrics across three types: technical metrics, business metrics, and culture metrics. If we look at the end-to-end process of software creation, usage, and work as a system to be programmed and refined, we need metrics across that entire system.

We Fear Change

Change or die. Survival is not mandatory. The practices of DevOps, SRE, agile, and friends are long proven and have been science-ed to indisputable Truth in the past decade. But changing how people work is still the most persistent problem for organizations that want to improve their software process. This talk sides with the change-resisters to understand and empathize with why they’re so resistant. It then offers tactics to motivate people to change rather than willfully pouring more concrete on their pillow-fort of bureaucracy.


Bio and picture

Here is a short bio of me:

Michael Coté studies how large organizations get better at building software to run better and grow their business. His books Changing Mindsets, Monolithic Transformation, and The Business Bottleneck cover these topics. He’s been an industry analyst at RedMonk and 451 Research, done corporate strategy and M&A, and was a programmer. He also co-hosts several podcasts, including Software Defined Talk. Cf., and is @cote in Twitter. Texas Forever!

Here are two pictures, feel free to use whichever you think is appropriate:

Click here to download large version.
Click here to download large version.