Saturday, June 14, 2008: Xebia India organized an Agile Awareness Workshop that aimed at helping people very new to the Agile world of software development to understand the concept, appreciate the difference and know the jargon.
Keeping up with the Xebia tradition, we sent out an informal invite.
Despite the schedule conflicting with India-Pak cricket finals, we had a good turn out and an excited audience.
I really liked the level of attention of the participants and the intelligent questions asked by them.
Here's a short sum-up of how it went:
Sumit Gupta from RBS set the stage and had the audience excited with an interesting introduction to "Why Agile?"
Deepak Mittal from IntelliGrape followed up with a striking insight into the Scrum
Flavor of Agile, nicely using Slide Share for the purpose (now that slide-share has got a few millions as funding, may be its high time to start exploring it as an alternative to the omnipresent ppt's). This was more from a project management perspective since scrum talks at that level.
By the time he finished, people were already "hungry" for more - so we decided to take care of their "hunger" and break for snacks
I was surprised to see that audience were already in the mode of "self organizing" things, and it did not take much on my part to have them back at the conference room well in time, all set for next session.
Vikas Hazrati from Impetus took it from there on. With nice slides sharing his knowledge on "XP", he ensured that the momentum went on. Using some very nice color coordinated slides (despite the fact that I had messed them a bit while switching the platform) with kool pics explaining pair programming and related concepts.
XP is where we get down to the details and get our hands dirty with real stuff (unlike Scrum, it talks about implementation level details like "tasks", "pair programming" et al). Audience seemed to be liking it. He concluded with some food for thought for attendees who discussed the "co-existence of Scrum and XP". He pointed out something really significant: "Agile needs a change in mindset much more than a change in process"
This was followed by a highly energetic run of the "XP game" conducted by Ganesh and myself from Xebia. People were seen rushing, jumping from seats, trying to win, and best of all understanding the whole process by critically analyzing each step they were going through.
The user stories were carefully chosen to ensure a lot of impediments, dependencies and potential traps. That led to rich and lively retrospective sessions.
We then casually discussed the jargon picked up in the day: "chicken-n-pig", "stand ups - One was enacted right there" et al.
The day was concluded with a case study presented by me, towards the end of which the audience were left with a discussion on "Is Agile really revolutionary or just the next evolutionary step towards software development?"
The Follow up:
We plan to keep the momentum going, by following this up with:
1. Certified Scrum Master Training by Pete Deemer: June 25, 26
2. Agile Toolkit - June 27, 28
3. Seminar with The Poppendiecks (Organized by ASCII, sponsored by Xebia) - July 06.
Presenting "token of thanks" to the speakers
Filed under: Agile