Reflections on Agile 2008

Agile 2008 was an interesting experience for me. It was the first time that I went to a conference and felt like I knew a large portion of the participants. I am not sure what this means but I had fun meeting up with friends and acquaintances.

Bas Vodde, a Certified Scrum Trainer from Singapore, had mentioned an automated acceptance test framework being developed at Nokia Siemens Networks called Robot during a course we taught together in Los Angeles, CA. He told me this framework would be made available soon as an open source project. I kept my eyes open and not very long after our March 2008 course it was available here. Bas introduced me to Pekka Laukkanen, creator of the Robot framework, and it was a pleasure discussing his vision of where the framework is going in the future. I am testing the tool out for potential use in our organization along with StoryTestIQ, an open source tool put together at SolutionsIQ.

A colleague of mine use the phrase “Pesticide Paradox” to support his point about automating tests. Mickey is a dynamic speaker, great developer, and all around nice guy who presented twice at Agile 2008 on “Narrative Testing: Tools for Story-Test-Driven Development” and “Domain-Specific Testing Languages”.

I presented on “Architecture in an Agile Organization” and a few folks showed up to participate. I thoroughly enjoy discussing architecture and decision-making surrounding it in an agile context. After putting so much emphasis on big design up front (BDUF) it is difficult to understand how we can make incremental steps from an architecture perspective. Also, the Agile Manifesto has a principle:

The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.

This can be problematic if we do not trust in a team’s capability to make architecture and design decisions. My hope is to give some tools that organizations and teams can use to build this trust.

I did not attend many sessions at Agile 2008. I am not quite sure why this is but I found myself in good conversations and getting involved in the right topics for me. If you have an opportunity to attend Agile 2009 I highly recommend it.

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One thought on “Reflections on Agile 2008”

  1. Hi Chris,

    found your blog pretty much accidentally and noticed my name here. Was really nice meeting you at Agile 2008. I too can recommend the conference for anyone interested in Agile. Have you had time to try out Robot Framework? Would be nice to hear some feedback.


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