Last night we marked the calendar with the launch of a local CTO – thought leadership community in Orange County.

The chat took place at CIE Digital Labs a local innovation development company right on MacArthur Blvd, adjacent to the Google Irvine offices. It was a casual atmosphere accompanied with pizza and beer. The event was enriched with a diverse set of cultures ranging from Argentina, India, South Africa, Mexico, Canada and the US, representing local Orange County companies.

The workshop portion was led by Etienne De Bruin (), CTO and Co-Founder of 7CTOs, who focused on “The Challenge of Software Delivery Estimation”. General intros were given and immediately after taking the stage, he kicked-off attendee participation by inviting the group to call out words that came to mind around the concept of estimation.

De Bruin then moved-on to represent a complex problem in a simple and fun exercise which consisted in making sudoku style tables on post-it notes. Attendees worked in groups and were asked to estimate the amount of time it would take them to arrange the numbers following a specific set of requirements, which gradually changed over the course of the exercise. This allowed participants to connect and discuss the outcome of their actual times vs estimated.

Feedback was provided on how this challenge affects all companies and how CTOs should walk their teams through this process, taking into consideration the following 3 principles:

having a great time with the local tech leaders

1. Commitment 

Stand by your word and do everything in your power to make the deadline/budget

2. Exploration

Explore your problem to solve thoroughly and find areas you can break down into smaller/shorter pieces

3. Estimation

Include wiggle room in your estimation and make your client/stakeholder aware of it

Last but not least a clear and solid communication between the CTOCEOdevelopment team and Customer (if applicable) is a must, in order to generate the same mindset in every individual involved in the project.

Software development