Agile practitioners 2015

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

I’ve just came back from the Agile practitioners conference. I enjoyed being part of the organizing team – it was fun giving a hand and helping to make this conference happen.
After attending an excellent “Lean problem solving” workshop by Claudio Perrone yesterday I was ready for a day of breakout sessions.
We've kick started the day with Angel Medinilla’s  “unicorns, krakens, self organizing teams and other mythological beasts” – it was about why self organizing teams do not happen automatically but can be built.
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Also: Unicorns

Being the “Beginner” track lead I got to hear all of the lectures in that track – they were interesting and were not strictly beginner material.
B8bJrUoCIAA2RYCWe’ve started with “The missing lecture” by Uri Nativ (@unativ). It was an excellent talk about the things no one tells you when you start doing agile. Uri has explained how to successfully adopt agile by understanding how the development team perceive the change. He had excellent “do”" and don’t” and used examples from his own experience – good and bad.
Next was Oren Ellenbogen (@orenellenbogen) – “engineering your culture: how to keep your engineers happy” -  a talk on what great companies do in order to attract and retain great developers.
After lunch we had three “lightning talks” (15 min):
  • Gull Ben-Davind - “Why are QA members good scrum masters”, it was refreshing to see a presentation without any slides where Gull walked us through the way MyHeritage used QA/Testers as SCRUM mastersB8bvH7kCcAAZ7i1.
  • Ran Deri & Noam ZweigManaging technical debt in Cyberark. They explained how they managed to measure technical debt and then decide on what debt to pay on each team – while improvement as well. It was amazing seeing how an abstract idea (Technical debt) was measured using metrics and questioners and how they keep track of their debt on a daily basis.
  • The last lightning talk was by Barak Benjo who talked about “The 10 commandments of an agile tester in a legacy world”. Barak explained about how testers can be agile even when testing Legacy code and the kinds of tests that are available and how to choose what to do.
After the lightning talks we had an “Lean Lens” exercise/game with Andrea Darabos.IMG-20150128-WA0009
By using a fictional story we got to find all sort of “waste” in common scenarios during the software development process. You can read more about Lean Lens here – and download it and use it (creative commons) in your company.B8cD86FCIAEeoOo
Afterwards I got to give my talk on TDD – I hope that the code I showed (https://github.com/dhelper/DesignWIthTests) was not too much for the late afternoon hour.


And finally we got an excellent closing keynote by Claudio – where he briefly explained A3 method for problem solving and his brand new “popcorn board”.

It was a great conference and I got to talk to some interesting people and hear excellent talks – all in all a very good day.

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Happy Coding…

Azure IoT Hackathon

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Yesterday (technically today) I participated in an Microsoft Azure IoT Hackton at IronSource offices.

When I heard that several CodeValue consultants were asked to come and I knew I asked if I could tag along.

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Microsoft organized a great event – good venue, food (Pizza!) and very talented developers.

10915136_10152776995923768_4074683655461051494_nEach team had Raspberry PI (Model B+), Arduino (Yun) and/or Tessel and needed to create an innovative solution using an Azure backend – with not a lot of time to spare.

We CodeValuees got to meet talented and enthusiastic developers and to help them to utilize these new cool “IoT” devices. And let me tell you - my three years worth of high school electronics classes really helped.

We continued hacking until midnight then each team got to show what they’ve created:

  • an application that provides directions to the closest free toilet a.k.a “Smart bathrooms” (2Seek) B7bTIz2CQAEX3vZ
  • Dog tracker
  • parking spot finders (1st place)
  • and many more that I didn’t had a chance to see.
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In-between working with other teams we even managed to hack our own solution – meet the new CodeValue parking gate controller (Park-Value?) with permission management applications for the web, desktop, IOS and android:

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It was an awesome event – we got to write code in JS, Python, something that looks like C (Arduino) and even C# (actually only Ariel). We’ve played with several controllers and connect resistors to other components (did I mentioned high school electronics :-) ).

 

I definitely plan to continue hacking using Raspberry PI/Arduino/Tessel/<other> perhaps even blog about it.

 

Until then – Happy coding…

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