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The Antimatter Principle and an NHS Hackathon with a Twist

posted 9 Jul 2015, 07:22 by Royd Brayshay   [ updated 10 Jul 2015, 02:04 ]
Bob Marshall at Agile Yorkshire June 2015Going down to Agile Yorkshire June event I was curious about the two speakers of the evening...used to categorise presentations with a fellow developer as "technical" or "non technical" we know what to expect in the former case. In the latter, things are more abstract!

The first speaker was Eva Barabas who talked about a Hackathlon organized by a small team she was involved in. A dental care project with product owner, three developers, users, UX, design, analysis, modelling, collaboration, collaboration, collaboration and work, work, work. What did they learn? "Attend more Hackathlons but create things people need".
Indeed, what she wanted to share with us was how important it is in these competitions to build something that users want. I believe we would agree with her. After all, delivering something and seeing it being used leaves a sweet taste.
Eva Barabas at Agile Yorkshire
What I also found interesting was her answer when I asked her in a casual conversation why she attended hackathlons. She answered me she likes to test her she's normally structured but this event is about incorporating different approaches, being in a sociable environment and getting creative.

The second speaker was Bob Marshall and talked about people's needs and the Antimatter Principle. He addressed some questions to the audience: "Are your needs being met at work?" "What's blocking you from achieving your goals?"
"I like these blockers", a familiar face from the audience answered. "Maybe your need is challenge, then?", he suggested. More joined soon.
While the presentation went by, I heard and wrote down labels-the golden rule, the platinum rule,theory x and theory y,(organisational) cognitive dissonance-and ideas. Now here are some ideas I liked:
-We don't work to get our needs met, we work to make money which will then cover our needs. Interestingly though, when he asked the question "How many of you here think their needs are met by their work?", a lot of hands were raised.
Agile Yorkshire meetup June 2015
-People assume that other people have the same basic needs. Think of a developer that wants to work alone, not as part of a team, and another that is proud to be a "team player".
-What do you do when individuals or teams have different needs? This must be one of the most interesting problems to be solved towards creating successful teams and organisations.
Finally, the conclusion was that a good job is one that people meet their needs by doing it. "Attend to folks needs" (and you won't regret it) is the essence of the Antimatter Principle. Not sure why antimatter, though.

The evening reached its end then, and we followed to the equally popular after-event: conversing and networking casually at the pub close to the venue.

Tester mentality FTW!

Finally thanks to @ArdLieth for photography and to all our volunteer team who make the event happen and to main sponsors Fruition,  PikselCallcredit and NewRedo and to our prize sponsors O'ReillyJetBRAINSManningWrox and PluralSight.