Taming Monoliths the Microservices Way plus Agile Consultancy Engagement

posted 19 May 2015, 02:28 by Neil McLaughlin   [ updated 19 May 2015, 02:52 ]

At our March meet up the main speaker, Kiran Singh, enthusiastically delivered a presentation on Microservices: Conquering Monoliths which, in the words of one of our attendees, “sold the topic to a sceptic”. Drawing from his own experiences in breaking down an unruly monolith of legacy code into a number of small, responsive, HTTP services using the principle of bounded contexts and domain driven design. The aim of this was to make components of the software independently releasable using the model espoused by successful companies such as Netflix and Spotify. Kiran pointed out many of the tangential benefits of moving to a microservices architecture not least the ability to get new developers productive much more quickly in a given service where the code can be simpler and cleaner. Kiran stressed that this is not just a technical problem, it requires buy in from all levels of the team and a truly agile culture to support it. The slides for this talk are available here.

The support speaker for the evening was James Salt who gave an interesting take on Team Based Iterative Consulting which aimed to address the mismatch between a typical consultancy engagement model and agile. After outlining the problems with a typical engagement (for example named ‘resources’, difficulty in measuring consultancy deliverables and scope creep for time & materials engagements) James proposed a set of principles for agile consultancy namely “Priority over Process, Throughput over Headcount, Responsiveness over Headcount and Client Collaboration over Contract Negotiation”. With these he suggests that it is possible to move an engagement model based more on feedback loops than up front estimation of scope and effort. As one member of the audience observed it was “”an interesting view on working iteratively with customers” and seemed to strike a chord with many in the audience. The slides for this presentation are available here

Our thanks go out to all the helpers on the evening and to our sponsors for making it possible for Agile Yorkshire to happen.

Photo credit: @Ciwan1859

#BeyondProjects - Project Management gives way to Investment Themes and Beyond

posted 5 Mar 2015, 14:22 by Royd Brayshay   [ updated 5 Mar 2015, 15:14 by Neil McLaughlin ]

Allan Kelly at Agile Yorkshire
The February meet up was organised as an evening themed by the #BeyondProjects hash tag with Allan Kelly who has championed the Twitter conversation and Paul McCormick, the SkyBet head of technology, who came to explain how their projects are being replaced by investment themes as a way to control and allocate their product development spend.

Many months ago Allan Kelly started his twitter campaign using the #NoProjects hash tag but was persuaded to switch to #BeyondProjects as something slightly less absolute as well as following in the footsteps of the #BeyondBudgeting movement. Alan himself is every bit as passionate about the need for absolute change however, and this came accross in both his reasoning and animated presentation. Being able to look past project metrics or agile dogma and focus on what it is that has commercial advantage brought Allan's focus onto delivered value. In a 2008 Capers Jones study quoted by Allan, they had observed business change at a rate of 2% per month and his assertion was that product development must be successful within this context. The call to action was to stop the goal displacement of chasing deadlines and instead focus on outcomes. With a culture of failing fast and cheaply, plus an institutionalised learning cycle, risks may be reduced and mitigated implicitly.
Another strand to the Allan's pitch was that of big projects equal big batches of work. The savings associated with smaller batch sizes are well documented within the agile community and increases in risk, rework and work in process were all cited as diseconomies of scale. Allan's final rallying call was to move beyond projects as accounting codes and instead look to the venture capital companies and their models of incremental investment. This turned out to be the approach broadly being followed by the IT organisation our other speaker for the evening represented - SkyBet.

Paul McCormick at Agile Yorkshire
Paul McComick referred repeatedly to the SkyBet way and how, inspired by Spotify's recently published organisation model, they have been transforming their delivery into something capable of processing ninety functional changes a week and a mean time to market measured in days not months or even weeks.
These changes haven’t happened overnight but Paul explain that by starting small with a single squad and using simple data collection techniques like recording lead and cycle times on physical story cards and using spreadsheets to do the analysis they have increased throughput significantly.
Traditional time reporting of people has given way to collecting data on actual work items and their flow efficiency characteristics including things like percentage of time work flows backwards. The squads are grouped into a tribe which works on an ongoing investment theme rather than a sequence of projects. An investment theme receives staged investment based on commercial performance and each tribe also runs its own profit and loss reporting with an embedded responsible finance person. All these tactics are designed to continuously answer three questions: are the right things being built, are they being built right and are they being built fast enough.
Of course all this can only be achieved in an organisation culturally able to absorb significant qualities of ongoing change and it should therefore be no surprise that there are plenty more changes and experiments planned for the future.

The Agile Yorkshire feedback forms often contain praise for the speakers who present at our monthly meet ups. We should all be thankful for their time and preparation as this is what makes the evenings such a learning experience. Occasionally a topic or speaker seems to really resonate with the community and judging by the reaction both of these things seemed true of our #BeyondProjects evening. Rarely have our feedback forms contained the word “excellent” so many times.

Finally thanks also to all our volunteer team who make the event happen and to main sponsors PikselCallcredit and NewRedo and to our prize sponsors O'ReillyJetBRAINS,ManningWrox and PluralSight.

See you next month,

Spine-Tingling Success plus Event Presenter Polish

posted 1 Feb 2015, 02:21 by Royd Brayshay   [ updated 2 Feb 2015, 06:12 by Neil McLaughlin ]

Martin Sumner talks about NHS Spine at Agile Yorkshire
The first talk of this month's meetup was a presentation about presentation skills, presented by Ivor Tymchak. Ivor's key message was that in giving a talk, one is "trying to change the audience's mind", just as he was trying to change our minds with regard to presentation skills in his own talk that evening.

By presenting in person, be it a technical talk, business pitch or even just a day-to-day conversation, the speaker is able to respond to the feedback of their audience and really judge whether that audience is understanding the information that is being delivered. The audience is the real focus of the presentation, Ivor reminded us, and as a speaker one must build a bridge from the audience's current understanding of the topic in hand to whatever point it is one is trying to teach.

Ivor made great efforts to impress upon us the importance of making sure all aspects of a presentation add value. Slides, for example, should be treated like a billboard. You wouldn't put something useless on a billboard that you were paying a lot of money for, so why would you distract your audience with superfluous information on a slide? Also on the topic of slides, Ivor pointed out that for anyone to whom design does not come naturally there are resources aplenty for coherent colour schemes, tasteful fonts and free-to-use, high resolution images to be found online.

Ivor Tymchak talks presentation polish at Agile Yorkshire
Confidence in speaking will only really come to most of us with lots of practice, and as a final piece of useful advice, Ivor reminded us to always have a backup: "If the projector goes down, would you still be able to give that presentation?".

The main talk of the evening was given by Martin Sumner, technical lead of the Spine II programme at the NHS. Spine is the name given to a set of services for providing clinical and non-clinical data in the NHS, including prescriptions, details of adverse reactions to medications, patient addresses and personal information. Martin reckons the system deals with something in the region of thirty million messages a day.

The Spine I project (presumably then just known as 'Spine') involved about two thousand people, over one billion pounds, and took over eight years to (sort of) complete. Several years down the line from Spine I's 'completion', and plans for replacing that system -- a system Martin had been involved in developing -- were under way. Martin was worried to see signs that the organisation of the project seemed to be going the same way as the first version of the system, with lots of upfront planning based on specifications that were certain to change and large portions of the project being earmarked for outsourcing at great expense.

Attentive Agile Yorkshire crowd
Martin and a colleague started on a small proof of concept with the aim of showing that a small team could achieve the results needed to improve and extend the system. They were successful, and also managed to show that, as Martin had suspected, the project specification was severely lacking and they needed a way of working to allow for the gradual development of those specifications...something more 'agile'?

The project took a couple of years to complete, and so far seems to be fulfilling its goals of providing a highly available, efficient and reliable set of data services. It is estimated that the new Spine has time savings of seven or eight hundred working days per DAY over the old system! A pretty incredible figure. "Was the project agile?", pondered Martin. In some respects, yes: they managed to have a good amount of automated test coverage, continuous integration and test environments which were a close analogue to the Live ones, all of which allowed for agile reactions to changing requirements and for the work to be completed incrementally. The release itself, however, could not really be done incrementally, due to its being an 'all or nothing' affair, involving hefty, tightly coordinated data migrations, which took a up a lot of the development effort.

Looking back over both iterations of Spine, Martin has seen most success when the teams he has worked in were really engaged in the project, and also that the development process doesn't have to be fixed -- people over process!

Workshop Notice: If you'd like to improve or develop your speaking skills Agile Yorkshire is running a workshop with Ivor Tymchak very soon and if you step forward to speak at a future Agile Yorkshire meetup it's almost FREE.

Finally thanks also to all our volunteer team who make the event happen and to main sponsors iSource ITPikselCallcredit and NewRedo and to our prize sponsors O'ReillyJetBRAINS,ManningWrox and PluralSight.

See you next month,

Amazing Evening of Festive Lightning Talks

posted 19 Dec 2014, 03:04 by Royd Brayshay   [ updated 19 Dec 2014, 03:35 ]

At Agile Yorkshire in December,
Were Lightning Talks and I remember,
Talks of ten minutes, sometimes less,
My thoughts on which I'll now express.

Grant Crofton, of the Leeds Code Dojo
Keen to flex his coding mojo,
Showed that he was not undone,
In finding schools fit for his son.

In Ioanna Touflexi's driving lessons,
She tired of hearing odd expressions,
So learnt the things a car can do,
And shared them, with neat videos, too.

Jon Fulton, an experienced Scrum Master,
Had tips to keep us from disaster.
He's customized his working style,
In ways that he has found worthwhile.

Paul Henshaw joined us from Immedia,
With tales where Scrum-Ban made work speedier.
He always finishes what he starts,
By cutting out the useless parts.

If project time is running short,
Code structure should be your first thought.
Joe Simmonds loves a unit test,
And fixing code when time is best.

C# tools from Microsoft,
May seem to have a painful cost.
Matt McLoughlin's Omnisharp,
Might be a better place to start.

Matt Russell's "Test Reporty Thing",
Wants to take the vicious sting,
From flaky tests which obfuscate,
Your software's verifiable state.

Why keep your rules in two locations,
And risk conflicting validations?
With only one truth to maintain,
Tim Brown thinks you might save some pain.

And finally onto last year's winner,
Ivor Tymchak's no beginner.
Last year he won a Kindle Fire,
This time he warned us off desire.

We voted using lego bricks,
Building pillars for our top picks.
It was then judged whose tower was higher,
First came Grant, then Ioanna and Ivor.

Amazing festive thanks to Eleanor for her fantastic poem above (much better than my dull write up last year) and apologies for any browser rendering issues. It's not easy to get a poem and and a dozen photos looking sensible with the stupid Google WISYWIG editor. Congratulations to the Grant Crofton, the overall winner, Ioanna-Kyriaki Toufexi second and Ivor Tymchak third, plus all the other speakers who made such a fantastic night.

Finally thanks also to all our volunteer team who make the event happen and to main sponsors iSource ITPikselCallcredit and NewRedo and to our prize sponsors O'ReillyJetBRAINS,ManningWrox and PluralSight.

See you next year,

Motivation and Craftsmanship

posted 2 Dec 2014, 14:56 by Neil McLaughlin   [ updated 8 Dec 2014, 15:30 by Royd Brayshay ]

Neil McLaunghlin at Agile Yorkshire
"What motivates you to get out of bed and leave for work in the morning?" asked Agile Yorkshire stalwart Neil McLaughlin at this November's meet-up. We agreed we'd all like our work to be challenging, fun and ...lucrative, but even with all of these things, how does one stay motivated?

It might seem that our desire to enjoy work would be at odds with the running of an efficient business, but Neil reminded us that even Frederick Taylor's carrot and stick approach to getting the most out of his workforce recognised that having breaks from work improved the overall throughput of his operation. As Neil told us, while the carrot and stick of yesteryear may have been superseded by butternut squash and lightsaber, it remains of benefit to businesses to find ways to keep its workforce motivated.

As a salient example of the will of the people with their hobbies and aspirations for autonomy, mastery and purpose triumphing in the face of big business with a 'too big to fail' mentality, Neil brought up the success of Wikipedia in the world of digital encyclopaedias. For many, Encarta pre-dated their experience with the internet. How could Wikipedia, with its articles written by volunteers and lack of marketing ever compete with Encarta? But it did, and open-source projects continue to win out against traditional business models over and over again.

Continuing on the theme of self-reflection, Kev McCabe joined us to speak on the theme of Software Craftsmanship, a topic in which he is particularly inspired by Sandro Mancuso. It's not like people wake up each morning thinking "today, I'm going to do a bad job", reckons Kev, but as pressure to speed up software delivery increases, he has observed that the standard of software delivered often slips. It makes sense that as code quality decreases, it takes longer to develop new features, as developers are no longer working with a system that has been designed with extensibility in mind.

Kev McCabe at Agile YorkshireThe Agile Manifesto calls for 'working software' -- but what qualifies as 'working'?, Kev asks. Why should someone feel they have to say "I've done it and it's working"? Should these two facts not be synonymous? and where did the phrase 'Technical Debt Backlog' come from? Whilst such a thing is blithely accepted, it feels like working software and mastery of the craft of writing software are becoming increasingly difficult to attain.

It can be challenging to improve at our craft when we're not expected to practise in work time, Kev admits. He advocates an approach of learning in small chunks, but often; stopping to ask questions; voicing your frustrations and not being miserable and negative -- you can always leave! Show everyone around you that you're happy and it should benefit everyone on your team.

Kev personally advocates following XP practices. He also advised that when dividing up tasks amongst a team of developers, one should allocate work to people with the fewest skills first in order to avoid a situation where some of members of the team are left with nothing they can work on. We also learnt that some of his top coding gripes are poor naming choices and the lack of deletion of stale code!

As a parting thought, Kev left us with this: Software Craftmanship and Agile in isolation will fail, we need both to succeed.

The evening ended with the monthly prize draw and drinks in the Midnight Bell. Thanks to all our volunteer team who make the event happen and finally thanks to main sponsors iSource IT, Piksel, Callcredit and NewRedo and to our prize sponsors O'Reilly, JetBRAINS, Manning, Wrox and PluralSight.

Write up: Eleanor Chambers

Call for 9th December 2014 Lightning Talks

posted 12 Nov 2014, 00:19 by Neil McLaughlin   [ updated 30 Nov 2014, 11:31 by Royd Brayshay ]

Its an Agile Yorkshire  Xmas tradition to look within our members for the December meetup content and stage an evening of fun and Lightning Talks


Even if you only have the vaguest of ideas, now is the time to start your career as a speaker. If you're not sure what you’re letting your self in for this may help. A ten minute Lightning Talk for Agile Yorkshire's December 2014 meetup should:
  • Probably have a maximum of four slides (maybe none).
  • Be on a topic you already know quite well.
  • Be interesting to our audience but could be about pretty much anything.
  • Be possible to completely script (if that’s your style).
  • Not be a second more than ten minutes.
  • Win you a SIGNIFICANT prize on the night if you put your mind to it.
Even if all you have is the vaguest idea, sign up now and we'll help you bring it to life. If you have multiple ideas and aren't sure which to use, that's fine we'll help you pick the right one.

Just a flavour of some of the topics submitted so far:
  • Omnisharp, developing .NET code without Visual Studio
  • Finding a School - Code vs MumsNet
  • Build an Interpreter in 24 Hours!
  • How cars work
  • 10 simple ways to help your team run like clockwork 
  • How To Write Bad Code
  • Agile and Knowledge Management: A match made in heaven, or hell on earth?
  • Success in business is short-sighted
  • ScrumBan vs Sprint

Also did we mention there will be significant speaker prizes on the night.

Incitement to murderous deeds and the throttling of flow

posted 3 Nov 2014, 15:09 by Neil McLaughlin   [ updated 3 Dec 2014, 02:35 by Royd Brayshay ]

The much abused term DevOps was the theme of the main presentation of the evening. Like Agile, DevOps seems to be an overloaded term appropriated to mean, variously, automation, system administration, build & deploy. Mathew, sporting a fantastic self made t-shirt emblazoned with the rallying cry "Death To The DevOps Team" proposed a more useful definition along the lines of "Highly effective, daily collaboration between software developers and IT operations people to produce relevant, working systems". He would also aspire to spread the collaboration net wider than just software developers to include QA/Testing, IT Service Desk, Programme Management, Commercial, Marketing. Tools were recognised as an an important facilitator (and sometime inhibitor) for collaboration. For example, Mathew proposed that the primary benefit of git was improved collaboration and, as such, all the artefacts of build and deployment should be made transparent using version control systems. Much of the presentation was taken up with descriptions of patterns and anti-patterns which emerge when organisation aim to achieve the hoped for benefits of the DevOps movement. From the "DevOps Team" anti-pattern of the title to the sublime "Smooth Collaboration" pattern via the "we don't need no ops team" anti-pattern dead end. There was also an interesting description of a variation of the ball point game popular with agile teams which had been adapted to show the effects of multiple teams on delivery of value. 

This tied in nicely with Steve Carter who filled the support slot with a presentation which discussed his attempts at grassroots agile adoption and his discovery of the principles of flow as described in the seminal book The Principles of Product Development Flow by Donald Reinertsen. After a high level view of the main concepts of flow (
variability, queues, utilisation, batch size, WIP, feedback and cross-functional synchronisation) Steve gave an entertaining run through of the things which Big Dumb Organisation's (BDO's) do to break the principles of flow which underpin agile practices. For example, making the product backlog a big queue (which is bad in flow) by committing to everything in the backlog. Steve's slides and transcript are available here and are well worth a read.

Slide links
Mathew has kindly offered a discount on his LeanPub book 'Build Quality In' book on DevOps & Continuous Delivery for Agile Yorkshire folk here as well as a 15% discount on the upcoming 'Effective DevOps for Leaders' seminar (use code 'AGILEYORKS') here.

As always our thanks go to the helpers and sponsors without whom the evenings would not be possible. After meeting beers were kindly provided by Matthew Wood of ISourceIT. Thanks to all our volunteer team who make the event happen and finally thanks to other main sponsors PikselCallcredit and NewRedo and to our prize sponsors O'ReillyJetBRAINSManningWrox and PluralSight.

The great photos are courtesy of @relentlessdev

Open spaces open minds

posted 1 Oct 2014, 00:57 by Neil McLaughlin   [ updated 3 Dec 2014, 02:32 by Royd Brayshay ]

Agile Yorkshire Open Space
September's Agile Yorkshire ditched the usual talks in favour of an 'Open Spaces' style gathering. The Open Spaces format gives those in attendance the opportunity to air their views on the topics that matter to them, with this month's theme being 'Organisational Culture'.
The first stage of the process was an invitation to submit proposals for topics of discussion. The board quickly filled with potential ideas, some of which needed a bit more elaboration than others! The topic owners gave us a brief overview of their idea, enabling us to group several of the proposals together where we saw enough commonality between them. Everyone was given three votes, and after a session of dot voting it was clear what people most wanted to talk about. Some of the winning topics were (roughly): 'Do we need managers?', 'Are all company cultures the same?' and 'Does agile work for predicting project costs/time-scales?’

The discussions were held in three sessions running concurrently in three rooms, with participants free to move about the rooms at will. Each session was hosted by the person who had proposed the talk, which elicited a few sad faces as the hosts realised they might not be able to join in with all the other conversations that they had been interested in.
Whilst the plan had been to run nine sessions in total (one at a time in each of the three rooms) we only ended up having time for two sessions per room, such was the level of lively discussion. There were some passionate voices to be heard and not everyone was always in agreement. Nonetheless, common threads were noted down in an attempt to address the issues at hand, and everyone seemed to enjoy the process.

Agile Yorkshire Open Space Meeting
We came back together at the end to reflect on the conversations that had been had and give everyone a chance to hear what had gone on in the sessions that they had been unable to attend. It was definitely interesting and informative to see what our community thought on different subjects -- a successful Open Spaces event for Agile Yorkshire.

The evening ended with the monthly prize draw and drinks in the Midnight Bell. Thanks to all our volunteer team who make the event happen and finally thanks to main sponsors iSource ITPikselCallcredit and NewRedo and to our prize sponsors O'ReillyJetBRAINSManningWrox and PluralSight.

Write up by Eleanor Chambers and Krystan Honour  

Pair presentation on pairing in software delivery teams plus the pared down framework - Nancy

posted 20 Aug 2014, 15:40 by Neil McLaughlin   [ updated 3 Dec 2014, 02:39 by Royd Brayshay ]

The main slot of the evening was delivered by Georgie Mannion and Kev McCabe as a business analyst and developer duet in perfect harmony singing the praises of cross discipline, and mixed skill level, pairing. They were drawing from their experiences of implementing mandatory pairing across the whole software delivery team starting on the first day of the new year after some radical 
New Years Day desk restructuring.

Rather than simply encouraging team members to pair when they could they adopted a 3 month period where nearly all activities across the software delivery team were carried out by pairs. There was plenty of discussion during the presentation about the various permutations and strategies adopted to ensure success. Although traditional XP pairing (two people working together with a single computer to solve a problem) was tried, so too were other techniques such as side by side pairing (two people working alongside each other to solve a problem by partition, XP style pairing and frequent close communication) and mob programming (single room, big screen, shared computers with representatives from several disciplines working closely to solve a problem).

The benefits of shorter feedback loops and better quality collaboration were stressed over email ping-pong or large meetings. The business benefit of the experiment was improved knowledge transfer in an environment with a high proportion of contractor staff. There was discussion of an interesting metric in the form of a matrix of skills and knowledge levels by team member and a drive to use pairing to reduce 'skill silo' risks. The experience levels of the participants making up a pair was felt to give different benefits; from exploration in novice-novice pairs through “up-skilling” in expert-average pairs through to crackling productivity in expert-expert pairs. The diversity of perspective was felt to be a particular benefit when pairing across disciplines with the cost of hand-offs between activities reduced.

As Gwen Diagram pointed out at the July meet up the tools an agile team chooses can impact on their ability to shorten feedback loops and increase confidence in making change. Anyone who has had to work with large enterprise tools (looking at you Oracle and Microsoft) will know how hard it is to deploy and test systems using them. Lightweight frameworks from the open source community have been a response to this and Nancy in .NET, along with it's cool Ruby cousin Sinatra, are two such frameworks. Matt McLoughlin gave us a whistle stop tour of some of the features of Nancy such as the conciseness of the resulting code, the fact that testing is a first class citizen of the framework, the simplicity of convention over configuration. All this is summed up by the goal of the Nancy team - keeping to the Super Duper Happy Path. As an agile developer I was encouraged by the idea that the Nancy community is friendly and responsive - qualities we often do not consider when selecting technologies but perhaps we should. Another plus would be Nancy's relaxed attitude to it's friends - want to use ASP.NET MVC and Nancy in the same solution, no problem, thus avoiding the common situation of having to decide which gang you are in and then having to stick with that decision come hell or high maintenance costs.

Write-up by Neil McLaughlin

As always thanks to our sponsors and helpers for their support iSource IT, Piksel, Callcredit and NewRedo and to our prize sponsors O'Reilly, JetBRAINS, Manning, Wrox and PluralSight - the evenings would not be possible without them.

An antipodean evening with David Evans and Gwen Diagram

posted 1 Aug 2014, 04:14 by Neil McLaughlin   [ updated 3 Dec 2014, 02:44 by Royd Brayshay ]

David Evans who, along with his partners at Neuri Consulting including Gojko Adzic, are blazing the trail in the world of Specification by Example (SBE) made some specific commitments at the start of his presentation to improve the artefacts coming out of the SBE process. These artefacts are examples which are in turn tests. He showed us how even when following the guide lines for good examples such as avoiding technical terms, using a formal notation like given/when/then and involving business stakeholders it can still fall short of the mark for a good example by hiding the essence of the business rule in a thicket of superfluous detail. This failure typically comes from having the example focusing on how to test rather than what to test.

In a nice slide (full slides available here) which neatly summarised for me how SBE artefacts are more than just tests - they are specifications, tests and living documentation. It also gave a way of thinking about their evolution over their lifetime: SBE artefacts should provide specifications now, regression tests soon and documentation later. He also contrasted the long lived nature of specifications versus the short lived (burn it!) nature of a user story.

Working through a number of examples of bad examples (see what I did there!) David brought out the desired qualities for artefacts of Focus, Balance and Contrast and why we should aim for hour-glass shaped scenarios with consistent levels of abstraction. Interestingly these are desirable qualities in all tests not just those of SBE.

In an interesting segment on the often debated topic of whether tests slow down development David made the pithy observation that tests slow down development in the same way that passengers slow down a bus. The speed of the bus (along with the speed of development) is not the point!

The final related segment addressed what will move organisations towards investing more in building a body of tests to support software making comparisons to with the costs of oil exploration. At this point in time the cost of tests is perceived to be high but as organisations start to realise additional value from tests either earlier in the software delivery life-cycle in the form of specifications or later in the form of live documentation then the value of the artefacts to an organisation increases and makes it more likely that time will be invested in building them.

The other half of the antipodean (dynamic) duo presenting on the evening was Gwen Diagram who gave a passionate presentation describing her journey to enlightenment from behind the waterfall into the world of multifunctional teams, close collaboration across the software delivery disciplines and high levels of tester autonomy. She stressed the need for testers to be able to chose their own tools and to not be afraid to ditch tools when they are no longer adding value. There was a lively debate on the issue of whether the testers in a team should all be technical and the need for developers to draw on testers experience and testers to pull in developers to help with test automation.

The lively discussions carried on afterwards in the pub (beers kindly sponsored by Sean Addy of iSourceIT) with both speakers present and actively engaged in the debates   

The evening ended with the monthly prize draw and drinks in the Midnight Bell. Thanks to all our volunteer team who make the event happen and finally thanks to main sponsors iSource IT, Piksel, Callcredit and NewRedo and to our prize sponsors O'Reilly, JetBRAINS, Manning, Wrox and PluralSight.

See you in August

The Agile Yorkshire Team

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