Wednesday, July 26

Agile 2006 Day 3

Today Mike Cohn talked about agile estimating and planning (he's a good speaker) and gave out sets of planning poker cards.

James Shore lead an interesting openspace talking about the possible replacement of automated end-to-end tests with a mixture of exploratory testing and root cause analysis combined with unit testing using TDD/xUnit and a special flavor of FIT tests he coined "Automatically Checked Examples". I'm sure he'll have a article on his site soon to explain the details, but my take away from the session is that rapid delivery and verification is a very worthy goal for agile teams, and we may better achieve this by eliminating the slow and fragile automated end-to-end tests.

Tuesday, July 25

Unleash your inner bonobo!

2 days into Agile 2006 it has already been a fantastic conference.

First day highlights (Sunday) included a hilarious talk by Linda Rising where she spoke about the Bonobo species of ape, and how Agile may be tapping into the peaceful, loving and sharing natures of our evolutionary past.

The "Ice Breaker" was excellent and I got to talk to Ward Cunningham there about his interest in biological computing that he has used to create electronic art such as the "LED Throwie Talkie" that uses a single chip computer to blink the morse code of a wikipedia article about graffiti.

The first full day (Monday) was good fun. I went to a workshop with Joshua Kerievsky where we test-drove his new refactoring playing cards (coming soon) similar to the excellent extreme programming playing cards.

I bumped into Alistair Cockburn who spoke about his new passions: wiki, shoes, poetry and text-books.

There was a faccinating talk about the different "Agile Styles" from Kent (XP), Mary (Lean), Ken (SCRUM), David (FDD) Jean (DSDM) and Alistar (Crystal) that you can watch online (in a week or so) on the latest site from Floyd Marinescu (The Server Side founder):

I had a wonderful time last night at Mary and Tom Poppendieck's home where they held a fabulous cook-out complete with a tent, fresh corn, smores and a keg of beer. There were lots of interesting people there including some great people from NASA and Microsoft apart from the usual crowd of authors.

After all this I returned to the hotel bar where a bunch of ThoughtWorkers played Carcassonne and Munchkin with Martin till the wee hours of the morning.

And all of that in the first two days.. Wish me luck with day 3.

Sunday, July 23

Agile 2006

I'm at my hotel in Minneapolis, having traveled from Australia for over 20 hours straight!

Dispite my jet lag, I'm looking forward to tomorrow, when the Agile 2006 conference starts in Minneapolis.

I hope to post some hilights of the conference here.. stay tuned.