John Ferguson Smart

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John is a regular speaker at international conferences and internal events known for his energy, passion and humour. John loves to share his passion for helping teams refocus on delivering value and delighting their clients.

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What John's happy clients are saying

Uplifted our development practices and culture


I've had the pleasure of working with John as a repeat customer for almost a decade. During this time John has helped to educate and mentor our staff to become better cross functional delivery teams. John’s technical and coaching skills are highly developed. In addition, he is a thought leader and expert who has a deep and thorough knowledge of BDD, Agile development, software development, DevOps and Continuous Delivery, programming languages and build and test tools. I have not come across anyone in the world who has such a high level of expertise across so many technologies and practices.

John’s easy going coaching style and knack of teaching complex practices, tools and technologies in a way that is easy to understand, has helped me to uplift our development practices and culture to the next level, across multiple business units. I have no hesitation in recommending John’s services in the highest terms.

Trevor Vella, Delivery Practice Manager, Transport for NSW, Sydney Australia

2017-11-23T11:12:27+00:00

Trevor Vella, Delivery Practice Manager, Transport for NSW, Sydney Australia

Uplifted our development practices and culture I've had the pleasure of working with John as a repeat customer for almost a decade. During this time John has helped to educate and mentor our staff to become better cross functional delivery teams. John’s technical and coaching skills are highly developed. In addition, he is a thought leader and expert who has a deep and thorough knowledge of BDD, Agile development, software development, DevOps and Continuous Delivery, programming languages and build and test tools. I have not come across anyone in the world who has such a high level of expertise across so many technologies and practices. John’s easy going coaching style and knack of teaching complex practices, tools and technologies in a way that is easy to understand, has helped me to uplift our development practices and culture to the next level, across multiple business units. I have no hesitation in recommending John’s services in the highest terms.

The results were amazing


Recently as part of Transport for New South Wales's Open Data project, where application developers can obtain multi modal journey trip planning data for presentation on mobile device applications such as Opal Travel, one of the teams that John trained was assigned a project that had taken previous teams within the organisation years with no results. We had never applied BDD to a data centric project before and the results were amazing. They were able to deliver the project in four months. They released with no defects and a living specification that describes the behaviour of the data integration in simple business terms.

The business is very happy about the team's ability to deliver quickly, with such visibility and with such high quality. I wouldn't hesitate to say that it was a world class effort.

We are now using BDD for the development of cloud automation. We plan to use it to certify servers based on enterprise hardening requirements and behavoural requirements.

Trevor Vella
Delivery Practice Manager, Transport for NSW, Sydney Australia

2017-11-23T12:11:35+00:00

Trevor Vella
Delivery Practice Manager, Transport for NSW, Sydney Australia

The results were amazing Recently as part of Transport for New South Wales's Open Data project, where application developers can obtain multi modal journey trip planning data for presentation on mobile device applications such as Opal Travel, one of the teams that John trained was assigned a project that had taken previous teams within the organisation years with no results. We had never applied BDD to a data centric project before and the results were amazing. They were able to deliver the project in four months. They released with no defects and a living specification that describes the behaviour of the data integration in simple business terms. The business is very happy about the team's ability to deliver quickly, with such visibility and with such high quality. I wouldn't hesitate to say that it was a world class effort. We are now using BDD for the development of cloud automation. We plan to use it to certify servers based on enterprise hardening requirements and behavoural requirements.

Increased productivity and improved testing cycle time


With John's help, adopting BDD and Serenity framework has increased productivity and improved testing cycle time by approximately 20%.

Oshri Zvi
Software Development Manager, BPay

2017-11-23T12:19:16+00:00

Oshri Zvi
Software Development Manager, BPay

Increased productivity and improved testing cycle time With John's help, adopting BDD and Serenity framework has increased productivity and improved testing cycle time by approximately 20%.

Already proven highly valuable


John was instrumental in introducing BDD into Transport for New South Wales, and the results were astounding. We have just finished a data integration project, using SAP BI tools, which drives a major part of the bus realtime phone apps and in the few months, will drive all bus timetables through 131500 trip planner.

Thanks to our BDD practices, we can run full regression tests in 6 minutes, which is incredible! The best bit is the communications afforded by the "living documentation" we are now providing to the business.

This has already proven highly valuable when a mismatch in logic between the static provider (us) and the realtime bus tracking service occurred. Within a few minutes an email with all the features/scenarios allowed all parties to fully understand what our static provider code was producing.

The quality achieved, considering the complexity of some areas of the code, was very impressive.

Ian Mansell
Technical Delivery Manager, Transport for NSW, Sydney Australia

2017-11-23T12:23:22+00:00

Ian Mansell
Technical Delivery Manager, Transport for NSW, Sydney Australia

Already proven highly valuable John was instrumental in introducing BDD into Transport for New South Wales, and the results were astounding. We have just finished a data integration project, using SAP BI tools, which drives a major part of the bus realtime phone apps and in the few months, will drive all bus timetables through 131500 trip planner. Thanks to our BDD practices, we can run full regression tests in 6 minutes, which is incredible! The best bit is the communications afforded by the "living documentation" we are now providing to the business. This has already proven highly valuable when a mismatch in logic between the static provider (us) and the realtime bus tracking service occurred. Within a few minutes an email with all the features/scenarios allowed all parties to fully understand what our static provider code was producing. The quality achieved, considering the complexity of some areas of the code, was very impressive.


I've had the pleasure of working with John as a repeat customer for almost a decade. During this time John has helped to educate and mentor our staff to become better cross functional delivery teams. John’s technical and coaching skills are highly developed. In addition, he is a thought leader and expert who has a deep and thorough knowledge of BDD, Agile development, software development, DevOps and Continuous Delivery, programming languages and build and test tools. I have not come across anyone in the world who has such a high level of expertise across so many technologies and practices.

John’s easy going coaching style and knack of teaching complex practices, tools and technologies in a way that is easy to understand, has helped me to uplift our development practices and culture to the next level, across multiple business units. I have no hesitation in recommending John’s services in the highest terms.

Trevor Vella, Delivery Practice Manager, Transport for NSW, Sydney Australia


Recently as part of Transport for New South Wales's Open Data project, where application developers can obtain multi modal journey trip planning data for presentation on mobile device applications such as Opal Travel, one of the teams that John trained was assigned a project that had taken previous teams within the organisation years with no results. We had never applied BDD to a data centric project before and the results were amazing. They were able to deliver the project in four months. They released with no defects and a living specification that describes the behaviour of the data integration in simple business terms.

The business is very happy about the team's ability to deliver quickly, with such visibility and with such high quality. I wouldn't hesitate to say that it was a world class effort.

We are now using BDD for the development of cloud automation. We plan to use it to certify servers based on enterprise hardening requirements and behavoural requirements.

Trevor Vella, Delivery Practice Manager, Transport for NSW, Sydney Australia


With John's help, adopting BDD and Serenity framework has increased productivity and improved testing cycle time by approximately 20%.

Oshri Zvi, Software Development Manager, BPay


John was instrumental in introducing BDD into Transport for New South Wales, and the results were astounding. We have just finished a data integration project, using SAP BI tools, which drives a major part of the bus realtime phone apps and in the few months, will drive all bus timetables through 131500 trip planner.

Thanks to our BDD practices, we can run full regression tests in 6 minutes, which is incredible! The best bit is the communications afforded by the "living documentation" we are now providing to the business.

This has already proven highly valuable when a mismatch in logic between the static provider (us) and the realtime bus tracking service occurred. Within a few minutes an email with all the features/scenarios allowed all parties to fully understand what our static provider code was producing.

The quality achieved, considering the complexity of some areas of the code, was very impressive.

Ian Mansell, Technical Delivery Manager, Transport for NSW, Sydney Australia

Uplifted our development practices and culture


I've had the pleasure of working with John as a repeat customer for almost a decade. During this time John has helped to educate and mentor our staff to become better cross functional delivery teams. John’s technical and coaching skills are highly developed. In addition, he is a thought leader and expert who has a deep and thorough knowledge of BDD, Agile development, software development, DevOps and Continuous Delivery, programming languages and build and test tools. I have not come across anyone in the world who has such a high level of expertise across so many technologies and practices.

John’s easy going coaching style and knack of teaching complex practices, tools and technologies in a way that is easy to understand, has helped me to uplift our development practices and culture to the next level, across multiple business units. I have no hesitation in recommending John’s services in the highest terms.

Trevor Vella, Delivery Practice Manager, Transport for NSW, Sydney Australia

The results were amazing


Recently as part of Transport for New South Wales's Open Data project, where application developers can obtain multi modal journey trip planning data for presentation on mobile device applications such as Opal Travel, one of the teams that John trained was assigned a project that had taken previous teams within the organisation years with no results. We had never applied BDD to a data centric project before and the results were amazing. They were able to deliver the project in four months. They released with no defects and a living specification that describes the behaviour of the data integration in simple business terms.

The business is very happy about the team's ability to deliver quickly, with such visibility and with such high quality. I wouldn't hesitate to say that it was a world class effort.

We are now using BDD for the development of cloud automation. We plan to use it to certify servers based on enterprise hardening requirements and behavoural requirements.

Trevor Vella, Delivery Practice Manager, Transport for NSW, Sydney Australia

Increased productivity and improved testing cycle time


With John's help, adopting BDD and Serenity framework has increased productivity and improved testing cycle time by approximately 20%.

Oshri Zvi, Software Development Manager, BPay

Already proven highly valuable


John was instrumental in introducing BDD into Transport for New South Wales, and the results were astounding. We have just finished a data integration project, using SAP BI tools, which drives a major part of the bus realtime phone apps and in the few months, will drive all bus timetables through 131500 trip planner.

Thanks to our BDD practices, we can run full regression tests in 6 minutes, which is incredible! The best bit is the communications afforded by the "living documentation" we are now providing to the business.

This has already proven highly valuable when a mismatch in logic between the static provider (us) and the realtime bus tracking service occurred. Within a few minutes an email with all the features/scenarios allowed all parties to fully understand what our static provider code was producing.

The quality achieved, considering the complexity of some areas of the code, was very impressive.

Ian Mansell, Technical Delivery Manager, Transport for NSW, Sydney Australia

Looking for a speaker to inspire and energise your next conference?

John's keynote talks range from inspiring and thought-provoking challenges to concrete and practical tips that anyone can use to improve their focus on what really matters.

Some of John's more popular talks include:

  • Engage! Bringing teams together to deliver software that makes a difference

    International speaker and author of “BDD in Action” John Ferguson Smart shows how you can multiply your team’s productivity and innovation by engaging the creativity of your whole team from the outset. Drawing from his long experience helping teams deliver better software faster and more effectively, John will discuss the latest practical techniques leveraged from Behaviour Driven Development, Lean Enterprise, DevOps, and Test Automation, combined with research in Psychology and Team Performance, to show you how to get the best out of your teams.

    Learn about the new roles of business analysts, developers and testers in the future of software development, where testers can play a vital role in not only detecting defects but preventing them. Discover how you can make test automation happen during, not after, the sprint, and how to engage the creativity of the whole team right from the word "go".

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  • The secret ingredient - the role of Emotional Intelligence in effective software delivery

    Building software is hard, but writing the code is far from the hardest part. Certainly, you need technical skill and a focus on quality, and you need a culture of continuous improvement to keep. But skill and quality alone will not get you across the line.

    You also need to build a shared understanding of what you need to deliver. But a true shared understanding is more than just story cards or gherkin scenarios. Fostering a true shared understanding requires Empathy.

    Come learn the essential role that empathy, and Emotional Intelligence (EI) in general, play in discovering and delivering features that matter. We will discuss the principles behind EI in the context of software development, and learn how all team members can learn how to interact more effectively with the customer and with each other to deliver features that really matter.

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  • Cultures of Excellence

    In today's commercial world, the status quo is not enough. Companies need to excel in what they do, or fall by the wayside. And today, more than ever, the path to successful products is not just through technical prowess, but through flourishing teams.

    Great teams take pride in their work and continually search for self-improvement. They show empathy both within the team and towards business and end users, and an understanding of the bigger picture that helps them focus on delivering high quality features that matter sooner.

    A great teams culture cannot be imposed, but it can be fostered and grown. And, like any other environmental factor, culture can be an enabler or a hinderance. In this talk, John looks at organisations that have succeeded in building cultures where team members flourish, as well as a few spectacular failures. More importantly, John discusses what goes into making a great team culture, as well as some practical tips on what you can do to improve your own team.

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  • Condottieri e Artisti - Mercenaries and Artists in the IT industry

    It was the time of Da Vinci and Michelangelo. It was also the time of Machiavelli and the Medici. Artists working on timeless masterpieces crossed paths with mercenary captains, contracted to do a very specific job.

    This talk addresses important questions with deep implications for any IT team, or any organisation trying to make a difference, or simply to get the most value out of their IT projects. Who is your real customer? Is there a cost to quality? Are you building an artwork that will last, or simply fulfilling a contract?

    An inspiring and entertaining talk that takes listeners on journey from the Italian Renaissance to Silicon Valley and the City of London, and see what lessons can be learned about cultures, attitutes and work ethics today.

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