Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Software Craftsmanship Day at my workplace

Well, we finally pulled together a schedule and planned out all of our sessions for a Software Craftsmanship day at my workplace. 

The coolest part?  I didn't have to beg anyone to make it happen.  One of the VP's suggested that we could devote a day per month to honing our development skills.  How many organizations do that?  Very few, I think.

Since I was already leading a craftsmanship group, my boss asked me to lead the effort to put this together.  I just asked for volunteers, called a weekly meeting to work out what we wanted to do, and we did it!

I'll be sure to report what I learned once the first one is over.  I expect this to be a very useful and interesting day, but I won't know for sure until after Friday, Nov 12.

The best way to describe what we're doing is to paste the invitation I just sent to all of the agile teams here (about 120 people are invited, I expect around 100 to attend).

Craftsmanship Day (a.k.a. "Craft Day") takes place all day this Friday.  Our management has chosen to give us a full day to practice and define our "craft" when it comes to developing and delivering products.   Your fellow agilists decided to run with this idea, and we put together a day of conference-style sessions, all of which offer hands-on activities.
The term "craft day" comes from the "software craftsmanship" movement.  Try googling "software craftsmanship" for more information on the background for this effort.  The movement is software-centric, but encompasses much more than just programming practices.
We will have a retrospective at the end of the day, but we will also be gathering feedback in the Gale Agile Learning Group (a google discussion group).  You can post questions, ideas or feedback there any time!
The following schedule details the sessions you can choose from.  A description of each of the sessions is below the schedule.
WhenSpace 1 Space 2Space 3
9:00 - 9:30Introduction
Team 3 & 4 Areas
9:00 – 12:20 (3h20m)Clean Code Retreat– Erik Przekop, Karen Wasielewski, Tim Taylor, Jerry Hoerig

Team 3 & 4 Areas
Story Writing & Splitting – Bernard Grunow, Aimme Keener, Mike Gantz

Team 5 & Agile Concept Space
12:20 – 1:00 (40m)Lunch
1:00 – 2:50 (1h50m)Refactoring Randori – Erik Przekop, Jerry Hoerig, Sajid Mohammed, Pete Murasky, Mike Seiler

Team 3 & 4 Areas
Fun with Jquery – Jason Dinkelmann

Team 2 area
Defining / getting to done – Bernard Grunow

Team 5 & Agile Concept Space
2:50 – 3:00Break
3:00 – 4:15 (1h15m)Legacy Rescue – Aaron Chesny, John Nader

Team 3 & 4 Areas
Story Estimation – Aimme Keener

Team 5 & Agile Concept Space
4:15 - endRetrospective

Team 3 & 4 Areas

The Code Retreat session will focus on clean code
  • a series of 20-minute coding sessions
  • a retrospective and suggestions for coding practices to try
  • rinse and repeat
The Story Writing & Splitting section will focus on writing epics and splitting them into stories
  • review stories for some of our current products
  • hands-on converting epics to stories - how we should split them
  • key realizations about best practices
  • examples of good & bad stories
Refactoring Randori will use a Code Dojo format, and work through several refactoring problems
  • split into groups of 20 or less
  • a pair codes on a machine with a projector
  • everyone else shouts out suggestions
  • the pair changes every 5-10 minutes
The Fun With JQuery session will focus on programming with JQuery
  • Jason will give an overview of the what, why & how of JQuery
  • Hands-on programming exercises
Defining / Getting To Done:
  • A retrospective approach to determining what "done" means
  • Various definitions of "done" for a story to move to the next stage
Legacy Rescue:
  • "Travel light", "do no harm" and "avoiding rabbit holes" - how we assess legacy code
  • Hands-on programming exercises
  • Review of the exercise
  • Tips & pointers
Story Estimation
  • Why it matters
  • Exercises involving:
  • prior projects
  • decomposition
  • team estimation
  • relative estimates
  • overall measurements