Saturday, April 19, 2008

Last and best day of FISL

The third and last day of FISL was, for me, the best day of all. Not only could I enjoy my previous night but I could sleep and come to the conference without problems. The day started at 9 am as usual, but the first interesting talk was Randal L. Schwartz about Smalltalk and Seaside. Let me repeat: Randal Schwartz about Smalltalk. Not Perl, Smalltalk! He still loves Perl and is still very important in the Perl world but he said Smalltalk is being an amazing experience.
Sadly, he ran a bit out of time during the talk so the audience could only see very little things about Seaside but the lonely fact of having him spreading Seaside is great.
After the talk, I talked to him about the screencasts and the squeakcasts website idea and guess what? He already knew about the screencasts, saw them and liked it. That scared the hell out of me! :) I will have to think much more to make better screencasts next time.
Already had a small critic about my block explanation that I hope to handle in future screencasts.
Anyway, it seems we might work together to get Squeakcasts under the domain. I'll do my best to have the site ready as fast as I can and get more screencasts going.

Next episode was a talk about Scrum and eXtreme Programming by Guilherme Chapiewski. His justification to present this in a Free Software conference was that people need to work in some way, to work and those methodologies get as close as programmers as we can. His talk was pretty basic showing the default scrum and xp definition with a few examples of his experience. I was amazed that he got the talk accepted because people from Agilcoop tried in the last conference and revisors said that it was an already discussed matter. I didn't like a couple things he said although the presentation was good for a general audience. The part when he spoke about eXtreme Programming practices like if it was a sin to use them upset me a little. He also said that XP is scary for manager and Scrum is better because you can present it as a simple method and working in a team, etc... The argument sounded amazingly biased since you can present XP in the same way. I don't think managers are so stupid that a name would scare them more than another but anyway. The room was overloaded, people were sitting in the floor and I suppose it will help convert a few more programmers to agile methods so that is good.

And this was the end for me. Mariana got sick and I left the event earlier to get her into a bed and ensure she didn't get worse. In a short summary, I liked FISL 9 and it was very good but mostly because of the people I can meet there and not so much because of the talks. I hope next year they will have the Smalltalk track running and I can present something nice there. I also expect them to go to a bigger place (maybe FIERGS, which I complained about last year but that can fit the 7500 attendees) and have a more stable wireless connection.

That's it about FISL. See you soon with the next screencast.


Tiago "PacMan" Peczenyj said...

See You in FISL 10!

Guilherme Chapiewski said...

Hi Hugo :)

I couldn't resist posting a comment here, because I saw that maybe I wasn't very clear in my presentation.

First of all, you are completely wrong, I don't think XP practices are a sin. What I did say is that it is IMPOSSIBLE to be Agile without these practices, which is exactly the opposite of what you are thinking. I'm one of the most active advocates of XP development practices, making a lot of public presentations about it in the last years in more than 10 cities of this country. You can read more about my ideas on my blog ( or you can buy the july edition on "TI Digital" magazine, where I wrote an article about the importance of some Agile engineering practices. So, don't be upset ;)

Second, about the "extreme programming" name, that statement is not biased. In fact it wasn't mine. Kent Beck (the creator of XP) said that in QCon San Francisco 2007. He said that this is the most probable reason why Scrum is becoming so popular and people are using it on top of XP. I don't know if you like it or not, but that's the truth. The best thing we can do is recognize this and work to change people's mind. In the meantime, Scrum is a very effective tool to convince managers and VERY much easier to sell than XP, unfortunately.

Look forward to talk to you in the next conference!

Best regards,

Hugo Corbucci said...

Hey Guilherme,
Just wanted to confirm that I was talking about your presentation at FISL 9 and not the last one in 2009.

Regarding your comments: I never said you said XP practices are sins. I said it felt like it in your talk. The idea you should grab from this post is that you might want to make it clearer that you fully support XP practices when you talk about Scrum. Maybe you already did by the way. Couldn't catch your talk this year at FISL.

I agree with the selling arguments for Scrum versus XP but I think it makes little difference regarding Agile methods (the real ones, not the ones people say they practice and know nothing about it) adoption. A manager that is afraid of a name will never embrace agility in its whole. How can you adapt to changes if you are afraid to try something because of its name?

Other than that, next Agile conference I'll be in is Agile 2009. Will you go this year?