Xin Yao
Independent Consultant, Sociotechnical architect & DDD evangelist
Ypma Consulting
Keynote Speaker

Sociotechnical design for software and human systems

As a community, we’ve come a long way modeling software-centric systems. But what about the runtime dynamics of human systems in our working environment, especially when such systems are full of fixes that don’t work? As software professionals, can we just tell jokes about SAFe, about being able to copy the Spotify Model, but not paste it? Or should we give the usual shrug – “it’s the system’s fault”? Xin has been a design and architecture practitioner for more than a decade. Drawing on her own developmental journey, Xin makes a case for the rising relevance of sociotechnical design in a post-modern world, where aging companies struggle with aging software, while adding new software and complexity to their IT portfolio. With good attractor effect, practices like Domain-Driven Design(DDD), Systems Thinking and Constraints Framework are evolving into a multi-dimensional, sociotechnical design toolbox. From a systems standpoint, we are part of the same mess. If we can become better at seeing and naming the elephants in the room, not as random events, but as systemic patterns described through a consistent systems language, then the current messy reality is no longer our enemy but our ally. It can become a generative force for us to identify leverage and sustain influence in large organizational spaces. Join Xin to reflect together on, how DDD and adjacent practices can be leveraged as powerful enabling constraints to help us see the system, share the system, and build the system in a reality of vast sociotechnical complexity and constant change.

Biography

Xin is an independent consultant specialized in Domain-Driven Design (DDD), Sociotechnical Architecture and Systems Leadership. She frequently speaks at international design and architecture conferences. In her earlier career, Xin has been chief architect in Danske Bank, spearheading large-scale change initiatives. An experienced architect and an avid change agent, Xin nudges organizations at crossroads to move beyond seeing architecture as an upfront design blueprint. She is deeply committed to collective reasoning, participatory discovery and systems leadership. Xin facilitates languaging, modeling and reflective conversations to help teams and organisations make sense, make decisions and make intuitive business software.
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