Friday, March 24, 2006

Deep Dynamics of Agile Teams - 2 day course late May

Agile Scotland presents The Deep Dynamics of Agile Teams - Edinburgh - May 24th to 25th

Deep Dynamics of Agile Teams

“One thing you’ve got to remember is that your best geek isn’t your best geek anymore” – Mike Hill XP 2005 Sheffield – Transitioning to XP tutorial.

Agile software development demands more out of software developers than technical prowess – the extreme collaboration between team members and customers does not always work out. Tensions arise; conflict occurs. The team performs below par.

Although we value “individuals and interactions over processes and tools” our Agile books and courses concentrate more on techniques for dealing with technical and planning issues than with people and teams.

A lot of the advice on team dynamics seems to have a cultural bias foreign to the irony and distance found in a Scottish / British team, where group hugs and earnestness are likely to be met with defensive ridicule. On the other hand, traditional management courses may be at odds with our philosophy of self-organising teams.

I recently attended the the first Deep Dynamics course run by Scrum Trainer Joseph Pelrine and psychologist Ben Fuchs. This has given me a framework for understanding and dealing with conflict in the kind of teams with which I am familiar. It was a brilliant course and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who would like to become a more effective Agile team member or leader.

The Course

Joseph and Ben are running The Deep Dynamics of Agile Teams at various locations around Europe. Agile Scotland have persuaded them to offer an additional course in Edinburgh from the 24th to the 25th of May. We have negotiated a special price of £475 – a £125 discount over the price of the same course held in London.

More information on the course can be found at

Target Audience

Who should attend this course?

  • You are trying to introduce Agile to an organisation. You will meet resistance and conflict. You need to effectively deal with that.
  • You are the best geek. You need to learn new skills to remain the best.
  • You run an Agile team, or are an Agile team member. Would you like to help the team perform at its full potential?

Who should not attend this course?

  • You work alone, in a dark cave, and never interact with anybody.
  • You just don’t care.
  • You are already such a fantastic team player and inspirational leader that there is no room for improvement.

The Trainers

Ben Fuchs is a psychologist with over 18 years experience working in personal and professional development. Since 1994 he has been creating innovative programs for transforming conflicts and building cooperation in diverse settings in Europe, Australia, Latin America, Africa, and the USA. His work brings together perspectives from group dynamics, organizational development, social complexity and participatory leadership. His current focus is facilitating post-conventional approaches to leadership and decision making.

Joseph Pelrine is C*O of MetaProg, a company devoted to increasing the quality of software and its development process, and is one of Europe’s leading experts on eXtreme Programming as well as Europe’s first certified ScrumMaster Practitioner and Trainer. He has had a successful career as software developer, project manager and consultant, and has spoken about it at such diverse places as IBM, OOPSLA and the Chaos Computer Club. His work focus is on field of organizational complexity and its application to Agile processes.


If you might attend or want more information please email No commitment – at this stage we just need an idea of potential attendance. Due to the interactive nature of the course, numbers will be limited.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Details on April's Rails / Ruby course

From Chad:
Scotland on Rails is a one-day rapid Rails training course. We'll cover the major parts of the Rails framework, with an eye toward new Rails 1.1 features and Rails best practices.

We'll cover Ruby basics as we go, so while expertise in at least one programming language is a must, you won't need to be a Ruby expert before the training. At a high level, we'll cover:

* Rails installation and setup
* The Rails architecture
* Modeling with ActiveRecord
* MVC with Rails
* Database management with ActiveRecord Migrations
* Ajax on Rails
* Rails Testing
* Rails application debugging techniques
* Navigating Rails' Rake environment

This is going to be a dynamic and interactive session. Bring your laptop and prepare to code!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

March 27th Meeting: An introduction to Seaside by Michael Roberts

If you'd asked me a week ago what I knew about "seaside" I would have said that some people do like to be beside it and that it is one exception to the "i before e except after c" rule (otherwise it would be spelt "seasedi") ... but now I know enough to tell you that it is a framework for developing sophisticated web applications in Smalltalk. A bit like Ruby on Rails, apparantly.
My technical ignorance aside, I'm pleased to announce that our next AgileScotland Meeting will be "An Introduction to Seaside" by Michael Roberts. The meeting will start at 7:30 on Monday 27th March, in the JP Morgan offices, Alhambra House, Waterloo St, in Glasgow.
Please email me at agile dot scotland at if you're likely to come so that we can give the security people a head start on filling out badges etc. You don't need to reply, to come, it just speeds things up a little.
Clarke Ching

"An Introduction to Seaside" by Michael Roberts
Seaside is a framework for developing sophisticated web applications in Smalltalk. Seaside compliments the powerful Smalltalk environment with innovative abstractions to create a seamless programming experience. This seminar will introduce you to Seaside through a mixture of discussion and live programming.

This seminar will be of interest to those working in both web and agile environments. It will also be of particular interest to Ruby enthusiasts as Seaside, Smalltalk, Ruby and Rails are complimentary technologies.

Michael J Roberts
Mike is a Smalltalk developer working at JP Morgan's European Technology Centre in Glasgow. He previously worked in the telecommunications, pharmaceutical and media industries accumulating an eclectic mix of programming languages along the way. Having come across the open source Squeak project by chance, it didn't take long for Mike to become a keen Smalltalk enthusiast. Mike is regularly dragged away from his computers by his wife and labrador. They all live together in Glasgow.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Scotland on Rails

I'm thrilled to announce that Chad Fowler - author of "My Job Went to India - 52 ways to save your job" and "Rails Recipes" - will be giving a one day "intro to" Ruby on Rails course here in Edinburgh on Friday the 14th of April. We are firming up the details, but the course should cost £200 (no VAT and payable directly to Chad on the day). This is a great chance to hear about Ruby on Rails from a world expert.
If we can manage it time-wise, Chad will also tell us just why his job went to India in an AgileScotland evening session. More details to follow ...
If you would like a place on this course then please contact me asap. We will - unfortunately - have to limit places on this one.
Clarke Ching