Monday, 25 May 2009

Lean with lego

I'm at XP2009 this week, the sun is shining, the sea is blue and the italians are disorganized. I'm having a great time so far. This morning I was at a workshop led by Danilo Sato and Francisco Trindade - 'The lego lean game'. The idea was that we should learn about lean principles by playing with lego. I thought it was good fun, and we did learn quite a bit about pull, kanban and continuous improvement. I hope I will be able to run this simulation for some of my colleagues, I think it is a good practical way of learning using all the senses, not just reading books or listening to presentations. Much more kinesthetic.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

caffeine, the science and the propaganda

I usually follow the news in the agile world on infoq, and I like the feature whereby you can listen to selected conference presentations online. This week I was making some biscuits one evening, so I took the chance to listen to Linda Rising talking about "agility: possibilities at a personal level". I have to say I was rather disappointed. I think her material was not that relevant to agile in the first place, many of her claims lacked credibility, and although the talk was superficially entertaining, it did not supply useful insights or conclusions. This provoked me into leaving a comment on the infoq site. I wonder if anyone will notice.

Monday, 11 May 2009


I'm looking forward to Europython in Birmingham at the end of June. Geoff and I are going to be rather busy at it. They've just published the programme, and between us we are holding 5 sessions. I'm running a "coder's dojo", a "clean code challenge", and Geoff and I are doing a tutorial on texttest together. Geoff is also giving talks about texttest and pyUseCase.

The coder's dojo session is a copy of the original XP2005 workshop by Laurent Bossavit and Emmanual Gaillot, only in python with different Katas. The structure is the same though - introduction, prepared Kata, randori, retrospective. I thought it worked really well in 2005, so why change a winning format?

The clean code challenge is an idea I came up with. I've written on this blog before about KataArgs, and my dodgy python translation of Bob Martin's code. I'm interested to know what the python community will make of it. I'm basically planning to throw this code out to anyone who turns up, and ask them to refactor it into better python. I'm of course hoping they will produce some innovative, beautifully pythonic solutions, and show me what clean code looks like in python.

The tutorial on texttest is essentially similar to the one Geoff and I did at Europython in 2005. It's longer though, a half day, and builds on all the experience we have had since, doing tutorials at XP2006 and agile2008 for example.

All in all, I hope we'll have some time and energy left to go to the other items in the programme. It looks like being a busy conference.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

TDD performer artists announced

As I wrote in a previous post, I am organising a workshop at XP2009 called "Test Driven Development: Performing Art". I am very pleased to announce that I have four pairs of expert programmers willing to perform prepared Katas at it! You can read about it here. I am especially pleased that all the performers are experienced coders with previous involvement in coding dojos in places such as Stockholm, Linköping, London, São Paulo and Helsinki. I think we're going to have a great afternoon on 27th May.