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March meeting with Kevin Rutherford and Royd Brayshay

posted 18 Mar 2013, 00:13 by Neil McLaughlin
Last Tuesday brought out the cream of Yorkshire's developer community with around 35 attendees turning up to hear Kevin Rutherford talk about some specific software principles and patterns - namely the principle of Tell, Don't Ask and the problems he has encountered with trying to follow this principle. His final conclusion was that we should be "Telling, not waiting to be asked" by using a publisher/subscriber pattern and event bus. The slides are available on SlideShare. For me the presentation was a great example of how to present a technical topic. Although the material could probably have been covered in less time it is the gaps and spaces in such a presentation which allows the implications of the ideas presented to sink in which give it a feeling of quality. I found it both informative and enjoyable - often not qualities found together in a technical presentation.

Royd Brayshay stepped up to the mark, in the absence of any other volunteers, as speaker for the small slot of the evening. He led an entertaining discussion on the subject of sequencing work items (for example by priority) and the pitfalls which may be encountered. A number of different strategies for sequencing were discussed based on business benefits such as cost of delay rather than subjective measures which tend to favour 'pet projects' and technical details.

Both presentations were very well received and prompted some excellent discussion both during the meetup and afterwards in the pub. It was good to have a number of stalwarts of the Agile Yorkshire developer community present especially some of the original founders of the group (Phil Rice and Toby Sucharov) who ran the very first Extreme Programming Club at the Victoria Hotel in Leeds in Feb 2007. I think it's amazing to think that, give or take a few  short gaps, we have been meeting up monthly since then. A lot of credit goes out to those who have helped and attended over the years in building the community. Phil Rice has stepped forward to present in the small slot in April on 'Lean Startups' which, as a CEO of such a startup, should make for a fascinating topic. We have also just had conformation of the return of Ryan Haney (cf Oct 2012) who will be talking about UX and Agile in a presentation entitled 'Hitchhiker's Guide to UX'