Monday, April 26, 2010

[AgileScotland] Agile Robot Tournament - Glasgow, May.

Hi Everyone,
And now for a little agile fun ....
Matt Wynne is running an Agile Robot Touranment session at the SPA (agile) conference in late May where:
Small teams of programmers will create robots and send them into battle over a series of tournaments. Which team's strategy and skill will win?
This hands-on session will test how well you can meet that goal by challenging you to code a simple robot that will have to compete in a series of battles. You can continue to refine and upgrade your robot though the tournament. The earlier you release your robot, the sooner you will win some battles and start accruing points.

This is a great chance to have some fun showing off your coding skills as well as your project management strategies!
Matt's kindly offered to run the session locally sometime during the next few weeks.  It takes about 2.5 hours and it's very hands on.
Trouble is, before we run the session, ... we need a room.  Can you help?  It'd ideally be somewhere in Glasgow (although Edinburgh would be okay) and be able to fit 12-20 agile developers and equipment for 2-3 hours during an evening or weekend.  You can see the full details here:
If you can help please email me at  It would be very disappointing to miss this.

Monday, April 19, 2010

[AgileScotland] StartupLessonsLearned conferece - free live simulcast in Edinburgh, this Friday.

This is one for those with an entrepeneurial bent ....
The conference programme is here:  [Kent Beck is one of the speakers].

The simulcast is being kindly hosted by Winterwell in the Grassmarket,
who most of you will know/recognise from Techmeetup. Hypernumbers will
provide a snack...
Hope to meet some of you there.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

[AgileScotland] Free Poppendiecks evening session, Glasgow 19th of May.

Hi everyone,
Excellent news.  On the evening prior to Mary and Tom Poppendieck's "Leading Lean Software Development" course in Glasgow next month, they'll be giving a free public presentation for AgileScots.  Mary and Tom are worldclass speakers - always interesting, always relevant - so you won't want to miss this.
A Brief History of Software Development - sponsored by Lean Data Solutions.
Throughout the short history of software development, there have been some major advances in approaches and techniques, but there have also been many fads that have come and gone. The question is – how do you tell the difference? This talk will take a walk through the history of software development, looking at the facts, the fads, and the fallacies. It will distinguish sustainable improvements in software development from shiny new approaches that will eventually go out of style.
Where:  A hotel in Glasgow's West End
When: 19th of May, around 7pm.
Sponsored by: Adrian Mowet and Lean Data Solutions.
We only have 50 spaces and I expect them to fill quickly.  Please email me to book a place:
Clarke Ching
BTW: Adrian, who is hosting the training and sponsoring this free evening event, says there are still spaces left on the course.  The early bird price expires on the 20th of this month.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Can you help two AgileScots?

Can help out two friends/colleagues of mine?  They're both on this list. They both lost their jobs when their employers stumbled due to the recession. They're both good at what they do.
I can't name them here, but I'll call them Tim and John.  They're both in their extremely early 40s.

  • John is an outstanding and innovative Agile development manager.  He's also a gifted developer who still actively codes.  He has set-up and managed several successful Agile development teams and, until the recession devastated his former employer, he lead a team of little over 50 staff,  globally.  He's worked in big corporates and small start ups.  I say, without reservation, that John is one of the most inspiring and trustworthy managers I've ever met.  He also has a habit of getting things done.
Where as John is a polished professional, Tim is a diamond in the rough.
  • Tim left school when he was 16 to work in a factory.  In his early thirties he started an Open University Computer Science degree and discovered that he not only loved programming but he was also good at it.  He scored 90+ for virtually every assignment and after graduating he got a good junior-programmer job with a local consulting firm.  He's now had 4 years solid development experience, working in one of the local banks.  His development background is classic ASP and .net, with an emphasis on the database side of things.  He worked for me a few years ago and he's the sort of guy you can throw a meaty, messy problem at and he'll do better than most at untangling it.  You'd happily have a few beers with Tim after work but you wouldn't throw him into a sales meeting.  Tim and I are currently working together on a small not-for-profit cloud-based app.  
Just for the record: I don't do recruitment and I'm not looking for a commission. It's just a shame that these two guys aren't working in jobs they'd love.
If you know someone who might NEED a Tim or a John then contact me at