Dave Hewett
Dave Hewett Engagement Lead

EE Life Tue 2nd July, 2024

Anything but flat! The Equal Experts conference 2024

London’s South Bank was basking in glorious sunshine on Tuesday the week before last, as 550 associates and employees from across the globe descended on County Hall for the annual Equal Experts conference. As the Thames glittered outside the magnificent Baroque windows of the County Suite, two things were happening.

Sharing knowledge, making connections

Über Coworking (our largest coworking event of the year) saw everyone come together for meetings, conversations, or just to work side-by-side with team mates they know well but rarely see in person. The atmosphere was buzzing as people shared coffee, handshakes, hugs and laptop chargers. But if you looked closely, what you really saw was insights being swapped, knowledge being shared and relationships being built. 

Meanwhile, G[=]K24 – a series of tech talks led by our consultants for the practitioner community – was underway and our Expert community kept audiences enthralled all day. It was standing room only for the three AI talks and Brett Styrdom had everyone spellbound as he described living with visual impairment, to bring alive for us how important accessibility is. 

The one everyone had been waiting for came at the end of the day, and it was a packed house for the G[=]K24 keynote talk by software engineering legend Dave Farley and father of continuous delivery, who got everyone thinking about the question “what does ‘quality’ in software really mean?”

In his talk, “Modern Software Engineering: Building Better Software Faster,” Dave shared personal insights on what it takes to succeed in our field. From foundational principles to advanced practices, he covered 10 key ideas that can revolutionise your approach to software development.

“I love the way Dave Farley boils down software engineering to such simple and universal principles.” 

If you want to know more, Dave’s book, Modern Software Engineering is the best book written in the last decade on the topic. 

After the buzz of the day, it was time for a stroll over to the stunning terrace of 1, Old Billingsgate for a Champagne and Mojito reception and dinner before really getting down to celebrating the last year. Rhyd Lewis got us started with a brilliant depiction of our ‘Haven’ as a harbour for Experts to regroup, share knowledge and build relationships, before Thomas and Ryan introduced the evening and kicked off the panel Q&A with the Trust members – more on that in another blog post!

The dizzy heights of staying flat

Thijs de Blok, CEO of Buurtzorg, a pioneering healthcare organisation with next-level self-management, delivered a keynote that had our conference Slack channel chattering about flat structures and how we can support each other even more:

“Brilliant evening, venue and the keynote speech by Thijs was such an inspired choice.   Looking forward to going down a few rabbit holes after that” 

Buurtzorg was heavily featured in “Reinventing Organisations,” one of the books that has influenced the shape and culture of Equal Experts.

As an organisation, Buurtzorg scaled very quickly across the Netherlands from 1 to 850 teams. They achieved this through next level self management which has allowed them to scale to over 15,000 employees globally and influence healthcare across the world.

It’s all about the connections

And finally, the sun set over the river Thames, and while some of us continued our conversations on the terrace, and others threw serious moves on the dance floor, the connections continued. Thank you Equal Experts people, for being who you are and making this day so great!