Sunday, June 10, 2012

An evening with Martin Fowler!

Thanks to the Agile Singapore meetup, I became aware of the wonderful session organised by ThoughtWorks and NUS.
The first session by Vivek Prahlad was very well organised and gave a beautiful quick overview about the Agile way of working on software projects. For me most of the content of this session was Agile as usual except the below picture:

The above picture lists most of the practices followed by Agile projects and the relationships amongst them. If any one of the nodes is missing it impact on all the related practices. Just imagine the impact if you remove the Testing node or make it less effective or inefficient. It impacts the following:
  • Refactoring
  • Pair programming
  • Simple design
  • Small releases 
  • Continuous integration
  • Sustainable pace
  • Planning
  • Whole team 
I think this picture should be posted on the wall of  every Agile team, large poster size. 
Next session was by Martin Fowler. He spoke about three intriguing topics, 20 minutes each. 
Martin Fowler is a very well know Agilist in the software world and has written many books and influencing blogs. I was really looking forward to be in his talk and I can say that I found him more than I had expected. His talks were all very engaging. The format of three short 20 minute talks was also really cool and really helped the audience (me) not to start wandering. 

Out of all the three sessions I loved the concept about the strategic and utility software. The analogy of the utility software with sewage pipe from business perspective was quite surreal. Both utility and strategic software delivery teams follow different patterns of agile and have different benefits from it. I also realised that the project I am part of used to be stragic at some point in time, right now it is pure utility only. 
I also learnt that there is a very small percentage of IT projects are of strategic type, in the industry and ThoughtWorks primarily focuses on tapping them.
Overall it was another superb experience with lots of learning and meeting Agile friends.

No comments: