The 2nd CTO Colloquium: Portland 1/9/2019

By December 27, 2018 January 3rd, 2019 No Comments

On 1/9/2019, in Portland, OR:

Dave Miller
Aaron Longwell
Oleg Pashigorev

will address the CTO Colloquium in 3 talks:

“Defect-Free Software”
“The Paradox of Evolutionary Architecture”
“Distributed Teams: benefits and drawbacks of running a fully remote international team.”


  • 5:30pm to 6pm – Arrival Food & Drinks
  • 6:00 to 6:30 pm – Oleg Pashigorev
  • 6:30 to 7:00 pm – David Miller
  • 7:00 to 8:00 pm – Aaron Longwell + Discussion
  • 8pm Adjourn to closest Pub


On Defect-Free Software: Web application development frameworks like Rails allow you spin up web apps quickly. You can hire fast and cheap, and build fast and cheap. Early stage startups usually prioritize speed over quality. Bugs are OK, you can fix them when they pop up or get reported. What if your startup is building back-end accounting software for banks where correctness is paramount? What changes would you make with your development approach?

On the Paradox of Evolutionary Architecture: Software systems and the teams that build them keep getting more complex. Our old approaches are no longer working. Waterfall, SOAP, Agile and REST are all “dead”. Folks are experimenting with ideas that seem more inspired by chaos than engineering. What gives? Are they right? We’ll explore the Serverless, Microservices, “Pizza” Teams and DevOps movements through the lens of patterns found in the natural world. We will conclude pondering a paradox of modern software: that the more successful systems appear to be less “designed” and less “engineered”.

On Leading Distributed Teams: Very often CEOs will come up with an idea to cut down their development cost 3-4 times by hiring an offshore dev team. “Upwork” or similar resources are utilized to try to find super star devs for cheap. We would usually come to a conclusion that they are not that much cheaper and decide to pull the plug on hiring offshore. Then all of a sudden, an offshore dev shop (1 or multiple) contacts us and promises to send us a senior developer(s) for $10 an hour ($15 if they ambitious). At first, we will ignore them, but eventually we will agree to try it out. A Few months into the work we can’t get a reliable build from them, as they can only work with their own in-house source control. Six months into it we are nearing the project deadline, AND after finally seeing the source code we think to ourselves OMG… it’s just unreadable. Somehow it works 80% of the time and we think to ourselves – let’s just have these senior devs fix the few bugs and we will rewrite it once it’s in production. A year into the project – still a few more bugs left and the team has been working for free for the last 3 months, but still can’t get the code into production. If we get lucky the product will hit production, but with a huge delay, but we all know what will happen in production. After all this time, we are forced to hire a very expensive US based dev shop to fix this nightmare – we come to the realization that the entire code has to be rewritten. After experiencing/hearing such stories – No wonder so many lose interest in remote teams, until… you hear a story that it actually worked!
In this talk I will share with you what it took to create a successful distributed development team. We will go over benefits and drawbacks as well as restrictions that we had to put in order to work with people from countries that are at WAR. We will also discuss specifics in the hiring process and practices that help us create the culture we all desperately seek and want.

What is the CTO Colloquium?

The CTO Colloquium is a series of meetings held in various cities, at which specialists address Chief Technology Officers in presentations on relevant topics.  Afterwards, they answer questions pertaining to these topics as well as take part in discussions with  smaller groups of attendees.

Who is it for?

The meetings are exclusive to the head of all technology in a company, typically the CTO.  We prefer to keep the meetings small in order to maximize engagement with the presenters and therefor we keep it invite-only.

Please contact us if you’re interested in attending future Colloquiums.


David Miller

Sr. Software Engineer

Aaron Longwell

CTO, CultureFoundry

Oleg Pashigorev

CTO, Promomash