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12th April, An Evening With Retrospectives

posted 27 Mar 2011, 15:09 by Neil McLaughlin   [ updated 10 Apr 2011, 01:26 ]
 6:00-7:00 Lightning Talks, Networking And Pizza
 6:10 Facilitation Basics
 6:20 TDD: Writing The First Test
 6:30 Introduction to Agile (AKA Agile in 5 minutes!)
 6:40 Introducing Retrospectives

7:00-9:00 The Main Event - a participatory mix of talk and exercises
with something for everyone from beginners to experts

9:00-10:00 Withdrawing To "The Victoria Hotel"
10:00 Onwards - After Party

An Invitation
Mark and Robert invite you to an evening on retrospectives. Fresh from
fun at XP Manchester, they promise to host a programme with little bit
of something for everybody. Or your money back! (Easy for a free

Between 6pm and 7pm early birds network and catch a variety of
Lightning Talks including short introductions to agile development,
facilitation and (of course) retrospectives. The main event opens at
7pm and features a participatory mix of talks and exercises, including
a Park Bench forum to share experiences of retrospectives and a
session focussing on "Running Your First Retrospective".

Why Retrospect?
Iterative development methods are powered by a strong, positive
feedback loop. This makes retrospectives an essential tool. Like any
good tool, they can be used in a wide variety of ways - for example to
bond teams, collect knowledge, generate insights or continuously
improve process. But without good technique, these meetings can
produce negative feedback - reinforcing failure and enculturising

But Who Are Mark And Robert?
Mark van Harmelen has worked in a whole slew of different areas in
Computer Science, including, in the dim and distant past, staring down
oscilloscopes and logic analysers looking for lost nanoseconds. Mark
spent several years specialising in user interface and interactive
system design, and, in part based on work at National Panasonic’s
Tokyo Research Centre, produced Object Modelling and User Interface
Design: Designing Interactive Systems together with a bunch of
collaborators.  In 2002 he led the team that formulated the
establishment of the Meraka Institute in South Africa. Mark now runs
Hedtek, a small software house that specialises the production of
social software to support educational processes and other high tech
topics; for example
recently putting 1.3T linked data triples on the web. Mark teaches an
annual software engineering course module in the University of
Manchester’s School of Computer Science, most recently on agile
methods. He has a PhD in
Computer Science.

Robert Burrell Donkin is agile developer by day, open sourceror by
night. Old enough to have experienced DSDM and Extreme Programming
when they were shiny, he remembers well the dark days before test
first. Open source highlights include micro-libraries in the Apache
Commons, community building in the Apache Incubator and email protocol
implementation in Apache James. Had fun helping Mark with last year's
Agile course module. Elected a Member of the Apache Software
Foundation in 2005.

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