Agile 2011 - Day 2

This is basically my 3rd day a the conference hotel and I am starting to feel it. I had to unfollow the Twitter hashtag because of information overload. Despite that, this is still exactly where I want to be.

The Plan:
Attend the following: keynote on positivity, "What we have learned so far" by Chet Hendrickson and Ron Jeffries, "Deliberate Discovery" by Liz Keogh and Pat Maddox, "It Depends on Context" by Ainsley Nies and Diana Larsen, "Getting Software Projects Done Right" by Bob Martin, "Industry Experts Panel," and "Dinner with a Stranger."

The keynote on positivity by Barbara Fredrickson was very interesting. It seems very closely correlated with the work of Martin Seligman whose book "Learned Optimism" I have been reading. A quick search on google reveals that this correlation is not just in my head, but I am too tired to dig deeper tonight. I tried to pick up her book and ask her about the similarities, but the bookstore sold out, so I just went on to my next session.

Chet and Ron were hilarious. Their slides all used Comic Sans and had kittens on them. I suspect Ron did that to poke at the UX guys. Anyway, I wasn't surprised by what they said about the learning of the last ten years, but I did enjoy the presentation. I also stuck around to chat with Ron and thank him for pushing me out of my comfort and forcing me to think in our past Twitter discussion. I also received one of the gifts he brought to the conference. :)

At lunch, I met Mary Poppendieck and chatted briefly about flow and the construction of the Empire State Building. I also had a nice chat about agility at NASA and decided to attend the Atlassian party in the evening rather than the panel (I can't wait for my Angry Nerds tshirt.)

The session on Deliberate Discover was excellent. I can't tell you about the game we played, but you should find Liz and ask her when and where you can play it. The discussions we had made me start to ponder the decisions we make early in the development process and how many can we safely delay. It seems like we take away our own options far too early far to often. The chat with Pat was excellent. That man knows how to shake your hand!

Rather than the session on context, I opted for "Code Sense" by Micah Martin. It was interesting to see a bunch of different snippets and rate them. It was also fun after Bob showed up to hear his chuckles about the really bad stuff. I was starting to get worried because I rated almost every snippet as bad or terrible.

After that, the schedule completely fell apart (in a great way.) I sat and chatted with Tim Ottinger and Jeff Langr about FitNesse testing and team problems. Jeff gave me some insight into how he has seen teams use FitNesse and Tim gave me suggestions on better retrospectives and the value of single piece flow over time-boxed iterations.

At that point, I was hungry and luckily, Angela and GeePawHill were nearby and hungry as well. We went to the Little America lounge with a few people from DC and Gary Bernhardt. Dave Brady joined us after a while and we had some wonderful conversations. Gary told me (and Dave) to quit our jobs. Dave agreed that mine is holding me back from achieving my full potential, but neither of them offered me the magical replacement. Angela and I made plans to pair on some C# code before Friday.

Now I am exhausted and having a hard time keeping my eyes open to keep writing this post, so I think I must be done.


  1. By the way, we're hiring at Extend Health. Contact @katokay (Corey Kaylor) to send your resume and possibly set up an interview.

  2. Thanks Mike! I have a link to my resume on here near my photo. Feel free to grab it.


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