A week ago I spoke at JFokus 2022 in Stockholm, one of my favourite conferences in the Nordics.
Last time I spoke at JFokus, was two years ago when I did a talk on Haskell. However, very few people expected a national lockdown to shut down my home country, Norway, just a month after I came back. My talk this year was inspired by events that followed and how the digitalisation of the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Directorate (NAV) made it possible for us to help thousands of citizens get through the worst period of the pandemic.
The talk’s title is “Software that Saves Lives - Developers as First Responders”. It’s about our adoption of Open Source, DevOps, improved developer experience, team topologies, product mindset, product development and socio-technical architecture and systems thinking. NAV had been working on digitalisation already a few years prior to the pandemic, and that gave us the best possible starting point to tackle the pandemic when national lockdown sent everybody home.
The talk gives a brief history about NAV, and then tells the story about our teams that developed software that paid out billions of NOK in just three days. To understand how NAV was able to do this, the talk also explains how the architectural landscape has changed over the years and also how we enable fast flowing software delivery. Finally the talk discusses product development and product mindset, and what kind of leadership that is necessary for developers to have higher psychological safety at work.