TechTalksTO ReCap: “Agile at Well.ca”

January 11, 2011


TechTalksTO Videos: Agile @ Well.ca: How We Think + Do Development: Part 1 & Part 2.

On November 10, at a sold out TechTalksTO, Ali Asaria and Mat Trudel gave an incredibly entertaining talk on agile development at Well.ca and the philosophy behind their architecture.  Ali focused on the philosophy behind their technology while Mat spoke towards the tools they used.

Ali discussed how Well.ca is an agile shop with a lean focus, striving to always deliver value to end-users.  This requires them to avoid a big rewrite. Instead, they’ve partitioned their code into a “graveyard” where they know the code is scary and the rest. This lean mentality has given rise to two practices:

  1. Their internal APIs have clean interfaces, despite the code below being stinky
  2. They’ve automated several things such as every developer getting the same ‘tool-chain’ which they can build automatically and their testing environments are also brought up using scripts.

To understand how they’re driving value, they measure everything. This means a lot of a/b testing to drive value and to find out if things have gone wrong.

Mat elaborated on the tools they use including: Physical Kanban Board, Trac, Git and A/B Testing. To catch the whole talk, watch the video above, and check out the slides below.

Look for the next installment of TechTalksTO to take place early this year.


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