The end of the holidays was very good. I found my supervisor (absolutely NO problem to do it) and we managed to organize a Coding Dojo in Grenoble with some researchers and some industry workers. We worked with ruby (http://www.ruby-lang.org) and rspec (http://rspec.info/) on the block problem (http://acm.uva.es/p/v1/101.html). It was very interesting and I felt they liked the idea. Even promissed me that they would start their own dojo.
The last week was in Paris where I joined the Paris Coding Dojo (http://xp-france.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?DojoDeveloppement - in French) where I met Emmanuel Gaillot (http://emmanuelgaillot.blogspot.com/) and a few other regular Paris Dojo attendees. It was an amazing experience and will probably have future great consequences regarding collaboration between the group in Sao Paulo and the one in Paris.
Finally, I should leave France on Saturday morning. Obvisouly, as always near holidays, my flight was overbooked. So I was offered some money and a full paied day to stay one more day in Paris. I accepted it so it would pay off my accomodation expenses in Toronto. Therefore, I arrived in Toronto on Sunday afternoon. Found out that the student accomodations at the University of Toronto is pretty amazing! The room is quite big and nice in a very nice campus and pretty well geared and very well located.
I then went the Agile 2008 volunteers meeting in the Sheraton Hotel Center. It was a pretty good overview of the size of the conference: 1600 attendees. 400 speakers and around 100 staff (70 volunteers, 20 stage directors and about 10 major organizers). Sunday was really smooth since the conference only sort of started in Monday. Monday only had registration and bag deliveries as well as the research talks. The lines were little, everything was flowing pretty smoothly and people were talking quite a lot. Loads of famous agilists were walking around, meeting each other and talking to other people. It ended up with the Ice breaker evening which was a huge meeting with all attendees with 4 food spots that were representing Toronto's main social origins. There were also several weird pass times you could go into: massage, hand reading, handwrite analysis, henna tatoos, taro players and other stuff.
It was on from 7 pm to 10 pm when those services as well as food and drinking stopped sending people out ot bars or the Musik Maztik which is a special stage in the conference for attendees to play music instruments. Since the timezone difference is about 6 hours between Paris and Toronto, 10 pm was 4 am for me so I went to bed.
Today (Tuesday) is the official sessions start of the conference. Things are going very well so far, the breakfast was amazing and everyone is watching a very good talk from James Surowiecki, author of The Wisdom of Crowds (http://www.randomhouse.com/features/wisdomofcrowds/). He is talking about how wisdom can come out of the crowds and why in some cases, it just gets people dumbers. After this, the first sessions will come up and people should spread over. I will try to keep this blog updated about the conference but I am not sure I will manage it.
That's all for now people. Bye bye!