Archive for June, 2008

Unit Testing Masterclass open for enrollment :)

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

After running it in-house (Marc and I are travelling to Switzerland in two weeks to do just that :) ), we are now happilly responding to demand for an open-enrollment Unit Testing Masterclass. In this class we practice more Test- and Behaviour-driven development in small steps, you will experience various mocking techniques as well as how (not) to make tests that you and your colleagues can understand.

First courses planned are 8,99 and 22,23 September in Tilburg, Netherlands. See the course page for a full description and the booking form to reserve your space. We are looking forward to meeting you there!

some more agile open photos

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

I just uploaded some more photos from agile open. enjoy!

eXperience Agile, June 25-27

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

We have a few open spaces for the eighteenth eXperience Agile course , which we will be running in Rob Westgeests’ new office in Tilburg, the Netherlands on June 25 though 27. Three days of fun learning and experiencing Agile Software Development (and students who kick more ass after they’ve been :) – more on that later).

One of the few courses that goes in-depth in both Agile planning practices as well as technical practices. See the course page for a full description.

tryout labour turnover June 17th

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Nicole Belilos and I are hosting a trial run of our ‘labour turnover – should I stay or should I go’ workshop – we’re going to also run it during agile2008. We’re doing a trial run next tuesday (June 17th) at the office of Topic in Best. Contact me or Nicole if you want to join. If you want to know more, read the workshop description, or the full trial description in Dutch (below).
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Agile Open – it’s also for “structured” people ;)

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

Agile Open Europe 2008 is over…

This panorama photo of the introduction was made by Harald Walker, who volunteered to be our resident photographer. He’s already posted his impressions :) . On thursday it was a bit rainy, so all sessions were inside. Friday was a nice, sunny day, so there were a good number of sessions outside – I spent all day in the garden. The Volksuniversiteit Utrecht has a nice location in the middle of the old centre, with a garden in the back – we always look for a location with nice, green outdoor space and that is easily reached by public transport. Usually these two conflict, not in this case.

impression from the everybody is Refactoring, right? session
We decided to cap this conference at just thirty participants. To our surprise, it was sold out in a week and a half, even though we were very late in announcing it (about a month in advance). The reserve list worked well. We had some last-minute cancellations that we were able to fill with participants from the reserve list.
We succeeded in simplifying the organisation, and in enrolling some volunteers, so that Marc and I could also participate in sessions :) I enjoyed (re)newing connections and learning a thing or two from the sessions – maybe more on that later.
From the closing round, I learnt that:
  • Capping it at thirty might be a good thing, as some participants mentioned that as a feature – because of the small size it is easy to connect with others. Nynke remarked before the conference, that it probably scales best in time (e.g. more times per year) and place (more places in the world, that is already happening).
  • Agile Open is also for “structured people”. I like chaos, and add structure if necessary ;) Some participants remarked that they were unsure what to expect, and normally like things to be “structured”. After the opening session that fear disappeared. I must say this years’ opening filled the agenda remarkably fast. We added some extra timeslots to get all of the sessions in (note the post-its on top that were sessions still looking for a slot after the opening)
  • If we can figure out a way to make it less work for us (last year we also had to deal with and take the risk for participant’s hotel reservations), we might go for a residential agile open again in the future. Some participants missed the evening games we had last year.

participants mark sessions they want to go to
group portrait on friday
We used to have a topic incubator on a wiki for the first two agile opens. That helped people convince their boss, but had as a drawback that it was mostly¬† the ‘usual suspects’ who ran sessions. This year and last year, everything was last-minute, and that gave a wider variety of session organisers – this also seems to be influenced by how we explain what to run sessions on. I’ve learnt to emphasisze that it is perfectly ok to run a session on a problem, it doesn’t have to be some prepared solution.
We’re thinking of running a Benelux agile open sooner than this time next year, but are not sure when would be the best time (and what would be the place). Your suggestions are welcome!
Credits: photos by Harald Walker