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June 11th, Lean confectionary & Java bootcamp for quants

posted 18 Jun 2013, 08:17 by Neil McLaughlin   [ updated 19 Jun 2013, 01:28 ]
A packed house once again for the June meetup with plenty of faces old and new. Recently there seems to be more people arriving well ahead of the start time of the first scheduled speaker and taking the opportunity to grab a bite to eat and network or, as it should be more correctly called given we are in Yorkshire, scran and chelpin'. The evening followed the typical format of a 30 minute talk followed by 60 minute one.

Andy Stewart: Learn Software Development in 8 weeks

Andy Stewart Presentation
Andy Stewart kicked off the evenings presentations with an experience report for a project where financial quantitative analysts ('Quants') were directly involved in the implementation of financial algorithms in Java. This was despite the Quants having no previous software development experience beyond MS Excel spreadsheets. The team had 2 senior developers, 3 quants and 2 functional testers and the project was judged by senior management to be an unqualified success with early delivery, low defect rates and 8 week ROI. The success of the project was put down to a number of factors: senior developers and quants pair programming extensively and directly in Java, zero tolerance to defects and coding standards violations, a comprehensive test suite with the focus on a large number of unit tests, support in the code for easily creating test data and very fast build times of less than 1 minute. The fast build time was achieved by only having a small number of automated system tests. In addition, infrastructure detail was abstracted away so the dev/quant pair could focus more on the problem domain. The talk was well received and timed to allow plenty of opportunity for questions of which there were many. A link to the slide deck is given below (check out the slide containing a matrix of how different members of the development team see each other!).

Dom Hodgeson: An Agile Sweet Shop?

Dom Hodgeson recalling his usability findings
After the break the presentations continued with Dom Hodgeson's account of taking an idea from it's (alcohol inspired) beginnings to the current day. Like all good accounts it was full of ups and downs with excitement and frustration in equal measure. The starting point for the journey was a hypothesis: can you do pick and mix online? On the way he discovered that free postage to Norway is expensive, people get passionate about sweets, civil engineering infrastructure projects do not move at lean startup pace and users sometimes can't differentiate between a squirrel and a monkey. What we learned is that we need to ask the question "what is the worst that can happen?" and that the first thing to do, even before a business plan, is to buy a domain name. The talk generated a huge amount of questions and discussion which spilled over into the post-meeting session in the pub - which was made even more pleasant by the warm summer evening allowing a large number of us to set up in the outdoor terrace of the Midnight Bell. The answer to the original hypothesis "can you do pick and mix online?" seemed to be a resounding yes if you learn from your mistakes and keep asking what is the worst which can happen. Jelly snakes anyone? https://clicknmix.co.uk/ 



A selection of the evenings twitter activity

  • @DrDanyo11 Really enjoyed tonights #agileYorkshire, excellent presentations.
  • @dom_barnett11 Fun and passionate presentation by the founder of http://www.clicknmix.co.uk  Check it out #agileyorkshire
  • @ianfnelson11 I think that was one of the funniest #AgileYorkshire sessions ever. Thanks for the lols  @Thehodge
  • @itstechupnorth11 Another sell-out #AgileYorkshire with 2 very contrasting but equally great talks. Good to see so many friends old and new.
  • @calendley11 Hmmm, wonder what I'll be doing tomorrow lunch time - cherry cola bottle anyone? #agileyorkshire
  • @northern_tester11 Fantastic talk from  @Thehodge! Proof that good decisions and alcohol can mix! #AgileYorkshire
  • @afnw3534211 People are really passionate about pick'n'mix! #AgileYorkshire
  • @RoydBrayshay11 Great story from  @andystewart79 of collaborating with code writing technical stakeholders to deliver early #agileyorkshire
  • @northern_tester11 Quick feedback on your build is key. Aim for a less than one minute build time if you can! #AgileYorkshire
  • @northern_tester11 GOOS - Develop a system based on single end to end tests? Interesting concept, more incremental than iterative? #AgileYorkshire
  • @RoydBrayshay11 Great packed room for  @andystewart79 &  @thehodge at tonight's #agileyorkshire
  • @afnw3534211 Impassioned chatter at tonight's #AgileYorkshire - 98dB - avg. sound levels of your typical motorbike

Credits

Thanks as always to our sponsors O'Reilly and JetBrains for providing books and software licences for our prize draw and to everyone who helped with the organisation of the evening. In particular Grant Crofton for the photos, Eleanor Chambers & Paula Williams for welcoming attendees and Andrew Broad for manning the doors

Upcoming

Just a reminder that our next meetup will be on the 9th July where we will hear from Mike Burroughs who will be talking about the introduction of Kanban through it's values and Grant Crofton talking about functional programming and F# more

Cheers and see you all next month

@neilbmclaughlin
@roydbrayshay



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Neil McLaughlin,
18 Jun 2013, 08:17
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