Welcome back to Southern Connecticut Agile! For our November meetup, Esther Derby and Matthew Carlson presented There Are No More Early Adopters of Agile.

About the presentation:

After 20 years, Agile has in a sense become pervasive. While it’s neither mandated nor regulated, everyone’s heard of it, and lots of organizations understand the legitimacy it confers. Still, some folks continue to approach changing to Agile as though it were a brand new set of ideas. How’s that working out? Join Esther and Matthew in a conversation about what motivated early Agile adopters, what’s different now, and how we can more effectively bring about the changes we seek.

Comments from participants include “One of the best online sessions I have participated in at least this whole year” and “Best talk of any sort I’ve been to (online or otherwise) in a very long time.”


Papers, talks, books, videos, and blog posts mentioned along the way:

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Maybe you’re facing a learning opportunity in some code, another kind of challenging situation at work — or both.

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Posted Tue Nov 23 05:27:23 2021 Tags:

For the November meetup of the Jersey City JUG, Pejman Ghorbanzade presented Continuous Regression Testing Using Touca SDK for Java.

About the presentation:

Making code changes to real-world software systems without introducing unintended side-effects is non-trivial. There are methods and tools to help us mitigate the inherent risks. One of these methods is regression testing that helps us verify the behavior of our software using a large number of test cases. But regression testing frameworks are clunky, have high maintenance costs, and produce results that are difficult to manage at scale. These limitations have largely made their use an after-thought for most software teams.

Touca is an early-stage startup trying to rethink regression testing. They offer open-source SDKs that enable describing the behavior and performance of software workflows by capturing values of variables and runtime of functions. They remotely compare this description against a previous trusted version and report differences in near real-time.

Join us for an interactive session to explore this new approach to regression testing and to evaluate Touca’s implementation of that approach. We will try their new Java SDK (https://github.com/trytouca/touca-java) to see if we can safely refactor two well-known code Katas in a friendly ensemble programming session. We will take turns to share our thoughts about this new approach, and share general tips about changing real-world codebases safely and efficiently.

If you missed it, you missed an ensemble programming session writing Touca tests for an existing codebase. Pejman’s explanation and demo is short and sweet. Watch.

Posted Thu Nov 11 05:14:48 2021 Tags:

I noticed last week that the Southern Connecticut Agile Meetup had gone maintainerless and decided to take it on. Welcome back! For our October meetup, Steve Doubleday presented Three Frames of Software Development.

About the presentation:

The uneven adoption of agile methods over the past couple of decades can be usefully understood as coming from a difficulty executives have in letting go of three frames — the Building, Project, and More frames, and accompanying metaphors. These are ubiquitous in the culture of many large IT organizations, and they conflict with what agile enthusiasts think are better ways of building software. In these terms, SAFe has been successful because it blends agile concepts with the Building, Project, and More frames, allowing older and newer ways of thinking to co-exist. This uneasy coexistence can be thought of as an importance source of problems in SAFe efforts. In turn, this suggests that useful paths forward may need new frames and metaphors.


Posted Thu Oct 28 18:23:22 2021 Tags:

For the September meetup of the Jersey City JUG, Mike Coon presented You get what you ask for — so you better ask for what you want.

About the presentation:

As we progress in an organization what we ask for and what we ask about become key to engaging our teams and to maximizing value. We’ll talk about how subtle changes in our approach can ignite creativity and provide a sense of ownership in our teams. We’ll also talk about how to build and maintain credibility through careful consideration of what we ask about.

This presentation is for:

  • Scrum Masters
  • Product Owners
  • Managers and Dev Lead types
  • Anybody else hoping to get things of value from others


Posted Wed Sep 15 04:17:24 2021 Tags:

On Friday, August 20, Faye Thompson and I once again co-facilitated Two Midwesterners Politely Invite You To Explore Coding, this time as a 3-hour workshop at Code PaLOUsa 2021. The abstract:

Wonder what it’s like to do what programmers do? Maybe people have tried to explain it, but didn’t put it in terms that computed for you. Or maybe you would like to become more technical, but the mere thought of trying to code has felt intimidating. Today is a new day!

Faye’s a non-programmer from Ohio, Amitai’s a sometimes-programmer from Illinois, and with your help, we’ll solve a problem by thinking and coding together. If you want to, you can take a brief turn at the keyboard; if not, no biggie. When we’re done, we think you’ll have a new kind of feeling about code and coding. You might even want to pursue it further.

We didn’t have much audience participation, possibly because our session had to be rescheduled from Wednesday (against other half-day workshops, but I was traveling to Germany that day) to Friday (against regular-length talks). On the plus side, Faye and I got to spend a few hours together pair programming, culminating in a last-minute pivot to “FizzBuzzBlerg”. And though we don’t usually record this material, the conference has been capturing every session. I’ll share the video if and when they publish.

Posted Fri Aug 20 12:06:13 2021 Tags: