Archive for the ‘General Stuff’ Category.

Mob Programming Conference 2017

The second Mob Programming Conference is happening April 6 & 7 at the Microsoft NERD Center at MIT in Cambridge MA.

Here are links to the conference website and Eventbrite:

Conference Website 

Eventbrite Registration

I’m really excited to be working with Nancy Van Schooenderwoert and Llewellyn Falco to organize this gathering.

Learn by Doing

Mob Programming is a fairly new concept. This conference offers you a good grasp of it with a mix of talks, trying it out, and discussing with your peers. We’ll mostly be doing hands-on Mob Programming sessions at a variety of skill and experience levels, and in several programming languages.

Mob Programming Workshop

Woody Zuill (me) will be facilitating a Mob Programming Workshop that has been shared all over the world over the past 3 years.

Expert Mentors and Coaches

We have invited a number of very capable Mob Programmers who have been innovating with this idea for several years:

  • Lennart Fridén (Agical – Sweden)
  • Alex Wilson (Unruly – England)
  • Aaron Griffith (Hunter – USA)
  • Nancy Van Shooenderwoert (Agile-Lean Partners – USA)
  • Llewellyn Falco (Freelancer – Finland and USA)
  • Woody Zuill (Independent Agile Guide – USA).

They will be facilitating Mob Programming Sessions so you will have expert guidance as you join in with other “Mobbers” to work on interesting exercises.

A Mix of Activites and Sessions

While most of our time will be spent on actual coding and working together, we’ll also have a few talks (a Keynote and an Endnote), some retrospectives, some open space style sessions, and some Lean Coffee sessions.  In other words, this will be a powerful, hands-on 2 days of learning and sharing.

This is “immersion training meets powerful questions”. Learn by doing, then have just the right amount of reflection and talk to fuel another round of immersion learning.

Agile Games Conference

The Mob Programming Conference is being done in conjunction with the Agile Games Conference.  Agile Games is on April 3, 4, and 5 at the same location. Both events are hosted by Agile New England – one of the best Agile groups I’ve ever attended.

Here is a link to the Agile Games website: Agile Games Boston

Here’s a link to the Agile New England site: Agile New England

Please Join Us

Join us for two days of workshops and peer learning with talks from the founders of Mob Programming. I hope to see you there!

Let’s get “All the brilliant people, working on the same thing, at the same time, in the same space, and at the same computer.“

Mob Programming Conference – May 1 and 2, 2016

The first Mob Programming Conference is happening May 1 & 2 at the Microsoft NERD Center at MIT in Cambridge MA.

Here are links to the conference website and Eventbrite: Conference Website – Eventbrite Registration

I’m really excited to be working with Nancy Van Schooenderwoert and Llewellyn Falco to organize this gathering.

Learn by Doing

Mob Programming is a fairly new concept. This conference offers you a good grasp of it with a mix of talks, trying it out, and discussing with your peers. We’ll mostly be doing hands-on Mob Programming sessions at a variety of skill and experience levels, and in several programming languages.

Expert Mentors and Coaches

We have invited a number of very capable Mob Programmers who have been innovating with this idea for several years:
Lennart Fridén (Agical – Sweden)
Alex Wilson (Unruly – England)
Aaron Griffith (Hunter – USA)
Jeremy Cash (Bluefruit – England)
Nancy Van Shooenderwoert (Agile-Lean Partners – USA)
Llewellyn Falco (Freelancer – Finland and USA)
Woody Zuill(Freelancer – USA).
They will be facilitating Mob Programming Sessions so you will have expert guidance as you join in with other “Mobbers” to work on interesting exercises.

A Mix of Activites and Sessions

While most of our time will be spent on actual coding and working together, we’ll also have a few talks (a Keynote and an Endnote), some retrospectives, some open space style sessions, and some Lean Coffee sessions. In other words, this will be a powerful, hands-on 2 days of learning and sharing.

This is “immersion training meets powerful questions”. Learn by doing, then have just the right amount of reflection and talk to fuel another round of immersion learning.

Agile Games Conference

The Mob Programming Conference is being done in conjunction with the Agile Games Conference. Agile Games is on April 28, 29, and 30 at the same location. Both events are hosted by Agile New England – one of the best Agile groups I’ve ever attended.

Here is a link to the Agile Games website: Agile Games Boston

Here’s a link to the Agile New England site: Agile New England

Please Join Us

Join us for two days of workshops and peer learning with talks from the founders of Mob Programming. I hope to see you there!

Let’s get “All the brilliant people, working on the same thing, at the same time, in the same space, and at the same computer.“

Mob Programming Workshop at Hunter

We are holding another FREE Mob Programming workshop at Hunter Industries in San Marcos, CA.  Our October 24th was a lot of fun, and a great success… so we immediately decided to do another one.

  • When: Saturday, November 21, 2016 – 9:00am
  • Where: Hunter Industries, 1890
  • What – A full day of hands-on learning about team-work and Mob Programming.
  • Register here: Workshop Registration
  • Limited to 20 participants

Sponsored by Hunter Industries

All the brilliant people working on the same thing, at the same time, in the same place, and on the same computer.

Mob Programming is a cost-effective, collaborative and fun way to get work done together. It’s a whole-team approach to development, where coding, designing, testing, and working with the “customer” (partner, Product Owner, User, etc.) is all done as a team.

Participants in this workshop experience a typical day of Mob Programming while learning the mechanics of how to work together as a Mob and the techniques that make this form of development so effective.

Learn how a mob performs sample project work, including user stories, prioritization, test-driven development, refactoring, and retrospectives.

Designed and facilitated by Mob Programming pioneer Woody Zuill, this workshop provides a hands-on education in the art of mobbing and it’s significant benefits for your teams.

Learning Goals

  • How 5+ people can be effective working on just one thing
  • Heuristics for team size
  • Guidelines for successful collaboration
  • Handling competing solutions and ideas to a coding problem
  • Encouraging politeness and kindness of team members
  • Reducing or eliminating harmful conflicts
  • Mobbing Mechanics
  • Tools for team coding
  • Workspace setup
  • How to “Amplify Learning” and take advantage of continual learning opportunities
  • “Real-time” and continuous Retrospectives to reflect, tune, adjust
  • The theory of why Mob Programming is effective.
  • Test-Driven Development (TDD) as a team
  • Working with Product Owners, Business Experts, Testers as part of the team
  • Refactoring as a team
  • Continuous feedback at all levels of granularity

Instruction Approch

Hands-on Exercises, Interactive Dialogues, Simulations, Videos

Agenda

  • What Is Mob Programming & The basics of how it works
  • First Exercise: A Code Dojo to Introduce Basic Concepts
  • Driver/Navigator teamwork Roles and Techniques
  • Second Exercise: A sample project
  • The Importance of Retrospectives
  • LUNCH – Lunch will be provided
  • Advanced Mob Programming Concepts
  • Third Exercise: Expanding on the Sample Project
  • Amplified Learning – How to take advantage of learning opportunities
  • Resolving Conflict
  • Retrospective and review

Here are the details and Registration at EventBrite:

Workshop Registration

Speaking at SB Agile

I’ll be visiting the SB Agile group in Santa Barbara on Wednesday, January 21, 2015

You can find all the details about the location, time, and other pertinent info at their Meetup group page: http://bit.ly/1zdU7ha

Topic – Continuous Discovery: The Power of Pure Agile

Brief description:

The strength of Agile lies in the simplicity and clarity of the Values and Principles as expressed in the  Agile Manifesto.  I have found that if we take this philosophy to heart it can empower people doing software development in any organization, and enable us to make rapid strides to the “land of better”.

As leaders, activators, and influencers of change in the companies we work with, we must take responsibility to understand the philosophy of Agile, and learn to invite and draw people to share that understanding.  We need change, we want change, and we know we must influence change for the better.

I’ll share my thinking about “Pure Agile”, and how I use it in my daily work to enhance Continuous Discovery, Learning, and Growth in the teams and companies I work with.  Let’s explore together and discover the path to future we want to create.

I hope to see you there!

Finland and Sweden Workshops and Sessions

Workshops in Finland and Sweden this Fall

 

Public Workshops at Mystes in Helsinki, Finland

Along with Llewellyn Falco and Vasco Duarte I’ll be participating in 4 half-day workshops on the 23rd and 24th of October.

Mob Programming: If you are interested in participating in a Mob Programming workshop, where you can experience our Teamwork attitude and many ideas related to Teaming and collaboration, please join me for a half day hands on workshop.

NoEstimates: Explore with us our current thinking and experience on NoEstimates decision-making. In this workshop we will review and analyze why we do estimates and how we can improve software and product development while reducing the time and money invested in estimating.

Hands-On introduction to ApprovalTests: ApprovalTests make it easy to create descriptive, expressive, easy to write and debug unit tests. In this workshop you’ll experience how to use ApprovalTests to accelerate test-driven development for everything from simple strings to arrays, GUIs, and complex objects. ApprovalTests is free and currently available for C#, Java, PHP, and Ruby.

Practical Refactoring:  In this workshop we are going to work on a 300 line ball of mud, and experience some new approaches and techniques that will enable you to easily and safely revitalize your legacy code into a thing of beauty little by little. After this workshop you will have a practical, hands-on understanding of how small daily improvements improve large-scale projects over a few months. You will see how much your own project at work could benefit from continuous improvement.

Helsinki, Finland – October 23rd

Mystes Presents
STATE OF THE ART PRACTICES
IN AGILE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT
Woody Zuill, Vasco Duarte & Llewellyn Falco
October 23rd & 24th, 2014

Tampere Goes Agile, Tampere Finland

I am really looking forward to Tampere Goes Agile, October 25th http://bit.ly/1vXa4sb

I’ll be presenting on Mob Programming, and likely doing a workshop on it as well.  I’ll probably be speaking about NoEstimates, and who knows what else.  As I understand it, this is a free event – which is pretty cool!

Øredev Developer Conference

Malmo, Sweden – Oredev 2014 – November 4th

I am very pleased to be returning to Malmo and the FANTASTIC Oredev conference!

Experience a full day of Mob Programming and learn the mechanics of how to work together as a “Mob”, and explore the underlying concepts that make this form of development so effective for my team.

Throughout the day we will be tackling a sample project and working on it using a full “extreme programming” approach – User stories, prioritization, test-driven development, refactoring, and retrospectives.

I will also do a session on Continuous Discovery,  The Power of Pure Agile, and I’ll share the stage with Vasco Duarte for a converstation called “#NoEstimates Unplugged – A Conversation About Agile As If You Meant It”.

And of course – I’ll be there and in Malmo for the whole week and I would love to have a chance to meet you and talk about Agile, #MobProgramming, #NoEstimates, or just about anything interesting.

Mob Programming – It’s what’s for breakfast!

Here it is.  You weren’t looking for it, but you found it.

Mob Programming!

Code Excellence For The Average Programmer

Llewellyn Falco and I have done a number of presentations together.  I’ve always loved working with Llewellyn: I’ve learned a lot and had a lot of fun.  This “Practical Refactoring” presentaion is one of my favorites.

We’ve called it Practical Refactoring, 2-Minutes to Better Code, Code Excellence for Every Programmer, Code Excellence for the Average Programmer. I think we’ve presented this about 20 times.  We finally made a video of it, and thanks to Llewellyn’s dedication to editing it and posting it on YouTube – you can all now enjoy watching the fun.

This presentation was done at the Inland Empire .NET Users Group in San Bernardino.  They are an excellent group, and if you live near enough to attend their meetings you won’t be disappointed.

If you write down every 3rd word spoken, and then write it out backwards, you can read the special secret message hidden in the video. Remember, resistance is futile – or at least frowned upon.

Jim McCarthy – Great Book, Great Video

Dynamics of Software Development

Jim McCarthy wrote a book called “Dynamics of Software Development”.  If you don’t own it, you should.

I believe it was published in 1995, and I think I read it in 1996. There is little reason for you to do anything else until you get this book and read it.

He has an updated version published in 2006.  The 2006 version includes a CD of Jim’s 23 1/2 Rules of Thumb (For Shipping Great Software On Time.)

You can find this book used for about 1 cent for the 1995 version, and about 2 dollars for the 2006 version.  You have to pay shipping – but still, for 5 or 6 bucks you can get a lot good, old fashioned, unconventional wisdom.  I paid full price for both, and it was well worth it.

If you think the stuff I say is worthwhile, you just might like this book.  If you hate the stuff I say, then this book will give you even more great stuff to hate.

Even without taking into consideration how old this book is (almost 20 years! ) most of his insights are extemely relevent and useful (and downright powerful) if you are doing software development.  A few concepts might need to be updated for changes in technology, and some of it has been surpased by modern Agile thinkging (in my opinion), but overall it’s valuable reading.

Also, he has a set of clips from the  23 1/2 Rules of Thumb (For Shipping Great Software On Time) presentation at his site:  http://www.mccarthyshow.com/the-23-rules-of-thumb/

There you go.  Free advice you can use today.

Agile San Diego – Nov. 1st! Be There. Please.

Agile San Diego Meeting November 1st

It’s been exactly a year since I last  presented at the Agile San Diego Group.

First, a word about the Agile San Diego group:

This group was founded by Carlton Nettleton and June Clarke – over 10 years ago, I believe.  At least I think it was.  Regardless, they currently organize the group and make sure there are meetings just about every month.  It’s a great group, with wonderfully dedicated Agile folks of all experience levels.

I started attending the meetings in late 2006 or early 2007, and did my first presentation to this group in March 2007.

I have been asked to give a talk on my Agile Success, My Agile Maxims, and … gasp … ESTIMATES…

But first, here is a list of the talks I’ve done, just to prove that even though I’ve presented there before, they still ask me back.  That is a good thing, right?

  • 2007 – Feb – Agile Thinking in a Legacy Maintenance Effort
  • 2008 – Feb – NMock2 Tutorial and Forensic Mocking
  • 2009 – June – Code Excellence for the Average Programmer
  • 2010 – Did I NOT do a talk this year?  Hm.
  • 2011 – Agile Success – why not me too?

Here is the blurb for this years talk ‘Agile Success : The Maxims I Follow’

Many organizations have adopted an Agile approach but have not seen the results they were hoping for.

Agile exists because enough people recognized serious failures in the typical phased (waterfall and other) approaches.  However, in switching to Agile, many have brought along the same old thinking, expectations, and way of doing things that caused those failures.  ‘Agile’ is not a new way to do the old things.  It’s a way to create software that requires abandoning those old ways and thinking.  What was once ‘important’ is now recognized as blocking progress.

In this advanced talk we’ll explore some of the issues that block Agile success.

For example, regardless of how desperately we desire to know the future, we can’t know it until it is in the past.  Getting good (or even less than harmful) at estimating and planning just might be impossible.  Even worse, planning out what we ‘think’ we want is most likely causing our failure to produce something of value. Agile is about discovery, not prediction.

We’ll also discuss the 8 Maxims I follow that have made success possible for the teams I’ve coached and worked with. I don’t have a lot of answers, but I do have a lot of questions.

Please spread the news

I would appreciate it if you could spread the news, and let a few people know about this.

Meeting Location and info:

Link: http://www.agilesandiego.org/monthly-meeting/

We meet at 6:30pm on the first Thursday of every month at The Linkery in North Park.

All meetings are free and open to all.

The Linkery is a restaurant/bar in North Park that has a meeting room for us in the back. Craft beer is available from the bar during the monthly presentation and you are welcome to join us in enjoying some of their top notch food after the meeting.

The Linkery is in a large purple building on the corner of 30th Street and North Park Way, close to the 805. You should easily find free street parking, but there is also a multi-story parking garage across the street that costs $5.

I hope to see you there

I will try to show up early so we can have more arguing time.

Thanks!

Agile Maxims Presentation at Agile Open SoCal 2012

The Agile Manifesto – Values and Principles are the foundation.

My Maxims are not meant to distract from or replace them.  My Maxims are just another way to for me to frame my thinking.

I spend a lot of time scrutinizing the things I value to make sure I can minimize my blind spots and unknowns, at least the ones that make the most difference. Seems I am usually my own worst enemy.

I share my Maxims so I can get feedback from you and learn where I can improve.  Please be kind.

Agile Open So Cal 2012 at UC Irvine.

Once again I have been able to participate in the Agile Open So Cal at UC Irvine.  Great fun, great people, great sessions, great etc.   Several people had seen me tweet these “Maxims” or heard me talk about them before, and asked me to present them again.  It takes VERY LITTLE URGING to get me to talk about Agile, Lean, Clean Code, or anything programming.  So, I proposed a session –  and here are the notes:

Title: The 8 Agile Maxims of Software Development

Byline: This time it’s personal.  With Woody, it’s always personal.

Here they be (in no particular order – you can mix and match):

 

1- It is in the doing of the work that we discover the work that we must do. Doing exposes reality.

I live this daily.  Thinking about stuff is obviously worthwhile – I don’t discount that. But doing is way more important.

2 – “Responding to Change” is impossible unless code is easy to change, easy to maintain, easy to fix, and easy to enhance.

The “easy qualities” –  I learned them from the greatest programmer I have ever worked with: Fred Zuill, my little brother. Back in the 90’s he used to do a talk on the Qualities of Software that was pithy, meaningful, and wickedly sardonic.  If you ever get a chance to hear him speak, do it.  If you see him please remind him he owes me $18.

3 – Question Everything – put special focus on our deepest held beliefs. What we trust most hides our biggest problems.

I’m pretty good at getting comfortable in my ways.  Gotta work at keeping that from blocking improvement.  When I really believe something, I’m likely to be fooling myself.  Lets keep things uncomfortably wonky.

4 – “Working Software” is software that users are actually using. Until it’s in use it is truly useless.

This is my understanding of how “Working Software” should be thought of (as in the Agile Value of “Working Software over Comprehensive Documentation”).

Let’s not fool ourselves: “Potentially Deliverable” is a lot like “The check is in the mail”.

5 – Stress at work diminishes value. Crunch-time is a symptom of harmful and counter-productive attitudes.

Nuff said?  I hope so.

6 – We are the innovators of our process. Learn what works for others, prove it for our self, innovate beyond.

Just a suggestion: Don’t wait until you are an “expert” to innovate.  Just like Jello, there is always room for innovation.  (You remember those ads for Jello, don’t you?  Dang, you young people really missed out on the best days of television. You remember television, don’t you? Dang… I’m getting old, so it seems)

7 – The object isn’t to make great software, it’s to be in that wonderful state which makes great software inevitable – Robert Henri, paraphrased

This is a paraphrase of the well known quote from Robert Henri.  Just replace “great software” with the word “art” and you get the original (and much more meaningful) quote.  I replay this one over and over in my head all the time.  Wish I was the one who had said it! I was introduced to this quote many years ago by Donald Faast, an amazing show-card writer and sign man. I think he is in Colorado now.  If you see him, just say thanks for me if you would.

8 – The more we work at the work we do, the less capable we become –Repenning/Sterman – Make time for improving capability

Dang.  If you haven’t already read the paper “Nobody Ever Gets Credit for Fixing Problems that Never Happened: Creating and Sustaining Process Improvement” by Repenning and Sterman then please click on it and read that now: http://bit.ly/Qd3NmR – It’s a pdf file.

9 – I reserve the right to add, remove, change, improve. (This one has been added since the session).

I expanded on these greatly during the session, and invited feedback, observations, and discussion.  Unfortunately I was not able to take notes.  Overall, I feel it was well accepted and if it was not, my memory has already painted it much better than it actually was.  Thank you memory!

Remaining Puzzles, Recommendations, Next Steps:

I pointed out that these Maxims will change and grow, and invited the participants to add, remove, change, improve

Also… A BIG thanks to Drew LeSueur – @drewlesueur – from Integrum Tech

Drew has been very encouraging to me, and on his own he quickly put up a site and posted the Agile Maxims: http://agilemaxims.org/ –   Remember, this whole thing is just me thinking out-loud.

 

[NOTE: To make sure people are paying attention, I always purposefully put a hidden typo in my posts… see if you can find it.]