This is a tale of a naïve protagonist, misguided advisors, princesses, dragons and knights in shining armour.
Like most fairy tales, this story has an idyllic beginning, a middle, and a happy ending. Also like most fairy tales, the middle of this tale is a grim, dark, scary journey through the Woods of Requirements, blithely past the Ivory Tower of Architecture, into the Depths of Design Despair, under the Mountain of Technical Debt and finishing with an agile leap of faith over the Waterfall of Doom to reach the rainbow on the other side.
This talk starts with a post-mortem of a 3.5-year, $2m project that went horribly wrong. We’ll look at where the project failed: the architectural choices; the management strategies; the personalities involved and some sample code. We’ll also look at the changes that were made to bring the project back on track, get its wildly spiralling technical debt under control, re-release a functioning version and refactor it to something testable – and all in 3.5 weeks.
Finally, we’ll discuss ways to identify the issues encountered in this project so that you can spot them before they bite, strategies for regaining control over a project that’s already in trouble, and effective methods for managing troublesome stakeholders.
 There may or may not be actual princesses.
 Or dragons.
 Or knights.
 Motorcycle helmets.
I hope people think it's worth getting up early for :)