Posts tagged ‘XP2012’

At a conference about software development, wouldn’t it be useful to have some people there actually develop software? We want to invite you to bring your whole team, and show off how agile you are. Set up your team information radiators, pair programming stations and servers, and spend part of the conference actually developing your product! With any luck, some of the excellent agilists at the conference will come and pair with you.

The only rules are that you must be agile, and you must deploy into production during the conference. If you deploy several times a day and the product is generally available for conference delegates to use and try the new features, all the better. 🙂

See this as a challenge for your team. If you’re going to be able to show your process off to a whole conference of agilists, wouldn’t you like to have the best possible process? Wouldn’t you like all your team members to work effectively with the latest tools and techniques? Wouldn’t the challenge of having to be ready to show off what you can do at XP2012 be a great way to motivate your team to improve over the next 6 months?

This is the challenge that the team behind (one of Sweden’s biggest ecommerce sites), and a team from SAAB Gripen, (software for jet fighters), have already accepted. Will you join them, and take up the XP2012 team challenge?

At XP2011 we introduced a new kind of presentation – the tech demo. The idea was to give people 30 minutes to demonstrate a new tool or technique. For example, some people performed code katas in diverse languages, and others showed various productivity-boosting frameworks.

For XP2012 we want to continue with these kinds of demos, but with an additional rule. You can’t touch the keyboard yourself when you present. We want you to co-present with someone else, drawn from the audience, who will do the typing and demonstrate the tool or technique. Your job is to coach them into doing the demo you’ve planned, and to explain to everyone what’s going on.

Your co-presenter could be someone drawn from the audience who you’ve never met before. You’ll have to expertly coach them into demonstrating what you aim to show to the rest of the audience. If you choose this route, it will certainly be a big test of your skills of coaching and pedagogy.

Alternatively you can come to the conference and find a volunteer in advance of the presentation. You could make time for a practice run or two before the presentation. Again, you’ll be showing not only your tool or techique, but also how easy it is for a good programmer to learn.

If you’re thinking this sounds like an awfly scary way to do a demo, then you may be right. We think it’s also a very good way to have demos that engage the audience and really show off what you’re capable of.

If you know someone else who’ll be at the conference you could of course prepare the demo with them well in advance. You’d be able to work out exactly what pitfalls they will fall into, and have a slick commentary ready. Just having one person typing and the other talking is a great advantage in a demo, and this would probably still be good to watch. It might not be quite as challenging though 🙂

Will you accept the XP2012 Tech Demo challenge?

The Call for Papers for XP2012 is currently open, and this year we’re doing things a little differently*. I’m one of the co-chairs responsible for programme design, and also involved in reviewing session proposals. (You might be interested in my post about XP2011, which I was also involved in organizing)

Most proposals are going through what will hopefully be a more transparent, agile and effective review process than we’ve had in the past. The idea is that everyone sends in a first draft proposal, and then receives feedback from reviewers who want to help them to improve and refine their ideas. When everyone has had a chance to act on this feedback, the review committee will select the proposals that will be put on the programme for the conference.

More information, dates and benefits of speaking are listed on the conference website. My next two posts contain more information about a couple of the session types we’re looking for: Tech Demos
and the Team Challenge.

*Academic papers have a separate review track, and proceed much as they have done previously. The demands of academic rigour and peer review mean we won’t change a formula that clearly works for this kind of submission. See the call for research papers.