Sunday, November 23, 2008

"Deliver IT in the current conditions" and planning the next sessions

Recently did a presentation to a client and I thought I could do a "laptop presentation" on Monday (24 November).

In addition, I'd like to do some brainstorming of topics and volunteers to run them. One of them will be the next Coding Dojo.

Usual place (Moreton's), usual time (18:30ish to 20:30ish)

Dave Thomas (the Smalltalk one) -- 25 November 2008

Just realised that I didn't post anything to the blog.

Dave Thomas, formerly of OTI, now of Object Mentor and various other things will be doing a presentation on the 25th of November as part of promotion for JAOO Australia 2009.

More details at the Upcoming page.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Coding Dojo demonstrating the power of reflect and adjust

Well I think the Coding Dojo last Thursday was quite successful despite some scrambling in the beginning.  Thanks to Matt Ryall for organising things at Atlassian and all the participants for showing up with really only one days notice.

From the discussion at the end, our current plan is to run these monthly so stay tuned...

There seemed to be quite a dramatic improvement after a quick retrospective we held in the middle so here's a shot of the board (also includes additions from the retrospective at the end) (click for larger version):

Works Well
Could be Better
  • Most people didn't know how to use gVim => switched to Dave's Mac + TextMate
  • The coding pair was too quiet so the audience doesn't know what's going on => Added a responsibility to the co-pilot to relay to the audience what's going on
  • Our crowd was mostly Java and .NET types and we didn't have enough familiarity with Ruby syntax, tools, etc.
  • Kept forgetting to switch pairs on time => zsh script + Growl = "Changeover now" audio signal every 5 minutes.
  • Should we try to control the input of the crowd?  As it was, there were periods of chaos, multiple discussions, and then focus, and then back.  On reflection, I think we liked that.
Things to Try For Next Time
  • Defnitely use some kind of timed audio signal for changeovers.  When I first tried this internally at ThoughtWorks we just used someone's phone.  The Growl setup was cooler but the important thing I think is that it's automated and aural.
  • The coding pair has to bring the audience along.  Co-pilot vocalising what's happening is one way to do that.
  • Setup the tools before hand.  So a dummy test that just asserts false or something.
  • Use a language environment enough people know at least moderately well.  Suggests that we should poll the attendees before the dojo session.
  • Multiple simultaneous sessions.  Versus style.  This could be alternative languages solving the same problem or an actual versus problem like RRobots or Robocode.
  • A warm-up kata for beginners.  Our crowd, although not the best Rubyists was actually quite experienced with TDD and pairing concepts.  From that perspective, it would be difficult for someone new to those concepts to follow what we were doing.  I'm thinking we could start with a warm-up kata and then transition to a second "full speed" session.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

18 Sept - Coding Dojo at Atlassian

We're meeting up this Thursday at Atlassian to try a Coding Dojo, randori-style. We'll be attempting Madlibs from Ruby Quiz, using Ruby, pair rotation every 5 minutes. Of course, if people are interested in a different approach, problem, or language, we'll adjust on the fly

173-185 Sussex St, Sydney 2001, 18:00 to 20:30 ish.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Monday 14th of July at Moreton's

Last night we decided to head back to Moreton's Hotel, a SyXPAC "classic" venue for the next meeting on the 14th.

Moreton's is on Sussex St but you can come around the back way down from Wynyard on Margret St.

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See you there next Monday!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

June 16 meeting: Everything you know about Agile is probably wrong

Next meeting is the start of a new series of regular, more formal events. This first one will be held at Atlassian 173-185 Sussex St, Sydney 2001, 18:00 to 20:30 ish.

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Frank Huang will be doing a presentation on why "Everything you know about Agile is probably wrong".

Since Simon Stewart is in town, he may also be able to do a quick talk on the cutting edge of WebDriver...

Otherwise, we'll just end with general discussion.

Monday, May 19, 2008

26 May - Bar 333 second floor

Bar 333 looks promising so we're planning to try it again next Monday but this time on the second floor which should be a bit quieter.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

19 May - Trying Bar 333

The Royal George didn't really work for seating or noise levels... though the food was alright.

This time, we'll meet at Bar 333.

Same time as usual... 18:30 until whenever.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

12 May - Trying The Royal George - continue discussion on our future

From the last couple meetings, our new plan is to use more office-like spaces for presentations that we'll target for once a month and the pub spaces for other weeks. This means that we don't need a projector for the pub spaces, so we'll be looking at new places in the next while.

As a first experiment, we're going to try The Royal George (320 George St). Hopefully, they have food on Mondays... otherwise, we'll cut out sooner to forage...

The discussion is a continuation of planning for our strategic shift in approach... as well as any miscellaneous thoughts that pop in our heads.

Please come with ideas for what kind of topics or events you'd want to see at SyXPAC.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

21 April Meeting: Share best stories about Informative Workspace

A session where we share our best stories about Informative Workspace, find the shared properties, analyse the root causes of those successes, and come up with a plan for how to make
those situations happen more often.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Discount for Syxpac memebers for JAOO

Members of the Sydney XP Activities Club are eligible for a discount to the excellent JAOO conference. Sign up today!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Next meeting 14 April: JAOO preview

Posted to our mailing list:
As you know, the JAOO conference is coming to Brisbane and Sydney this year. Carsten Bruun from Trifork will be visiting with a contingent of JAOO movers and shakers.

They'd like to pop in on Monday and talk to you about what is probably the best technical conference in the world, and to hear from you the things you feel are important.

In terms of Agile grunt, we've got Bedarra Research Labs, Object Consulting, and ThoughtWorks sponsoring - with speakers like Martin Fowler, Uncle Bob Martin, Martine Devos, Rebecca Wirfs-Brock, Mike Feathers, and Big Dave Thomas.

Along with the other great speakers in a variety of current topics, you are going to be BLOWN AWAY.

So, come along on Monday and get a glimpse of what the fuss is about.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New blog

Send me a note if you would like to be added as an author of our new blog.