Archive for October, 2012

Fall Conferences 2012

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

The fall conference season is already in full swing. Apparrently I need some time away from actual work to publish some writing.

Agile Cambridge

Was last month already. Enjoyed it more than expected. A ‘boots on the ground’ kind of conferences where most presenters are actually doing something – developing, shipping products, doing user experience work etc. Enjoyed Joh Hunt’s and the Agile Pirate’s non-dogmatic hands-on session on working through “your big rocks” a lot. They are developing a brainstorming card deck to help you get unstuck, or facilitate a friend or colleague in tackling difficult problems. They developed the first versions by applying it on themselves, as it should be in coaching. Change is not (‘just’ ;) ) for other people.


Tomorrow and Friday in Tallin, Estonia. I’ve already enjoyed Chris Frei’s hospitality, Rags Srinivas’ company and great food plus drink yesterday, today’s breakfast and sports facilities followed by a historic city tour and dinner. Many of the session organisers turned up already. I didn’t know any of them, the ones I talked to are doing a variety of really interesting things (the others as well probably :) ) and I enjoyed the open conversations and interest in each others’ work.

I’m looking forward to Friday’s security workshop┬áin particular. Estonia seems to be an IT heavy place with prime ministers that used to be software developers, and the focus on security and cryptography seems to be strong here. It’s an area I don’t know much about, so all the more opportunity to learn.

I’ll be talking about Using diagrams of effect to visualize dynamics of technical dept in product development and DevOps experiences from a business perspective. The latter one is an interesting puzzle. Some people want more people to discuss people issues/benefits in DevOps (this is a blog. shoot first, provide references later ;) ). As opposed to just talking about Devops ultralight – configuration management tools , where DevOps light is ‘when people zoom in on ‘just’ dev and ops collaboration’. Devops is not about a technology, devops is about a business problem. Since there is potentially a lot of ground to cover on this one, I’ll give the audience room to express their preferences and ask questions. For instance there is also a more technical introduction to Chef if the audience happens to be mostly developers.


Nottingham, November 12. Rob Westgeest and I will be doing Dirty Jobs, letting participants add a feature to some realistic fantasy legacy code inspired by hairy code we encountered but can’t publish. Looking forward to participating in the Lego Mindstorms workshop at night and doing some data visualization in Javascript.

XP Days London

Trying to break out of an endless loop of reflection from the questions they ask in order to get vetted for participation. I tried many things, some of them don’t (yet) lend themselves to easy conclusions. I wrote about one (being JustADeveloper for a change and not working from a position of authority) and ended up with 80 lines. I should edit that down and post it when I get a round tuit.

Just paying an entry fee would be much cheaper for me, but having to think and write about an experiment is much more valuable. If I get in, I’d probably like to test drive some raspberry pi (see xp days benelux below).

It should still have space – around 50 people signed up. So what is stopping you?

XP Days Benelux

Heeze, Netherlands November 29th and 30th. Already sold out, so just letting you know what we are working on.

TDD on an embedded device . I’m about to order a soldering iron, an arduino and some lcd displays in addition to the raspberry pi’s we already have. Rob Westgeest and Marc Evers are already hacking away with hardware as we speak. We believe the envelope in embedded development can be pushed a lot further (and have seen/done this in some places).

Now I’m writing this: Trying out hardware/software co-development in a distributed team was an unexpected consequence of proposing this workshop. Doing a fully embedded version of an exercise was on our wishlist for years, I’m really glad the pieces are coming together.

Who’s dropped the ball To celebrate 10 years of xp days Marc and I do a one time reprise of a workshop we ran quite a bit in 2003-2005. Expect many balls to be flying and dropping, diagrams to be drawn, and above all, stories to be told.

So who knows, maybe I’ll see you around :)