Agile Brazil 2010

Agile Brazil 2010 – Brazilian Conference on Agile Methods

Last week took place in Porto Alegre, Brazil, the Brazilian Conference on Agile Methods – Agile Brazil 2010. The event was a great opportunity to see presentations about different methods and experiences related to the agile community. I was there and I want to write a little bit about what I saw.

About the Conference

The conference was a great initiative by the agile community and was a success. The keynotes of the event were presented by some of the well known names of the agile community: Martin Fowler (from ThoughtWorks), Philippe Kruchten (professor of software engineering at the University of British Columbia) and Klaus Wuestefeld (Extreme Programming pioneer in Brazil). There was a total of 820 subscribers and 188 submissions (papers and presentations).

Main Auditorium

Main Auditorium

I’m going to write a little bit about it. I wasn’t able to be in all presentations at once, of course, so I’ll just go through some of the presentations I attended.

Martin Fowler (Keynote)

Martin Fowler (http://martinfowler.com/) gave three different talks. He started with “The Essence of Agile”, in which he pretty much gave an overview about Agile. He have some articles in his website related to this presentation:

Later on he continued his keynote talking about Technical Debt. He showed us a quadrant to explain it. Links from his website:

In his third talk he spoke about “Continuous Integration and Delivery”. Again, here is an article he wrote on the topic:

Alisson Vale – Kanban: Em Busca de um Ritmo Sustentável

In a free translation into English, it’s something like “Kanban: Searching for a Sustainable Rhythm”. I had already watched a speech from Alisson at the Ágiles 2009 (“Kanban Development and the Paradigm of Flow”) and I found it very interesting. So this year I chose to see his presentation again and it was worth it. As my first internship was at a Production Engineering company, I’ve always heard about Kanban and it’s really good to see it applied to software development.

He talked the background of Kanban – going back to Taiichi Ohno – and explained the WIP (work in progress) influence over the lead time. As he continued, he went through the core concepts of Kanban and additional techniques like MMF (Minimum Markable Feature) and Swimlanes.

Don’t forget to check out his blog at http://alissonvale.com/.

David Hussman – Products and People over Process and Dogma

David Hussman is the owner of DevJam, a company focused on “Coaching & Developing Agility”. He won the Gordon Pask Award in 2009 for his contribution to the agile community.

David’s speech started with comparison between product and process. He asked us to write three words to describe our process and think how these words related to our product. He suggested a few books: The Black Swan (by Nassim Nicholas Taleb), Freakonomics (by Levitt & Dubner), Blink (by Malcomn Gladwell) and The Checklist Manifesto (by Atul Gawande).

He continued his talk mentioning the different types of problems and why software development is a complex problem. With this in mind he spoke about agility and complexity going to the process of Discovery (What & Why) -> Delivery (How & When). In the middle we find the “Pivot” and the continuous product learning.

In the end he showed us the Dude’s Law which basically is Value = Why / How. Another great speech by David Hussman.

James Lewis – Agile Adoption Anti-Patterns

On the second day of presentations I started watching this presentation about the anti-patterns to agile adoption. James Lewis works for ThoughtWorks and has a great experience introducing agile in large organizations.

The first part of his presentation was focused on enumerating the anti-patterns and explaining them. Things like “Flaccid Technical Lead”, “Novice in Charge”, “Change Everything at Once” and “Agile Adapter” made me remember some things… But, continuing with the presentation, James showed us the root causes of the anti-patterns and why it’s so hard to change.

Next he showed some ideas of what should be done when we aim at individual change and change to teams. He talked about the Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition and how it applies to pair programming and also talked about the Conway’s Law. He ended with two phrases: “Do the wrong thing righter” and “Do the right thing”.

Klaus Wuestefeld – Learning and Coolness – Beyond XP (Keynote)

Klaus Wuestefeld is a pioneer in the extreme programming in Brazil. He has already done pair programming with well know names like Kent Beck and Scott Ambler. In his presentation he spoke about how he is doing XP today.

He began his presentation speaking about his background. He created Prevayler and other open source initiatives. Later he discussed several characteristics of the software development process, like the fact that software is a fractal, and the agile methods. After this overview he talked about the values of the software development and why it should be a balance between Learning and Coolness.

To finish his talk, he talked about the practices he thinks that matter most. He mention that he doesn’t use Scrum, Iterations, Issue Tracking, Continuous Build and Branches. On the other hand, he adopts several practices like Planning on Demand, Continuous Deployment, Cleaners and Pair Programming, just to mention some of them.

Conclusion

This event was a great opportunity for the agile community. We saw some of the big names of agile here. I didn’t wrote too much here, because I think that the presentations are’t freely distributed. So, if you’re interested in the topic, you should search for some of the names I wrote here. Besides, there are a lot of events on the topic around the world. I also want to leave here a big thanks to the organization committee. Thanks for visiting!