Philippe Bourgau

Philippe Bourgau

Agile & Craft coach, solving technical challenges with people collaboration

Coach agile et craft, j'adresse les problèmes techniques avec de la collaboration entre humains!

Paris, France


I am an experienced speaker and have spoken at many international conferences: DDD Europe, Newcrafts, Devoxx, XPDays Benelux, CPPP, P3X, Alpes Craft, Agile France, Agile Tour and others.

My talks are always very interactive, almost workshops, and often contain live coding. My goal is that that the audience gets out with practical learning that they can apply immediately.

I can present in English or French.

J'ai par le passé parlé à de nombreux événements internationaux: DDD Europe, Newcrafts, Devoxx, XPDays Benelux, CPPP, P3X, Alpes Craft, Agile France, Agile Tour et d'autres.

Mes conférences sont toujours très interactives, presque des ateliers, et contiennent souvent du live-coding. Mon but est que l'audience quitte la session avec des nouvelles connaissances pratiques, qu'elle pourra appliquée immédiatement.

Je peux présenter en Anglais ou Français.

Area of Expertise

  • Information & Communications Technology


  • Continuous Improvement
  • Extreme Programming
  • Test-Driven Development
  • Refactoring
  • Domain Driven Design
  • Legacy Code
  • Technical Coaching
  • agile
  • Pair Programming
  • mob programming
  • DDD
  • Event Storming
  • liberating structures
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Verbal Aikido


Beyond the Agile Matrix with Formidable Developers en

Today's "agile" would look like a post-apocalyptic dystopia to early agile rebels!

What would Morpheus do if he was a developer? One critical aspect of agile that has been forgotten is how to make developers feel safe and proud at work. How do we keep work rich and interesting? How do we avoid turning into cogs in the matrix?

Let's see how, like Morpheus, we can become "formidable developers"! Being a "formidable developer" boils down to 3 elements: remaining employable, improving communication, and mastering baby steps in programming! You will learn:

- How to build your own intrinsic psychological safety.
- That all this is inside your control.
- Practical steps to get started: like learning hour, and deliberate communication practice.
- How to increase your leadership, influence others, and change things around you.
- These techniques are future-proof in the age of AI and global challenges.
- Some facilitation tricks that you can use in your next presentation, meeting, or workshop.

Looking forward to taking the first baby step with you during this very interactive talk!

This is a 30 to 45 minutes keynote, with a lot of interaction and storytelling.
It was first delivered at Working Software 2024 (https://www.agilemovement.it/workingsoftware/brescia.html)

(Slow (code) retreat) en

"Simplicity--the art of maximizing the amount of work not done--is essential" We're definitely not there yet!

Isn't it time we deal with the stress and burnout that is rampant in the industry?

Let's try slow programming! After some group reflexion, we will be using TDD and TCR as neurofeedback tools that will catch us whenever we are rushing. We will also experiment with various flavors of mob or solo programming and discover what we enjoy most! Here are the benefits we could expect:

- Less stress, by focusing on what we are doing NOW, in the present moment
- More value creation by focusing on what really matters
- Less technical debt
- Better interactions with colleagues
- More clarity about what to do, easier decision making
- A chance to better tackle the ethical challenges of technology
- Happier families by bringing less stress home
- A form of deliberate practice of zen
- Helping each other!

Join us in this slow dojo!

This is a 2 to 3 h hands-on workshop targeting intermediate to advanced developers. Laptops are required. This workshop was first delivered at XPDays Benelux 2022, and later at Devoxx Paris 2023, Newcrafts 2023, and DDD Europe 2023.

Open Space Architecture: a Giant Mob approach! en

What if I told you that there is a way to run all-in architecture workshops, with a hundred people, that leverage everybody's contribution to progress as much in 1 or 2 days as you would normally in months?

Despite all the efficient modeling techniques, making architecture a collaborative activity is still a challenge! Ivory Tower Architecture remains commonplace. Yet, most architects are looking for ways to collaborate and engage with more people.

As people develop facilitation skills, they transform how they engage in creative design. Liberating Structures, "easy-to-learn microstructures that enhance relational coordination and trust", make this possible!

Come to our hands-on session to learn how to mix Liberating Structures with Software Design Techniques to run effective architecture workshops.

- You will learn how to scale architecture workshops to team-size and up to 100+ people!
- You will experiment with ways to break silos
- You will discover how to make decisions faster; In a few days instead of a few weeks or months!
- You will ensure everyone understands the decisions
- You will enable everyone to contribute equally
- You will tame collective intelligence to tackle complex decisions!

Attend the workshop, and discover a whole new world of doing architecture!

This is a two and a half hours long workshop targeting developers and architects.

Delegated missions at the rescue of Event Storming! en

Did you ever facilitate an Event-Storming that felt more like light freezing rain than a tropical storm?

Event Storming is terrific... when it works! How do you ensure that all participants contribute as much as possible and don't lose their time? We have discovered that quickly training the participants to Delegated Missions will prepare them to self-organize and maximize their Return.On.Time.Invested! When using Delegated Missions in Event Storming, participants volunteer to carry out five critical missions for the benefit of the group. These five missions (facilitator, timekeeper, intent keeper, decision pusher, and meta-feedbacker) correspond to 5 key ingredients of the success of any collective event.

Using delegated missions will:
* Help to scale Event Storming to a really large audience by avoiding the 'lecture' anti-pattern.
* Remove a lot of the facilitation workload.
* Can be learned 'on the job.'
* Shine in a remote setting.
* Apply to any collaborative design workshops.
* Apply to any meeting!

Attend this session to try the Delegated Missions for real, and be ready to introduce them to your team tomorrow!

This is a 2 hours immersion workshop, targetting Event Storming facilitators or experienced practitioners. It was first delivered at DDD Europe 2022

Heroic Fantasy BDD Scaffolding at the Gilded Rose Inn en

I guess you've never seen a Goblin, an Elf, and a Dwarf at a software conference!

They have agreed to leave the Gilded Rose for the length of this session. Like many of us, they face the challenge of legacy code with forgotten specs. A wizard taught them a ritual to bring their fragment of memories together and write functional non-regression tests around their legacy code.

During the session, they will walk us through how they use Example Mapping and Cucumber test automation to get Legacy Code under control by building a test harness around the Gilded Rose codebase. On top of that, this ritual:

* Only needs a phone call to get former experts to contribute
* Will let you acquire key allies in the organization
* Will lead to both specs and tests
* Will confront thought-of-specs with actual behavior
* Will let you discover unknown conflicting features causing a lot of bugs
* Is compatible with both rewrite or refactor

Attend the very first play of future comedy stars! 🤥🤥🤥

The main body of this session is a one-hour conference with a lot of interaction, role play, and some live coding. The target audience goes from developers to product people, but people working in quality assurance will also find it helpful. It was first delivered at XPDays Benelux 2022.

The session can also be prolonged with one hour of hands-on group programming for the audience. This long version was delivered at the BDD Meetup in Paris.

Test yourself at the TCR workout machine! en

What do you do when a workout becomes too easy? You add weights! But how do you do that with programming katas?

Incremental design is stopping to think of design as something set in stone, but instead as a never-ending stream of small baby steps. Fluent coding in baby steps is the key to mastering incremental design. How do you teach coding in baby steps to experienced programmers who manage (mostly) to go through code katas in big steps?

TCR (Test && Commit || Revert) is the baby-step workout machine that you can add to your kata sessions! On top of teaching baby steps:

* It's like a second coach, that constantly reminds participants to take baby steps
* It's only a script, so it's not as annoying as a human coach 😉
* Being an obvious 'practice exercise', it's easier to sell than TDD katas!
* People say they enjoy the dash of 'gamification' it adds
* It teaches you how big a step you can take safely, this learning is actually easier to apply than TDD in legacy code!
* We've got a script, and it's remote-friendly

Join this session, see and experiment TCR, and start coaching incremental design in your team NOW!

This is a 2 to 3 hours long hands-on mob programming workshop. It's targeting developers and was publicly delivered at the Luxembourg Craft Meetup, and later at Devoxx Paris 2022, XPDays Benelux, and Alpes Craft.

Legacy Code Retreat with test data builders and the mikado method en

“Remember to add tests before you fix any bugs!” That’s very nice in theory, but a lot more tricky in practice.

We know we need to add tests, but it’s easier said than done. In legacy codebases, just setting up the objects for the test is most often an unjustifiable nightmarish 2 weeks of work. Mocks are a common workaround, but mocking legacy codebases usually makes them more difficult to change, not less!

In this hands-on pair programming code retreat, you will combine the mikado method with test data builders to build a baby-step plan to add your first test to an open-source legacy codebase. We'll draw a graph of nested test data builders so that we can instantiate test data, without mocks.

In more details:

* Test Data Builders simplify and factorize test data initialization
* The Mikado Method is a technique to split a large refactoring in a graph of baby-steps
* These baby steps remain deployable at any time and don’t block other development
* When we combine these 2 techniques together, we get an incremental plan to create test data builders
* At every step, test data is easier to initialize, the overall testability improves, helping everyone to add more tests
* Driven by usage, critical code parts naturally get testable first
* By making reuse and extend the easiest option, these techniques snowball
* Relying on a visual mikado graph, these techniques are collaborative by design

During the session, every pair will choose to experiment with test data builders, the mikado method, or both, thanks to self-service guides. By the end, we will all compare the different techniques to identify the best ways to apply them.

After this session, you will be able to inject these contagious testing techniques into your team!

This is a 2 to 3 hours hands-on, mob programming workshop. It's intended for developers, who should join with their laptops. It was first delivered at DDD Europe 2021.

A shorter "live-coding" version of the session was later delivered at CPPP 2021 and at Meetups.

Let's play the built-in Quality Game! en

“Why would we lose time with unit testing when we already have a QA department writing automated tests?”

If this is the kind of answer you get from your colleagues, then this game is made for you!

It can be very hard to get people to invest in built-in quality practices. These practices have an unintuitively greater impact on productivity than downstream quality practices. Instead of torturing your colleagues with a training on the queuing theory, just play the Built-in Quality Game! Players will experience and feel the built-in-quality speed-up.

Key benefits of the game include:
* Unlike other serious games, this one uses a realistic software team setting
* It covers the full value stream, from idea to deployment
* it contains both exploratory (Lean Startup, Walking skeleton) and correctness (BDD, TDD, CI, DevOps, Software Crafting) practices
* All the rules and material are available to get you started quickly
* There is no technical pre-requisite
* It’s short, a game is only 1h15
* It’s fun

Whether you are a team member, scrum master or coach: try it, learn plenty, have a good time and transform the way you work!

This is a one-hour workshop targeting anyone involved with software creation. It was first delivered at P3X London in 2019. The material of the game can be found online at https://philippe.bourgau.net/built-in-quality-game/.

Live Legacy Code Refactoring with the Golden Master and the Mikado Method en

“Yesterday, I continued my refactoring. I should be done today...” Have you ever been in this situation of repeating this same message over and over in for days and days?

In a developer’s day to day work, refactoring (untested) legacy code remains one of the most tricky and complicated tasks. “Don’t touch it!” is the most widespread recommendation. Unfortunately, we spend at least 80% of our time in ‘Legacy’. Better be ready!

During this live coding kata, discover, with your own eyes, how to refactor untested legacy code with the golden master and the mikado method techniques. You’ll understand how:
* The Golden Master can help you temporarily ‘snapshot’ the behavior of a piece of code by assertions IOs
* The Mikado Method avoids the tunnel effect by splitting large refactorings in a graph of small deployable steps
* Both techniques reduce risks,
* contribute to a sustainable pace,
* complement each other for maximum effect
* Although I'll use Java, the techniques are adaptable to many language or contexts

Eager to take on Legacy refactoring? It starts here 😃

This is a 50 to 60 minutes live-coding conference. It's mainly targeting developers struggling with legacy code. It was first delivered publicly at Agile France in 2019 and later at XPDays Benelux 2019 and Devoxx Paris 2021.

The surprizing power of baby steps en

"Slow and steady wins the race!"

Change of specs, change of code, knowledge loss, change of technology, change of teams, change of market... Writing software is complex! In a complex environment, we need to go by tiny steps. Coding with baby steps, it's splitting development in tiny increments.

Attend this talk to understand why you should learn to code in baby steps NOW! On top of that:

- You will share your own baby-step programming stories
- You will hear the story of how I got hooked to baby-steps
- You will discover all the topics that baby steps improve: Commits, Risk, Effort, Testing, CI, CD, Prioritization, Teamwork, Status tracking, Legacy, and Refactoring…!
- You will understand why baby steps matter from a complexity point of view
- You will learn to take baby steps, even in difficult environments!
- You will set your foot on the path to ever smaller steps

Attend this talk to (re) discover the most overlooked practice in software development!

This is a 45 to 1h conference, with a lot of interaction, storytelling, and 10 minutes of live coding.
It was first delivered at Devoxx Paris 2023 (https://youtu.be/xI_iN1HNweI)

Compete on Myths and Truths about Mocks en

Do you prefer Mocks of Fakes?

Actually, do you really know the difference? We all use the word 'mock' for a whole bunch of different things… How can we understand each other when we talk about test doubles? How can we pick the right test double if we don't agree on the definitions, let alone the tradeoffs?

Attend this fun and interactive quiz to learn the proper vocabulary for test doubles!

- Have higher value discussions with your colleagues
- Have better names in the code
- Understand the tradeoffs of each kind of test doubles
- Share it with your colleagues, and you will be able to agree on a team-wide strategy about test doubles
- If you answer fast enough, there is a book to win!

Attend this session to learn and have some fun!

This is a 45 to 60 minutes Quizz-style talk. It's targeting developers.

Developer under attack! Get from conflict to conversation with Verbal Aikido en fr

Verbal aggression is an unfortunate reality in the workplace, with instances like pushy salespeople, blame in code reviews, and passive-aggressive co-workers being all too common. As software developers, gracefully dealing with such attacks becomes crucial for our professional growth and well-being. That's where Verbal Aikido comes in.

Join us to discover the power of Verbal Aikido in transforming conflict into constructive conversations. In this interactive session, you will learn practical dialogue techniques and strategies tailored specifically for software developers. By practicing Verbal Aikido, you'll develop the skills to navigate challenging situations. On top of that, you will get:

- Actionable Skills: The more you practice Verbal Aikido, the better equipped you become at defusing conflicts and steering conversations toward positive outcomes.
- Workplace Application: Verbal Aikido provides practical tools to effectively deal with challenging situations at work, allowing you to maintain professionalism and foster healthier working relationships.
- Improved Personal Relationships: Applying Verbal Aikido principles extends beyond the workplace, leading to more harmonious interactions with your family and friends.
- Self-Discovery: Learning Verbal Aikido will not only enhance your communication abilities, but it will also provide valuable insights into your own patterns and behaviors, facilitating personal growth and self-awareness.
- Live demos and practice: we will role-play the audience's real-life cases!

Join us for this transformative talk and discover how Verbal Aikido can empower you to handle verbal attacks with confidence, grace, and resilience.

This is a 40 to 120 minutes talk and workshop mix, with a lot of role-play and storytelling. It uses examples from a developer's life, but the techniques are useful for anybody. You can learn more about Verbal Aikido at https://www.verbalaikido.org/

Les développeurs sont attaqués ! Du conflit à la conversation avec l'Aïkido Verbal en fr

Les agressions verbales sont malheureusement fréquentes sur le lieu de travail: vendeurs insistants, revues de code indélicates, collègues passifs-agressifs, etc. En tant que développeurs, nous devons savoir faire face, pour notre travail, mais aussi pour notre bien-être! C'est là que l'Aïkido verbal entre en jeu.

Rejoignez-nous pour découvrir comment l'Aïkido Verbal permet de transformer les conflits en conversations constructives. Pendant cette session interactive, vous apprendrez des techniques et des stratégies pratiques spécialement conçues pour les développeurs. En pratiquant l'Aïkido Verbal, vous apprendrez à gérer les situations difficiles. De plus, vous obtiendrez :

- Des compétences concrètes : Plus vous pratiquerez l'Aïkido verbal, mieux vous saurez désamorcer les conflits et orienter les conversations vers des résultats positifs.
- Applicables au travail : L'Aïkido verbal fournit des outils pratiques pour gérer efficacement les situations professionelles difficiles, rester constructif, et favoriser des relations plus saines avec vos collègues.
- Des meilleures relations personelles : Les principes de l'Aïkido verbal s'appliquent au-delà du travail, vous améliorerez aussi vos interactions avec votre famille et vos amis.
- Découverte de soi : L'apprentissage de l'Aïkido verbal vous éclairera sur vos propres schémas et comportements, facilitant le développement personnel et la conscience de soi.
- Démonstrations en direct : pendant la session, nous jouerons les cas réels de l'auditoire !

Rejoignez-nous pour cette session et découvrez comment l'Aïkido Verbal vous permettra de gérer les attaques verbales avec confiance, harmonie et résilience.

Ceci est un mix talk et workshop, entre 40 et 120 minutes. Il contient beaucoup de jeux de role et de storytelling. Il s'appuie sur des exemples de la vie de développeurs, mais les techniques peuvent être utiles à tous. Vous pouvez en apprendre plus en vous rendant sur https://www.verbalaikido.org/

Get time to do great work with the Quality View workshop en fr

What if I told you that the key to get time for technical excellence lies not in business cases and high-tech analysis tools, but in harnessing the ancestral human skills of visualizing, storytelling, and empathizing?

One of the biggest challenges developers face is the lack of time for refactoring, clean code, clean architecture, and testing. The quality view workshop involves the entire team and stakeholders. By collaborating on sketching an accessible visualization of what lies "under the hood", this workshop will make non-developers empathize with your concerns for quality work. As a result, you will get time to do work you can be proud of!

During this session, you will:
- Discover what Quality Views are
- Draw a quality view on a provided codebase
- Have fun by playing the different roles in the team
- Learn a step-by-step workshop to build a quality view on your own code base
- Learn how to tune your quality view to your specific business risks and challenges (deployability, availability, onboarding, bus factor...)
- Learn when and how to get the product or business stakeholders involved to maximize their interest and engagement
- Discover how to prioritize technical excellence where it matters: on the upcoming business needs!
- Look at follow-up activities that use the quality view to define tasks for refactoring, risk management, or knowledge sharing.
- As a bonus, this workshop builds empathy and team bonds within a team. It's a great way to break silos.

Prepare for an interactive session where you will learn by doing. Attend my session and embark on the path to technical excellence today!

This is a two hours long workshop targeting developers, architects, scrum-masters, managers, and coaches.

Obtenez du temps pour faire du bon travail avec le Quality View workshop en fr

Et si la clé pour avoir du temps pour l'excellence technique n'était pas dans les business cases et les outils d'analyse de code, mais dans les compétences humaines ancestrales de visualisation, de narration et d'empathie ?

Les développeurs souffrent du manque de temps pour le refactoring, le clean code, l'architecture propre et les tests. L'atelier Quality View associe toute l'équipe et tous les stakeholders. En collaborant à l'esquisse d'une image compréhensible de ce qui se trouve "sous le capot", cet atelier communiquera aux non-developeurs pourquoi vous vous souciez tant de la qualité du code. Finalement, vous aurez plus de temps pour réaliser un travail dont vous pourrez être fier !

Au cours de cette session, vous allez :

- Découvrir ce qu'est une Quality View.
- Dessiner une Quality View sur une base de code fournie
- Vous amuser en jouant les personnages d'une équipe
- Apprendre un atelier étape par étape pour construire une quality view sur votre propre code.
- Apprendre comment ajuster votre quality view en fonction des vos risques business spécifiques (déployabilité, disponibilité, intégration, facteur bus, etc.)
- Apprendre quand et comment impliquer les stakeholders produit pour s'assurer leur intérêt et leur engagement.
- Découvrir comment prioriser l'excellence technique sur les futurs besoins business !
- Voir des activités à faire dans la foulée de la quality view pour définir des taches de refactoring, de gestion des risques, ou de partage de connaissances.
- En bonus, cet atelier renforce l'empathie et les liens au sein de l'équipe. C'est un excellent moyen de briser les silos.

Préparez-vous à une session interactive où vous apprendrez en pratiquant. Lancez-vous sur la voie de l'excellence technique dès aujourd'hui !

Atelier de deux heures, pour les développeurs, les architectes, les Scrum-Master, les managers, et les coaches.

XCraft Lyon 2023

*DD ok, but then what?

November 2023 Lyon, France

Agile Tour Bordeaux 2023 Sessionize Event

October 2023 Bordeaux, France

Domain-Driven Design Europe 2023 Sessionize Event

June 2023 Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Newcrafts Paris 2023 Sessionize Event

May 2023 Paris, France

Devoxx 2018, 2021, 2022, 2023

April 2023 Paris, France

Domain-Driven Design Europe 2022 Sessionize Event

June 2022 Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Domain-Driven Design Europe 2021 Sessionize Event

February 2021

P3X London 2018, 2019

October 2019 London, United Kingdom

Philippe Bourgau

Agile & Craft coach, solving technical challenges with people collaboration

Paris, France


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