2 weeks ago I attended Agile .net 2011. A short summary of the sessions I’ve attended:
Normally Jason Gorman was going to do the keynote. I don’t know the guy, but I’m glad he was replaced by Jon Jagger who did an agile A-Z session.
I love the ‘soft’ side of software development a lot. People, process, motivation,… are things that I find intriguing and guys like Jon can inspire me a lot… more on that later
NuGet for the enterprise
Maarten and Xavier talked about NuGet, Microsoft’s package manager. It was nice to see some of the solutions that are available to tackle specific enterprise problems and I would seriously consider using NuGet on a new project.
Automated deployment is another use case for NuGet, one that I didn’t knew about. Octopus deploy looks very promising for this purpose!
Kanban 1’s game
You can find the instructions for the game on Jon’s site. The basic idea is to simulate a Kanban environment (4 queues) and do sprints of 2 weeks (10 days). During the game some of the rules change and velocity of the team is being measured. The insights I got out of it:
- As soon as we had to check our user stories on bugs, large stories didn’t got out of the door.
- When we tried to get the work done at the end of a sprint (let’s say day 8, 9 and 10) by putting extra resources on queue 4, we got a very low velocity in the next sprint
I hadn’t played agile games before, but after this one (and ‘Theory of Constraints’ on day 2) I’m convinced that these games can have a huge impact and value in software development.
Babysteps with node.js
Node.js is hot these days. Some great .net developers that I respect are blogging and tweeting about it but I couldn’t tell why it’s so cool and fancy. I hoped that this session would bring me the answer.
I must say that the session before took a bit too long, so it’s possible that I’ve missed an important part of the introduction. So I still haven’t found what I’m looking for[s1] . If you, Dear Reader, know the answer, please let me know!
Executable specifications in action
Another hands-on session. Vagif Abilov showed us the basics of BDD (Behavior Driven Development). I had zero experience with BDD so for me it was important to understand what BDD is all about and get to know some of the tools and resources.
What I’ve learned:
- BDD is based on TDD, but with much more emphasis on the expected behavior. This behavior is described using the Gherkin language (“Given”, “When”, “Then”), understandable to the business people.
- SpecFlow is an open-source .net BDD tool. Vagif showed SpecFlow in action during the session. Certainly something I want to test on a pet project in the future!
If you want to take a look at BDD in action you can check Vagif’s example on his GitHub account.
Introduction to RavenDB
RavenDB is an open-source document database. The session was presented by Rob Ashton (also a contributor to RavenDB) in a very amusing and entertaining way.
Rob walked us through the basics to get RavenDB up and running, Raven DB Management Studio and the API and went into the details of raven queries and indices. Modeling and more advanced stuff was held for the afternoon session but unfortunately I couldn’t attend that one because of a conflict in my session schedule.
If anyone has some notes from that session to share, let me know!
Theory of constraints – bottleneck game
The afternoon of the second day started with the Theory Of Constraints bottleneck game. Just as in the “Kanban 1’s game” on day one I saw the great value of these games in software development and I can recommend everyone to try this at work if your co-workers are open minded.
Domain Driven Design from the trenches
I have been following Yves Reynhout on Twitter for a while now and he’s one of the few guys in the Belgian .net community that is doing Domain Driven Design on his day job (or at least that I’m aware of) so I was very interested in his ideas, opinions and remarks.
The session touched a little bit of everything, and there is a lot in DDD. Since I’m reading the blue book I could keep up fairly well, but there wasn’t a lot of time to go in depth. Fortunately Yves is a very kind person I had the opportunity to ask him (a lot) afterwards. I’ll try to write the most important stuff I learned in a future blog post.
The Agile Mindset
Yves Hanoulle closed this great conference with a great closing keynote. The same session was given at Lean & Kanban 2011 and is available online.
I didn’t have special expectations for this conference, except it wouldn’t be a typical .net conference but I couldn’t have dreamed that I would have so much fun, seriously!
I’ve spoken with interesting people. I’ve learned a ton, both technical and on the soft side and I got some new ideas for the future.
I hope to see you at Agile .net 2012!