Past Meetup

Antifragile Teams

This Meetup is past

19 people went

Madison Public Library

201 W. Mifflin St · Madison, WI

How to find us

1st Floor Conference Room #104

Location image of event venue


5:00pm to 5:30pm: Arrival and Networking
5:30pm to 7:00pm: Presentation


Software development is an activity that's fraught with complexity, ambiguity, and therefore risk. Many organizations attempt to mitigate that risk through stringent control and processes, but there is a better way.

In nature, there are three types of systems.

1. Fragile systems that break under stress, like a teacup.
2. Resilient systems that resist stress, like a rock.
3. Antifragile systems that become stronger when they are stressed, like your muscles when you exercise.

Most organizations attempt to build resilience, but do so in a way that nearly guarantees fragility. Designing for "antifragility" is a much better goal.

In this talk, you will learn about the concepts of antifragility and how they apply to software development teams:

· Why mass standardization and strict process control does not result in robustness.
· Long-lived teams may be a major cause of fragility.
· The proper role of an agile coach, from an antifragile perspective.
· Different teams in the same organization should look, act, and operate differently.
· The best way to stay stable and predictable is to embrace volatility and chaos.
· The unintended side-effects of intervening to fix the mistakes of a team.
· How to strengthen your team.


Charlie Sweet coaches agile teams and manages developers at Baird. He was a software developer for 10 years before that, and has degrees in fine arts and business. He has been endorsed on LinkedIn for nunchucks and humility, neither of which are skills he possesses.