I am pleased to announce that registration is now open for XP Day! This event is run by volunteers from London's world-famous Extreme Tuesday Club and provides fantastic value for money. Don't be fooled by the name, it's a two day event and not limited to XP.
I am looking forward to co-presenting two sessions there; Scrum 59mins with Giovanni Asproni and Agile Thinking Tools with Romilly Cocking.
To avoid disappointment book your places early because the event fills up very quickly...
A friend of mine, Diana Larsen, has just started a new blog. She asked a bunch of us for any tips on blogging rather than email them, so I decided to blog them :-)
1. You may not be not sure what to blog about. I am sure the answer to this is different for each blogger. I use writing about a topic as a way to untangle my thoughts and I hope that my blogs gives some useful snippets of information that helps make connections in agile software development to readers.
My blog is probably a mixture of news, events and books to look out for, explanation of techniques and ideas, and mild rants about the strange things that go on in software development or the agile commuity.
2. I decided not to apply Categories to my posts because I don't link putting things in neat boxes.
3. Things I don't blog about are other blogger's posts, my personal life or cool gadgets.
4. As soon as you get of an idea to blog then make a note of it and sketch out main points. I keep a file on my computer which lists potential blog ideas. When I have the energy/time I pick one of these and flesh it out off-line.
5. Don't spend more than one hour on a blog otherwise they get too long. Beware of writing an epic ideally blog posts should not take up more than one screen. It's better to post a half-finished blog (and say so) than not post at all.
6. Another tip is to google " + blog" occasionally. You will probably find that other people have referenced your blog - and it can be enlightening to see where these turn up and what interpretation they made (sometimes completely different to what you intended) so a good source of feedback.
Last week I ran a workshop on Informative Workspace at Agile Business Conference. I chose to present from a mindmap on a flipchart rather than powerpoint slides because I wanted to keep the intro short and allow maximum time for participants to share stories of techniques they have tried with their teams. This post is just to let attendees know I have uploaded the mindmap photo (see bottom of page) as promised.
I have run this workshop at Extreme Tuesday, Agile Scotland, XP2005 and Agile2005. I heard a lot of great ideas at these workshops so I plan to do a proper write-up soon. I have also been thrilled to hear that as a result of attending this session some teams have actually moved back to using index cards and created new information radiators in their team spaces.
I have hardly written any code over the summer apart from exercises for Agile Summer School. So I feel it's time to flip-flop back into coding. Next week, I start work on a new project for Sun Rearch Labs - SPOTs (Small Programmable Object Technology).
Sun SPOTs use cheap off-the-shelf components to provide a small low-power processor device that can communicate via a radio link and be attached to a variety of sensors. The Java VM has been ported to this platform and runs without an OS on the bare metal.
The Sun SPOTs can be used to form a mesh network that automatically adapts to changes in network topology. There are some interesting applications for SPOTs, they could intelligently control light and heat in buildings, reacting to people moving around the building. Or be used for Gesture-interfaces, to control devices by hand gestures.
One of the intriguing aspects of this project is that all the developers will be working from home and pair-programming remotely. I am looking forward to see how distributed XP works first hand.
It will also be a blast from the past to get back to embedded programming again, which will make a change from shovelling data in and out of corporate databases.