Friday, September 19, 2008

AgileScotland: More congrats & ScotlandOnRails: Call for proposals

Hi Everyone,

First, my congratulations to AgileScotlander Graeme Brown who's thesis has been selected for the APM's "Recognition of Student Success" event later this month.  Graeme's thesis looked at Agile in distributed environments and I thought it was excellent.  I learned a lot from reading it and talking to Graeme, so I'm pleased that he's going to run through his work at our next meeting which will be sometime in December or January.

Second, the clever folk who organised this years very successful ScotlandOnRails conference are kicking off the 2009 event with a call for proposals.  Details below.



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Alan Francis
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26 - 28 March 2009


Last year over 100 attendees and speakers from around the UK, Europe and US came together in Edinburgh for what keynote speaker and RailsCore member Michael Koziarski recently described on stage as "the best small conference" he'd attended.

Scotland on Rails is pleased to announce the Conference will be running again in 2009 and the call for proposals is now open.

The venue is the same, University of Edinburgh's Pollock Halls, but the dates are a week earlier.

Thursday 26 March will be the charity tutorial day – a whole day tutorial in Ruby and Rails taught by RailsCore alumni and iPhone programmer Marcel Molina Jnr and long-time Ruby programmer, Pragmatic author, and jazz saxophonist Chad Fowler.

Friday 27 and Saturday 28 March will be the conference proper. We have already confirmedMarcel Molina Jnr and Giles Bowkett for the keynotes, and are now soliciting session proposals.

We are hoping for a mix of new and experienced speakers, targeting both new and experienced Ruby programmers. All sessions on Ruby, Rails, or associated technologies and techniques will be considered. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • experience reports
  • scaling
  • security
  • testing techniques
  • alternatives to the normal Rails stack

Please send submissions as plain text attachments to We will be manually checking and acknowledging submissions – if you do not hear anything in 24 hours chase us up.

The closing date for submissions is December 1st 2008.

—Paul, Graeme and Alan

p.s. If you are interested in sponsoring Scotland on Rails 2009, please

Monday, September 08, 2008

AgileScotland - taking a breather, congratulations, and a possible course?

Hi everyone,
A few things. 
1.  I'm very busy with work commitments during the next few months so I'm not going to have the time to organise any meetings for the rest of the year.  Apologies.  If anyone would like to organise something then please contact me.
2.  Our congratulations must go to the somewhat gifted, but media-shy, Agile Team working in South Queensferry who produced this:
3.  Good luck to Bill Birnie from Standard Life who is presenting "Agile - Why should your business care?"  I am very hopeful that Bill will tell us his story one day - I used to work with Bill and his story is remarkable; when the hero in my book looks in the mirror I see Bills face.  Btw: it's unfortunate, but Bill's session is on at exactly the same time as my TDD for Managers workshop
Well done Scotland :)
Finally, I've been approached by some folk who would like to run an Agile course here in Scotland. (They're also running the course in London.)
Here's the outline:
Practical Scrum for new Masters -  Liz Sedley. Willem Van den Ende and David Hoehn.
This course is designed for recent graduates of a CSM courses containing practical advise to make the first few months of being a Scrum Master easier.
Built around your questions and the things that baffle you, now that you are a Scrum Master, this course will try to give you some patterns, exercises, coaching skills and visibility tip and tricks that are easy to understand and apply but took us some time to find.
In this practical workshop we will discuss and develop core skills needed to be a scrum master:
  * Using Burndown Charts (and how to interpret them)
  * Increasing Visibility (with your team and your organisation)
  * Being a Scrum Master (and how to avoid old Project Manager habits)
  * Retrospectives (exercises we have learned that seem to work well)
  * Selforganised Teams (situational leadership and how it affects such teams)
  * What do I do now? (Let us talk about your issues and find some patterns that might help you deal with it)
  * Kaizen (How can you continually improve and thus shape Scrum without breaking its principles)
The outline looks very useful but I can't personally vouch for the course since I don't know the presenters particularly well,.  If you are interested in attending then contact me and I'll see what I can arrange.