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With the demise of Terry's of York one could be led to believe that the confectionary industry has left our region for ever. Not so. Where Terry's have faltered innovation has thrived. Don't miss this months tale of new enterprise, technology and triumph over adversity.
Dom Hodgson: An Agile Sweet Shop?…
Last year Dom Hodgson started a sweetshop with a friend after a conversation in a pub. Dom will take you through what a stupid idea this was initially and what has happened since.
plus filling the June support slot...
Learn Software Development in 8 weeks with Andy Stewart.
An experience report describing how an agile project was delivered by a small team in 8 weeks. Half of the team were Quantitative Analysts who had little or no prior experience of the development process or language and were tasked with implementing their models directly in Java. The talk will concentrate on the techniques used to help deliver the project successfully ahead of schedule.
About the speakers
Dom Hodgson has been breaking things on the internet for a few years, his background is in Search, Startups and events, he is the organiser of LeedsHack and has competed in over 30 hackdays around the world. You can follow his activities on twitter @TheHodge or checkout the current focus of his attention at clicknmix.co.uk Andy Stewart has worked in IT since 2000 and currently runs an independent consultancy based in Leeds. He has spent the majority of the last 5 years delivering high volume and performance messaging systems for a variety of sectors. Andy is a keen advocate of development techniques that allow teams to remain agile and responsive such as TDD and CI. Andy can be found twittering @andystewart79 and runs his website at www.bssd.co.uk
If you work within public sector IT or are just a mere tax payer you should have an interest in Brian Werham, our main speaker for May, who will share extracts and experience from his recently published book: "Agile Project Management for Government: Leadership skills for implementation of large-scale public sector projects in months, not years". It's received five star Amazon reviews and I'm confident Brian will too. He may even play his ukulele!
Brian Wernham on How the FBI saved the $500m Sentinel project using agile project management.
Brian will explore the business aspects of the 'Agile' approach – and how its advantages can be explained to and senior leadership through a story. A case study that resembles a scientific experiment where, after, two failed 'Waterfall' projects, an 'Agile' approach succeeded. In half the time and at half the cost. It is a compelling tale of how 'Agile' leadership can deliver. It is the story of 'Agile' success at the FBI….
Kev McCabe on Mikado Method - Making Code Changes Less of an Impact.
The Mikado Method is a simple straightforward methodology for large scale refactoring. We've all been there; tasked with a change, which as optimistic developers we say won’t take us long, weeks later we’re still fighting the system. Enter the Mikado Method, a way to peel the layers of complexity away from any system. Systematically attack refactoring, in the knowledge that every change you make will be for the better of the system, rather than hoping it will be. When it comes to refactoring legacy systems, sometimes it faster just to get in there and naively attempt to make the change required rather than speed weeks analysing the affects. Naively making the change will always have knock on affects to other parts of the system. It is these knock on affects that cause what we believe to be quick changes to become large, long drawn out changes. With the Mikado Method, your system will always be runnable while you refactor, say goodbye to the feature branches of refactoring, and hello to a runnable testable system all the time.
About the Speakers
Brian Wernham has more than 30 years' experience in adaptive project leadership. He is an independent consultant and works in both the public sector and the private sector. He has extensive international experience, having worked in the USA, UK, Canada, Hong Kong, Germany and on offshore development in Bangalore. Brian’s first book, Agile Project Management for Government was recently published by Maitland and Strong.
By the time that the term 'agile' was first coined, Brian had already been successfully leading iterative, adaptive projects for over 10 years on both sides of the Atlantic. He works as a hands-on program manager and has real-world implementation expertise together with a comprehensive understanding of the related international research. He has consulted for major strategic international organizations such as Gartner Group, the National Audit Office in London and Seer Technologies in North Carolina. His comprehensive public sector experience includes the Department for International Development, the World Bank, the United Nations (Geneva), and local government authorities.
Brian is a Fellow of the Association for Project Management, a Fellow of the BCS and has a MBA from Henley Management College. He applies adaptive planning approaches as an offshore Yachtmaster and as a keen off-piste skier. He is currently consulting for the UK Government in London.
You can read Brian's thoughts on his blog or flow him on twitter at: @BrianUkulele
Kev has worked with large corporations in the Finance, Media and E-commerce spaces. He’s currently the Technical Lead for General Electric,He has had an Interest in all things Agile since 2002, mainly XP, but of late Scrum & Kanban having become a Certified Scrum Master in 2012. Outside of the office, you can find Kev either propping a bar up or watching Rugby (London Irish Mainly).
Ryan Haney and the Hitchiker's Guide to UX
User Experience is now one of the fastest growing segments in software and web development, but what does that mean for you if you're a developer and why all the fuss? This interactive session will help you better understand Design and User Experience and will give you some easy skills to help you practice on your own. It will also help you to get more out of the working relationship between engineers and designers to ultimately help you to create better products. If you've ever really wondered what UX is all about or want a deeper understanding of how it's done, skills to learn or are thinking about moving in to User Experience from development this will be perfect for you.
Phil Rice on Lean Startups
Agile software development is a powerful tool for developing software that meets the customer's wants (not needs!). It doesn't help define what those want's should be. For an startup this is particularly challenging as very often the customers don't exist, or cannot express their desires.
Lean Startup is a way of applying agile principles to new Startups and Innovative products. This talk shows how these principles can be applied to the whole company not just the Sofwtware Development Team
Ryan is a User Experience Specialist, facilitator and teacher. As a life-long generalist, he's come to see the positive side of being a creative generalist and is now the @happygeneralist. He's passionate about manipulating knowledge to solve challenging problems and using visual tools to enable people to collaborate. Previous talks he's given include a series of talks on Innovation games and collaboration based on his creation of Collab Lab have been well recieved at various conferences and rated the top workshop at Agile Cambridge and UX Cambridge.
Phil has worked in software development since 1987. His career started in the Nuclear Industry, putting robots that inspect and repair Nuclear Power stations. Waving a 6 foot long jet of plasma inside a reactor is a good way of encouraging a focus on requirements and testing.
Phil has been using Agile development methodologies since 1999. For 10 years he has lead a startup which grew from 2 people to 70 at its peak. The startup he is currently working for is working on a combination of crowd sourcing, social networking and skills management.
From the speaker: "During the last 12 months we have seen a rapid rise in the discussionof “proper” object-oriented approaches to designing Ruby and/or Railsapplications. One sound-bite that comes up frequently goes somethinglike “You need to change your code to Tell, Don’t Ask”. What does thatmean in practice? This session seeks to examine one aspect of this bigtopic, looking at how to use publish-subscribe techniques to de-coupleresponsibilities. The session will be full of code and full of debate:I don’t think there is “one best way” and so I would like to explorethe pros and cons of various options with the session participants."
Dr Kevin Rutherford is author of the vastly under-rated Reek codesmell detector, and the vastly over-rated book ‘Refactoring in Ruby’.If you have ever used Unix System V or transferred money between bankaccounts, you’ve unwittingly used his code. He was using vi before youwere born.
Transitioning a QA team to Agile testing
An experience report from Clement Pickering, Callcredit, a fast-growing company based in Leeds which now follows (or attempts to follow) agile development methodology. The talk aims to share experiences gained on the journey from a traditional focussed QA team (and what this meant!) to an agile testing approach (and what this means!). Approached from three key angles, People and Mindset, Strategy and Approach and Tools and Techniques the talks goal is to share thoughts, observations and knowledge with attendees and initiate discussion on others experience
Clement Pickering has been with the Callcredit group for over 13 years leading Development teams in creating a wide range of products for the financial services industry. He has long been an advocate of agile development practices and the philosophy that underpins agile as he passionately believes it helps teams deliver more effectively. He has been involved for many years in helping Callcredit adopt agile practices and in his current role has most recently focussed on helping the QA community and project teams within Callcredit get to grips with agile testing.
Developer adventures in the clouds
Neil McLaughlin is a freelance developer/coach/scrum master who enjoys building stuff and helping teams to enjoy building stuff.
Hope you all had a fantastic New Year and the shock of getting back to work has not left you too shaken.
The January meetup next Tuesday (8th Jan) has traditionally been as the AGM and an opportunity to take stock and prepare for the oncoming years events. There is no intention of breaking with that. If you have ideas or would like to help with the running of the group please feel free to come along.
If you can't make it but still have ideas please feel free to the mailing list or send an email to email@example.com and we'll raise the point for you.
If you intend on coming just show up at the Round Foundry at 18:00 for an 18:30 start. The plan is to take care of business first and go for something to eat afterwards.
This is a preliminary posting - keep watching this space for updates.
Lightning topics will be drawn from:
- Radar Love - Assessing agile adoption.
- Something about Continuous Integration
- Something about Agile Interviewing
- Difficult Conversations: What is a difficult conversation? We all have conversations that we dread and find unpleasant. But can we develop the skills to make such situations less stressful and more productive? (Neil McLaughlin)
- Ady’s top time tips - Time Management (Ady Stokes)
- Refactoring using the Mikado Method
- PowerShell 101 - Introduction to PowerShell
- Something about Agile testing
- Burn it up! - Burnup charts, and how to use them
- Multi-team setups and what multiple kanban boards can (fail to) reveal (Ash Moran)
Afterwards we will adjourn to the German Market for beer and bratwurst.
Agile project management methodologies and Agile project management books give the impression that if you follow their recommendations and implement their practices your projects will be on-time and to budget. However, my own experience is that most projects, even if they are good examples of Agile project management practice, are still perceived by most of the people involved, and especially by customers and stakeholders, to be late and over budget.
Why should this be? Why does being late and over-budget feel so bad? What can we as developers, project managers and even customers do to make the situation better? Is this talk I examine the powerful reasons why most projects are perceived to be late and over-budget and suggest, possibly controversially, that this is probably going to be the default state for most software projects for a long time to come. I then go on to suggest some strategies for continuing to deliver value to customers on late and over-budget projects whilst at the same time easing the stresses and pressures on developers and project managers and allowing them to feel they are doing a good job.
Please note that for this month we are not at our usual location. We will be meeting at Leeds Met University City Campus, Rosebowl 538 Lecture Theatre D.
Innovation games work and are a great addition to your Agile tool-kit. They save time, help to build better products, can help difficult teams to collaborate and generally are more fun. But introducing these games to an unreceptive or even receptive organisation can be a challenge. Knowing which games to use and when to use them, getting stakeholder and team member buy-in, and bringing games out of product definition workshops and in to everyday/weekly meetings can feel like an uphill battle.In this collaborative session we'll explore ways to overcome these hurdles. We'll look at strategies to get comfortable with playing games as well as ways to get your entire organisation to embrace them.
Who should attend
Those who have never played innovation games, those who have had some experience with innovation games but have had difficulties in starting or introducing them to their working teams.
Benefits of participating
Increased knowledge of the problems these types of games solve, evidence they work and sound strategies to help bring them to their workplace.
Ryan Haney, A User Experience Specialist and facilitator at Red-Gate software where he leads Collab Lab, an experimental facilitation group.
Head of Gibraltar Labs. Microsoft MVP in C#. Node.js and Python hacker. Podcaster, speaker and social network wrangler (http://twitter.com/garyshort/
How to Eat an Elephant
Or, how to architect a codebase wide refactoring project. In this advanced refactoring session, we’ll look at such things as functional decomposition, code criticality, the correctness continuum, sub-tree refactoring index and prioritisation. All these terms will be defined, explained and demonstrated, so that by the end of this presentation you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to architect such a refactoring project… or eat an elephant, whichever you prefer.