Friday, August 15, 2008

Wednesday - a free night at Agile 2008

Wednesday was the day without receptions. The day started as usual: breakfast at the conference. Donnuts, fruits, cakes but no croissant or pain au chocolat this time. Sessions started at 8:30 as usual and I was doing my volunteer work on the room where I was going to present the Coding Dojo with Danilo and Mari. We were a bit late for the beginning of the stage because Microsoft's reception was a bit too open on the drinks (this is obviously NOT a complaint).
It was on the Learning and Education stage. It started with a nice presentation from Laurie Williams about the work she has been doing with other teachers/researchers regarding pair programming. They made up a nice funny video to stimulate teachers to adopt the pair programming practice in their laboratories explaining the advantages it presents as well as evaluation modes that could be used to assign grades to each student. The video was a bit exagerated in the way it presented the facts which gave it a humorous profile. Although I believe there is more work to be done on that presentation, it is a very nice start. As far as I know, the video is not yet available but should be once they consider it ready. If you want to help, please email her at williams - at -
After that, Garry Berteig talked about the Learning Circle. He stated that there are four entry points into a learning circle. Action, Reflection, Learning and Planning are stages through which we pass through when learning something new. He established those four points as quarters of a circle in which the center is guidance. Guidance is what helps keeping someone in that circle efficiently. He then elaborated how to support each activity and how to lead one to another. He got short on time by the end just when he presented how this can and should affect the way agility is taught.
On the third slot of this 1h30 was the presentation of our Coding Dojo in Sao Paulo experience report. Danilo posted some infos about our presentation here. I would like to highlight the map we built on google maps to show where are the dojos around the world.

This is a reproduction of the image but I would really appreciate it if, in a few years from now, this map counted more dojos in north and central America, in Asia and Australia and in the west coast of south America. Europe has a few dojos but I would also expect to find more options since there are so many countries close to each other and ideas should pass around more quickly.

During the second half of the morning, I stayed in the room to fulfill my volunteer work but could not stay focused since I had to take care of another 3 rooms so I used my time to post the Tuesday report. Danilo and Mari went to the OpenJam where they met with Emmanuel Gaillot, Arnaud Bailly and some other people to have a Coding Dojo session. They presented the Block Problem and started to solve it in Ruby. I showed up a couple times but could not help them. They could not finish the problem but liked it so much that Arnaud and Emmanuel worked on it later on (I'll explain more on the post about Thursday). We then had lunch at the conference and attended the Programming with the Stars event. It was quite cool again (I attended on Tuesdays too) with some pretty good demonstration since they now had more time to code (6 minutes).

After the lunch, I went to a session with Esther Derby where she was going to talk about Crossing Cultures. It was going to happen in the French stage (although it was going to be in English) and she had planned a nice game to show how mixing cultures might be hard to endure. Unfortunately, she needed at least 8 people to run the game well enough and we were 7. So she had to cancel it and I was orphan for the rest of the afternoon. Later on that night, we went have dinner with Danilo and the Toughtworks' fellows which was a very pleasant night.

I'll continue on later with more about Agile and after that series, I'll try to get back to my regular activities. Hope you enjoyed it and bye bye.

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