Tech Lead Journal
Tech Lead Journal
Jun 20, 2022
#93 - Maximum Value Maximum Speed Software - Dave Thomas
Play • 58 min

“We want to write as little software as possible, and we want it to have as much value as possible. If you actually focus on that, it means you have to be close to your customer."

Dave Thomas is the founder & chairman of Bedarra Corp, creator of IBM Smalltalk, VisualAge for Java, Eclipse, Kx Analyst workbench and Skills Matter YOW! Australia conferences. In this episode, Dave shared about his personal research, 42D, on ideas we can use to develop high-value software rapidly. He started by describing the current developer’s productivity challenges and touched on the idea that big is not better, relating to the size of the team and code base, and how development tools are becoming more complicated and complex. We then discussed the importance of developers understanding domain knowledge, leveraging tools such as decision tables and spreadsheets, and how the choice of programming language actually matters. Towards the end, Dave shared about using a data-centric approach to deal with legacy systems and his perspective on query as the future of programming.

Listen out for:

  • Career Journey - [00:06:17]
  • 42D - [00:15:26]
  • Developer Productivity Challenge - [00:16:37]
  • Maximum Value, Maximum Speed - [00:19:53]
  • Big is Not Better - [00:21:24]
  • Tools Getting More Complex - [00:26:43]
  • Importance of Domain Knowledge - [00:31:02]
  • Decision Tables and Spreadsheets - [00:39:10]
  • Importance of Programming Languages - [00:41:55]
  • Data-Centric Approach with Legacy - [00:47:02]
  • Future Programming is Query - [00:50:51]
  • 3 Tech Lead Wisdom - [00:54:31]


Dave Thomas’s Bio
Dave Thomas is the founder and chairman of the YOW! Australia and Lambda Jam conferences, and is a GOTO Conference Fellow. He served as the Chief Scientists of KX Systems and the Managing Director of Object Mentor. Dave also co-founded Object Technology International, becoming CEO of IBM OTI Labs after its sale to IBM. Nowadays, Dave is the Chairman of Bedarra Corp, a company he co-founded that created the Ivy visual analytics workbench.

Dave is recognized as an ACM Distinguished Engineer for his contributions to Object Technology, which includes IBM VisualAge and Eclipse IDEs, Smalltalk, and Java virtual machines.

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Our Sponsor

Today’s episode is proudly sponsored by Skills Matter, the global community and events platform for software professionals.
Skills Matter is an easier way for technologists to grow their careers by connecting you and your peers with the best-in-class tech industry experts and communities. You get on-demand access to their latest content, thought leadership insights as well as the exciting schedule of tech events running across all time zones.
Head on over to to become part of the tech community that matters most to you - it’s free to join and easy to keep up with the latest tech trends.

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