Home » Author Archives: Patrick Kua

Author Archives: Patrick Kua

Patrick Kua is an author, speaker and consultant who still finds time to code. He works as an active, generalizing specialist at ThoughtWorks and dislikes being put into a box. He is often found leading technical teams, coaching people and organisations in lean and agile methods, sometimes facilitating situations beyond adversity. Patrick is fascinated by elements of learning and continuous improvement, always helping others to develop an enthusiasm for the same.

5 tips for using Retrospectives as a tool for dissent

I recently shared this article on twitter from HBR, True Leaders Believe Dissent is an Obligation – the spirit of which I wholeheartedly agree. Effective leaders should not be surrounding themselves with yes-people because you need a diverse set of opinions, perspectives, skills and experiences to effectively problem solve. You can read more about How Diversity Makes Us Smarter, Research ...

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You may not need a Tech Lead, but others do

Vinicius sent me a tweet about an article he published called We don’t need a Tech Lead in response to an older article of mine, “Do we need a Tech Lead?” I wanted to respond earlier, but tweets were too restrictive. Here’s my response. The argument against Tech Leads The article rebuts the necessity for a Tech Lead with the ...

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The Well Rounded Architect

In this blog post, I explore the six different dimensions I covered in my recent talk at the O’Reilly Software Architecture conference in London called “The Well Rounded Architect.” The elements of the well-rounded architect Acting as a Leader Being a developer Having a systems focus Thinking like an entrepreneur Balancing strategic with tactical thinking Communicating well Acting as a ...

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We can do better

I’m proud that many people are actively addresing diversity issues. Research shows that diversity leads to better problem solving and often, more creative solutions. Unfortunately the results of history lead us to where we are today, but we can always do better. I’m proud to be part of ThoughtWorks, where we are also trying to do our part to address ...

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Workshop outputs from How Architects nurture Technical Excellence

Workshop background Earlier this week, I ran a workshop at the first ever Agile Europe conference organised by the Agile Alliance in Gdansk, Poland. As described in the abstract: Architects and architecture are often considered dirty words in the agile world, yet the Architect role and architectural thinking are essential amplifiers for technical excellence, which enable software agility. In this ...

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12 years, 12 lessons working at ThoughtWorks

I’ve been at ThoughtWorks for 12 years. Who would have imagined? Instead of writing about my reflections on the past year, I thought I would do something different and post twelve key learnings and observations looking back over my career. I have chosen twelve, not because there are only twelve, but because it fits well with the theme of twelve ...

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The practice of reflection in action

In a previous article, I explained how the most essential agile practice is reflection. In this article, I outline examples how organisations, teams and people use reflection in action. Reflection through retrospectives Retrospectives are powerful tools that whole teams use to reflect on their current working practices to understand what they might do to continuously improve. As an author of ...

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Tech Lead – Circles of Responsibility

One of my projects this year is a training program for developing Tech Leads. In preparation for the course, I developed this diagram below to explain what areas we focus on and found the model resonated very well with people who interact with Tech Leads, but probably don’t really know what Tech Leads do. I also found it has been ...

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Thoughts on OOP2015

I spent the first half of last week in Munich, where I was speaking at OOP Conference 2015. I missed last year when Martin Fowler was a keynote but had presented both in 2013 and 2012. The conference still seems to attract more seasoned people like architects and decision makers and I am still constantly surprised at the number of ...

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A Tech Lead Paradox: Technical Needs vs Business Needs

Agile Manifesto signatory Jim Highsmith talks about riding paradoxes in his approach to Adaptive Leadership. A leader will find themselves choosing between two solutions or two situations that compete against each other. A leader successfully “rides the paradox” when they adopt an “AND” mindset, instead of an “OR” mindset. Instead of choosing one solution over another, they find a way ...

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