Agile 2011 - Day 4-5

Thursday I went to WIP and Kaizen: Key Tools for Enabling Continuous Improvement: Michael DePaoli. It was a really interesting talk about how you need to make change slowly, incrementally and steadily to arrive at the organizational goal without causing a fight or flight reaction in your people. I enjoyed it though I expected it to be more about personal improvement for some reason.

I wasn't really excited about any of the late morning sessions, so I bailed and went to Coach's Corner to hang out with Tim Ottinger and ended up meeting Colin Jones from 8th Light and then talking with Matt Barcomb from LeanDog for nearly an hour.

Around noon, Evana Fredricko, my dance partner for Brian Marick's session on Tango, The Stance of Reaction, and Pair Programming arrived. We went out for a slice of pizza near the hotel, then returned for a very fun intro to tango and a great discussion on paired programming. A correlation was drawn between the way dance is taught and the way we should teach software practices: demonstrate, practice in isolation, then practice in the full context of dancing/working.

After thanking Evana for her time, I returned late to the hotel so I missed How Functional Programming Changes Developer Practices and went to The Fundamental Agile Apologetic: Tim Ottinger instead. I chatted with Tim and Rachael Davies about how the constraints of an average software project will lead you toward a set of practices similar to those of XP or other agile methodologies.

The Open Jam was pretty crowded so I wandered around the quiet halls until I found an ex-coworker. We talked shop and how things were going at his company. All too soon, the end-of-conference party started and I went around and said goodbye to my new friends and went home early.

Friday, Dave Brady carpooled to the conference with me. We both really enjoyed Kevlin Henney and Linda Rising's talks and spent some time talking to them after. From there, we went back to the Open Jam to hang out with GeePawHill, Tim Ottinger and Angela Harms. Tim and I left for a late lunch and I dropped him off at the airport.

I am now exhausted and yet completely energized. This was an amazing week full of learning and friendship.


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