Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Dec 7: Lean & Quality Techniques in Agile Software Development by Clarke Ching

Hi everyone,

I'm going to be speaking at the Glasgow IEE on Wednesday 7th December at 6pm in the Scottish Engineering Centre, Teacher Building, St. Enoch Square, Glasgow Although this event is run by IEE, not AgileScotland, it is also open to the public.

The talk is an easy introduction to Agile Software Development, covering
  • how Agile works,
  • why Agile works, and
  • how to make lots more money by using agile
Lean & Quality Techniques in Agile Software Development by Clarke Ching

Historically, the application of lean thinking into software development failed.

The Japanese manufacturing revolution - a combination of lean thinking, quality techniques, and sheer necessity - lifted the Japanese industrial phoenix out of the ashes of World War II until it eventually dominated world manufacturing. During the 80's and 90's these practices quickly spread throughout the world and eventually they even transitioned from manufacturing into service industries.

Clarke Ching, senior consultant with Vision Consulting, first discusses why the software industry has traditionally done a poor job of adopting quality and lean thinking. Clarke then reveals the one secret ingredient that makes them easy to adopt. He describes how to correctly apply these concepts and practices to software development using Agile Software Development methods (including such techniques as Extreme Programming, DSDM, and Scrum).

Clarke Ching

December 5 Meeting : Automated Acceptance Testing by Paul Wilson

The next AgileScotland meeting will be on "Automated Acceptance Testing" by long-term AgileScotlander Paul Wilson on December 5th.  It will start at 7:30 in the usual place: Currie and Brown's offices, on the Ground Floor, No. 1 Osborne Terrace, Edinburgh, EH12 5HG

Automated Acceptance Testing is one of the most exciting - and important - developments within the Agile community.   To my mind it is an important sign that Agile is maturing.  Unfortunately, I've found that while it's easy to understand intellectually, you can't appreciate it fully until you've seen it in action or done it.  Brian Swann ran a fantastic session in February 2004 and Tim Bacon's covered it in his course earlier this year, and I'm thrilled to have another session.

Paul knows his stuff.  I've just given a series of lectures to Eddie Gray's 4th year software engineering students at Glasgow Caledonian University and Paul helped me out earlier this week by running a very informative session on Unit testing.  I don't want to make Paul blush, but an anonomous colleague of Paul's recently told me that he "is an absolute master when it comes to Automated Acceptance Testing. He has a finger in every technological pie and is full of knowledge on the subject in every  technology! FIT, Exactor, JWebFit,  Fitness, Watir, Selenium - he's got them all down!".

Please join us on December 5th for what should be a very interesting session.


Sunday, November 06, 2005

Agile Scotland

Clarke Ching here, typing from Scotland.

I run the Agile Scotland special interest group.  We meet in Edinburgh once each month and generally we get a good turnout  – between 10 and 30 people attend each evening.  We have had a number of well known and respected Agile speakers over the last few years – David Anderson, Mary and Tom Poppendieck, Tim Bacon, Rachel Davies, Martin Fowler, Charlie Poole, Ken Schwaber to name just a few – plus we’ve had a good number of excellent presentations from the locals input.  I happily admit that I’ve enjoyed and learnt from every single AgileScotland event that I’ve attended.

My objectives with the group are to (a) build a community of agile practitioners in Scotland (b) spread knowledge within the community and (c) spread the word about Agile within Scotland. 

But currently I have two problems with running AgileScotland:

  1. Although it hasn’t happened yet, I’m concerned that one day I’ll run out of ideas for new sessions.  We are starting to recover topics that we’ve already covered – for instance, we’ve just had our 2nd DSDM session in 3 years and we’ve had a few TDD demonstrations – but thats not really bothering me.  But, I would like to maybe consider different topics, different formats, … but it’s a little nerve racking experimenting like this.
  2. I’m failing on my third objective – to spread the agile word.  We get a few new faces each month but … not many.  I also get a bit of interest from newbies (strangely, most of them work for my former employer) but many of them don’t come to our evening events.

So … The purpose of this note is to ask for advice and suggestions.

I know that a number of AgileScotland members read my blog.  Any advice?  Email me at

I know that there are a lot of similar groups around the world.  Any advice?  Are you in the same position of me?

Many thanks,