Culture Hacking:The Prospect of Magnificence

Grand Ballroom - Salon C

A culture is the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that both describes and shapes a group. Our era is increasingly characterized by an emergent 'software culture.' Not only is software itself creating much of our global wealth, but the unique challenges of creating our software have demanded wholly new types of engineered corporate culture from us. Various high tech development disciplines have been articulated and 'packaged up.' In response to the demands of software, we have created several seminal management 'movements' (such as Agile, Scrum, XP, etc.). These movements represent the birth of culture engineering. Culture hacking is a distinct kind of culture engineering. Culture hacks express a particular hacker ethos, an ethos originating in the world of software hacking. Good culture hacking will tend to promote freedom, extend openness, and embody rationality and design elegance. As our culture becomes increasingly and fruitfully hacked, we will grow in effectiveness and ambition and will bring more and more problems into scope. This will likely trigger an unprecedented Golden Era, an age of unparalleled magnificence.

Jim McCarthy's picture
While leading projects at Bell Laboratories, The Whitewater Group, and Microsoft Jim McCarthy saw there was a better way to build products by focusing on the team. He led the creation one of the great Microsoft teams, the Visual C++ team. Much of the software industry and IT benefitted from his ideas as articulated in his seminal book, Dynamics of Software Development from Microsoft Press (1995, 2006). This book changed the way software development was viewed. His approach and observations formed the basis of Microsoft Solutions Framework and were a catalyst for and a progenitor of the Extreme and Agile programming movements. Jim partners with his wife, Michele McCarthy, to run McCarthy Technologies, Inc., which provides technology, training and consulting that enables organizations and teams to consistently generate the greatest possible results. The key to these results is an innovative, proprietary technology called 'The Core'. It encapsulates and makes accessible the best interpersonal collaboration technology currently available and has been thoroughly researched, tested, and applied over the past 15 years. Just as Jim's earlier approaches contributed to Microsoft's successful culture, and ultimately helped give rise to the XP and Agile movements, his current research into The Core is poised to help a new generation of individuals, teams and organizations achieve their highest potential.