Chennai Agile User Group – 20th April 2009 Meet.

Today Dr. Venkat Subramaniam gave an excellent session on Fallacies of Agile Development.  He talked about many interesting Fallacies like  speed (project velocity), importance of testers & testing, involving customer and a lot other Fallacies that are commonly spread in the industry. The slides can be downloaded from here.   A great talk.

For some reasons, the Chennai agile group meeting doesn’t happen too often.  Siddhi said he is kick-starting the group meeting again and there would be at least one meeting a month from now on.  Yes, we have to meet often for the very reason that user groups are the ways and means to share and learn among ourselves.

A few months ago an incident happened in my company, which I think is in a way related to rest of my post.  One fine morning someone in my vertical got an idea out from the blue sky  that there should be technical sessions every week, so that people can share their experiences.  Good intention & a great idea . The person being a manager found a person who would give a shape to this idea and lead it from front. He also identified a backup who would lead if the other person is not available (what  a backup strategy).  The team members were appraised of this idea through email which read “ … So, we would be having  technical sessions on Friday of every week to share our experiences and learn new stuff…. I would like to hear from you on what things you would like to discuss in these meetings”.   No one responded with ideas and meetings never  happened.  The result; the idea was shelved.  Looking back on why this failed

  • The idea of meeting once a week was good, but either the leaders / team members didn’t know what to talk / discuss.
  • Team members are not interested in learning/sharing experience.  In corporate you will find those 9AM- 5PM kind of persons, who not only will put forward their ideas, but will spoil the brains of others too.

As of now, I think the above holds true for the Chennai Agile group meetings. Don’t get me wrong in this. My intention is that we should get started again , move forward and establish ourselves.  I am also the one to be blamed. I want user group meetings to happen, but I never contribute. Nor do  I have a idea of what I want out of these meetings.   I thought having an idea of what to expect from Agile group meetings would greatly help me to contribute.  The following are my expectations and I will work on contributing the same to the group.

  • Should have more hands on. I am into Microsoft tech (I know, this is not the way I wish to identify myself).   We can talk about NUnit, NHibernate, Cruise Control.Net etc
  • My thoughts on Agile are influenced by  book Object Thinking.  This is the book that says how to equip oneself before diving into Agile. This book says what should one know to get deeply involved in Agile. Watch this video : XP: After 10 years why are we still talking about it  by Robert C. Martin to know the importance of technical knowledge .  In that line I would like to hear / talk about Design patterns, Enterprise Architectural patterns etc
  • Refactoring Sessions
  • Code Kata sessions.
  • XP Games
  • Acceptance Testing
  • Should help us to become Software Craftsman.
  • etc.

I think I have set a direction. I would like to contribute. I will pick up one of the above and shall present to the group soon.  Lets see what’s in store for Chennai Agile Group meetings in 2009.

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I call this passion…

Looking back, I have NOT done things I always wanted to do citing my work/career as reason.  Damn!  It hurts to accept that reasoning has kept me away from doing many things  as well as growth I wanted.  I always come up with reasons- bad market, bad time, bad ….  

The following inspired me to write this post.  Read it and I call it Passion.  Oneday, I will be doing this..

http://lizkeogh.com/2009/04/17/goodbye-thoughtworks-hello-worlds/