The Spring 2022 UACon has gathered quite an array of speakers. You’ll hear from folks who have experience as UX Designers, Software Developers, Scrum Master, Product Owners, Development Managers, Lean/Agile Coaches/Trainers, and Consultants.

All packed into a one-day conference!


Jenn Donahue

President, JL Donahue Engineering

Go Do Great Things: The Art of Selfless Leadership

9:00 am


Many are always looking for what to achieve next and are sabotaging themselves from the success of their current position. The essence of selfless leadership is to leave a lasting and positive change in the organization. These leaders shape the lives of those they lead with a reputation that is not forgotten.
We need to ask ourselves, are we focused on enabling and achieving the success of the organization and our subordinates? Are we willing to risk our own success to do so?


    Jenn Donahue Ph.D. is a retired US Navy Captain and civil engineer who works on large-scale, high-profile geotechnical projects. Over her 27-year military career, Jenn has built a bridge across the Euphrates River in the midst of the Iraq war, commanded an 800-personnel Battalion in Afghanistan, and constructed combat outposts in the middle of deserts filled with insurgents. Jenn has led earthquake and tsunami reconnaissance missions in places like Samoa and Japan; designed the seismic plans for a bridge over the Panama Canal; and built roads in the coldest climes of Ketchikan. Along the way, she mentored scores of young leaders. Today Jenn runs JL Donahue Engineering. She also lectures at UC Berkeley and UCLA.

    Dmitry Vinnik

    Open Source Developer Advocate, Meta

    Domain-Driven Testing: Know What You’re Doing

    9:45 am


    In this talk, we discuss how to use Domain knowledge around your product to help improve your Software Quality. We use Domain-Driven Testing tools to ensure we validate what your customers work with, rather than what you think they might use.


    Dmitry Vinnek is an Open Source Developer Advocate at Meta, where he focuses on projects in the mobile space. His goal is to help developers be more productive through open source. Dmitry continues being a developer-first, so he applies the same mindset and passion when working on open source projects, creating new educational content, or giving conference talks. Dmitry has a background in medicine and bioinformatics, but these days he is more interested in understanding developer wellness and work-life balance.

    Stuart Mann

    Agile Coach, Vitality Group

    How I Gamified My Kids’ Physical & Mental Health

    10:30 am


    A practical application of the agile value: “individuals and interactions over processes and tools.”

    Seeing the effect that Covid-induced inertia was having on his kids’ mental and physical health, this is the real-life tale of a devious dad harnessing the power of behavioral science and the love of ice cream to get his kids physically active – to achieve the ultimate objective of spending more quality time with his daughters.


    Stuart Mann is a reformed waterfall guy who is now a passionate Agile Coach. He is a father (two girls), husband (one wife) and trainee feminist. In his spare time, Stuart is a compulsive marathon runner having run over 240 marathons and ultra-marathons. He is a prodigious writer with a popular blog, a monthly column in South Africa’s largest running publication (Modern Athlete), and a regular contributor of athletics articles to News24.com. Stuart’s lifetime ambition is to secure a beer sponsor.

    Marcello Del Bono

    Agile Coach, Tetra Pak

    Zettelkasten: Building Your Knowledge in a VUCA World

    11:15 am


    Musicians and athletes that aim to evolve beyond the beginner level, work continuously on improving and refining their skills in a structured way (warmups, technical stuff, interpretation, first-sight reading, improvisation, etc). We, as knowledge workers, should be no less than that, but unfortunately, we rarely approach our knowledge and our thinking that way.

    We often just get carried away by the daily information overload and occasional training events. We take notes here and there, often without ever getting back to them. The vast majority of the information and knowledge we are exposed to quickly becomes waste. In Lean thinking, there is a Japanese word for that: Muda. And you should constantly aim to reduce and/or eliminate it.

    The Zettelkasten approach I am proposing here provides the mindset, attitude, workflow, and structures to better create, refine and connect ideas and knowledge from different domains in a proactive and consistent way, to create value while making sense of the world.


    Marcello Del Bono an experienced Agile Coach and Scrum Master, graduated from Università Statale di Milano in Politics with a specialization in Economy. I also gained my MBA Master of Business Administration from SDA Bocconi. I have worked with teams in Packaging, Food, Media, Fashion, Telco industries. A former triathlete and jazz drummer, I still like to swim, bike, run, and play music.

    Ashutosh Bhatawadekar

    Enterprise Agile Coach, Tata Consulting Services

    Servant Leadership: Its Relevance in the VUCA World

    1:00 pm


    Servant leadership is a leadership philosophy in which the main goal of the leader is to serve. This is different from traditional leadership where the leader’s main focus is the thriving of their company or organization. A Servant Leader shares power, puts the needs of the employees first, and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. Servant leadership inverts the norm, which puts the customer service associates as the main priority. Instead of the people working to serve the leader, the leader exists to serve the people.

    My talk focuses on the relevance of Servant Leadership in today’s world. While Servant Leadership has been around for a long, its relevance and importance are more so in today’s VUCA world.

    • What does it take to be a Great Servant Leader?
    • Does Servant Leadership really work in today’s VUCA / BINA world?


    Ashutosh Bhatawadekar is a senior industry professional having 21 years of experience in the field of Enterprise-wide Agile Transformation, Scaled Agile & Scrum implementation, Agile Coaching, Agile Test Strategy, Software Project Management, Project Consulting, Test Process Consulting, IS Audit, IT Governance, PMO, Center of Excellence (CoE), Software Quality Assurance & Control, Coaching and Mentoring

    Ceri Newton-Sargunar

    <Title>, Mondo Media, Ltd

    A Spoonful of Sugar: Harnessing Language to Achieve Team Goals

    1:45 pm


    The words we use, internally and externally, change how we feel, how we see and interact with our teams, and what we get back from the people we work with.

    We may not realize the effect we have when speaking to others and ourselves – but the way we communicate can change our brain structure: every interaction we have alters our neural makeup and affects how we think and communicate afterward!

    If we want our teams to move towards accountability, we need to give them the tools to be able to frame their goals, choices, and outcomes more healthily, and more effectively, and we need to set the example by embracing those tools ourselves. In this talk, we’ll take a closer look at ways we use language and explore some simple exercises you can practice to change the words you use, improve your personal and team outcomes, and propel you towards where you want to be.

    Key takeaways:

    • An understanding of the differences between, and impact of, our automatic ways of framing goals
    • Insight into the impact of our thoughts on our behavior, choices, and outcomes
    • An effective way of re-framing criticism and dealing with the self-sabotage/imposter phenomenon

    Profound Transparency: Fixing Feedback

    2:30 pm


    Feedback sucks. It’s horrible to give, it can be painful to receive – and even when it’s praise, we still feel uncomfortable!

    It’s a problem because when we can’t give or receive effective feedback, we struggle to be truly agile, and we can’t hold ourselves accountable for our shared outcomes. No one wants to “fail forwards” if they’re afraid of what they’re going to be told in the discussion afterward.

    In this session, we’ll look at what makes feedback so hard to give well, and why it can be so painful to receive. We’ll look at various styles of giving feedback that is used, and how we can be more effective both during a conversation and in the days and weeks afterward.

    Drawing on the work of Kofman, Scott, Rosenberg, and more, we’ll explore some more effective ways of giving feedback, and take a look at the neuroscience of effective feedback: how our body responds to what we hear, and how to use that information to give feedback that works the way you want it to.

    Key takeaways:

    • More effective ways of giving feedback than the “Crap Sandwich”,
    • Practical tips for helping leaders and teams give more effective feedback, and not fear getting it
    • Next steps to help with effective implementation


    Ceri is an organizational archaeologist. Gently dusting away the outer layers, she helps teams and leaders find what’s beautiful and hidden, helps them clean it up, and then proudly put it on display, for everyone to see. She’s an ex-teacher, a qualified coach, a certified and experienced agile professional/nerd with just under a decade of hands-on experience. She’s also a trainee neuroscientist and enjoys putting research into practice with colleagues, agile coaches, technical leadership, and her teams. She has worked in the public and private sector, with large organizations, SMEs, start-ups, and now coaches and trains agile teams and agile professionals looking to improve their ways of working. Tea in hand, she loves helping fellow professionals focus on, and make real strides with individuals and their interactions. Favorite pastimes include creating lightbulb moments, turning assumptions on their heads, and reading literally everything in front of her (because ADHD). Ceri also loves brains, but not in *that* way.

    Derek Lane

    Founder, Unlimited Agility

    Master of Ceremonies


    • 8:45 am Welcome & Conference Updates
    • 3:00 pm Closing & Replay Info
    • 3:15 pm Facilitate Speaker’s Roundtable


    After years of fumbling around with fire and smoke, Derek has in recent years found his calling as a BBQ Life Coach and a practitioner of all things BBQ. In a completely unrelated but parallel universe, Derek has also been known to successfully ply both the art and science of BBQ to the Lean/Agile Mindset, Software Craftsmanship and introducing Organizational Culture Change in ways scientists are just now beginning to contemplate the full impact of. Coincidence? We think not!

    Striving to find efficient, productive, and fun ways to build successful software and highly functioning teams has taken Derek on a journey as a mentor, coach, consultant, strategist, visionary, architect, developer, trainer and methodologist, all while striving to harness the best technologies available for the job at hand. He is also a contributor to various books, projects and conferences as an author, presenter, committer, technical reviewer and organizer. Feel free to share your experiences with Derek about BBQ, Software Craftsmanship, BBQ, Lean/Agile, Virtual Reality, BBQ, your favorite technology, or BBQ. Oh, or perhaps even BBQ!

    Register Now!

    Pssst! Wanna make some new friends? Join us at UACon and meet folks you never dreamed of meeting,