Presented by Luca Minudel


This is an experience report based on more than 3 years of software development in F1 with Scrum, Lean and XP, developing evolving and maintaining software to support the F1 racing team from the vehicle conception and throughout every test and race.
In these 3 years I promoted and supported the advancement of the existing Agile practices in my team and then for all the software development teams of the F1 racing team.
How was this experience? It was dense and intense. What made it valuable? It was:

  • the unique context characterized by very high levels of competition, speed and unpredictable rapid changes.
  • the challenge of doing computer programming in an F1 team: the team and I had to learn and invent how to work with a code-base that is very large and long lived, a product that is uncommonly complex, in an organization that has high levels of interdependency and with technologies and competitors that are fast moving targets.  We found ourselves far behind the boundaries where centralized top-down approaches could possibly work and where a book, a school degree or an expert could possibly reveal the right answer.

We had to do software development in extreme conditions and push ourselves to the limit as F1 drivers that really push and find the limits with the aim of outperforming competitors.

Have we survived this chaos? How did we survive? Which team and coding practices emerged? This experience report will look at the answers to all those questions and will try to answer questions from participants.

Format and length:

Advanced experience report, with discussions and Q&A.

60 minutes

Intended audience and prerequisites:

We had to do software development in extreme conditions and push ourselves to the limit. This gave me good insights and deeper understanding of Agile that now I'm using in fields other than F1.  That's why I think this experience can be relevant and interesting for experienced agilist and also outside F1.

Intended audience is everybody with previous experience of Agile software development:
- Software engineers involved in coding, designing, and testing
- Product owners dealing with fast changing requirements and priorities
- Coaches and also CTO and software department managers dealing with difficult challenges
- Formula1 fans also will enjoy knowing how agile software development in F1 is 

Anyone is invited to attend!
Suggested prerequisites to benefit fully from the session are:
- previous professional experience with agile coding and team practices
- previous experience with enterprise applications
- basic knowledge of F1 can help, not mandatory. Just take a look on TV at the next race, read news and comments starting from Friday's free practices, looks drivers real-time live-timing during the qualify session and the race and get inside the F1 sport.
- experiences of in-house development can help, not mandatory

Objectives of the session:

Share key facts about an interesting experience of agile adoption that can be relevant also in other contexts.

Share the challenges and the practices that emerged to deal with them. Eventually identify and discuss similar patterns of other teams.


Benefits, for the participants and the presenters:

Benefits for the participants:

  • Anyone using Scrum and Agile practices in a hi-pressure, fast paced, complex and competitive environment will benefit by looking at how similar problems has been solved in another team and by sharing their experience.
    And Will have a chance to comments, discus and confront on how similar problems has been solved in his team.
  • Get to know patterns that could possibly work on other teams and contexts, i.e. :
    • how to speed-up developments, testing/stabilization and deployments and reduce bugs
    • how to deal effectively with unpredictable and rapidly changing requirements
    • how to support and keep complex operations and production environments working smoothly
    • how many agile teams could efficiently work together on the same code-base
    • how to develop and design in a decentralized, bottom-up way and let design emerge and knowledge spread
  • And after the session will be able to learn more and broaden the knowledge of those techniques from the current agile literature
  • Formula1 fans will enjoy knowing how software development in F1 is. 

Benefits for the presenter:

  • reflect in retrospective on the reported experience,
  • further identify the key points,
  • learn from the questions and comments of the participants.