XPConf 2016: algunas cosas para importar en Latam

Quiero compartir algunas actividades que viví en la conferencia y que podría resultar interesante tenerlas presentes para la conferencia latinoamericana Agiles.

Cena previa: la noche previa al inicio de la conferencia los organizadores realizaron reservas en diversos restaurantes cercanos al centro de conferencias para que los asistentes fueran a cenar en grupo con la intención de conocer a otros participantes. Cada uno debía pagar su cena, pero el hecho de que la organización hubiera hecho las reservas posibilitó que los lugares estuvieran preparados para atender mesas de 10 comensales.

Catering continuo: durante los 3 días que duró la conferencia hubo catering continuo, o sea, uno podia salir en medio de una sesión y ponerse a comer, no hacía falta esperar al break. Había breaks de 30 minutos a horarios predeterminados, pero el catering no estaba limitado a esos breaks, sino que estaba todo el día. Al mismo tiempo el catering estaba organizado en 4 espacios:

  • 1 espacio donde se servia café, té, agua y dulces
  • 3 espacios donde se servia comida salada que incluía: hamburguesas de distinto tipo, papas fritas, tartas, pizza, arroz, woks y pastas entre otros

Actividades «before office»: todas las mañanas antes de desayuno (7 AM) había sesiones de yoga, running y lean coffee.

Actividades «after office»: todos los días luego de la conferencia había actividades de networking: una degustación de whisky, juegos con premios de los sponsors, fiesta en el castillo, etc.

Open Space en paralelo: el market place del open space junto con la primera tanda de sesiones se hizo en el «after office» del primer día. Luego, el resto de las sesiones del open space tuvo lugar durante los días 2 y 3 a la par de las sesiones predefinidas del programa.

Si bien algunas de estas actividades puede que ya no sean factibles para la edición de Agiles este año, hay otras que me parece que perfectamente podrían realizarse.


XPConf 2016: Day 3 summary

The day started with a keynote by Professor Lionel Briand who talked about «Documented requirements are not useless after all». He presented really interesting stuff based on concrete study cases. I liked it.

After the keynote I joined the session «Working effectively with legacy Test» by Nat Pryce and Duncan McGregor. The session started with a short introduction by Nat and then we started reviewing test code shared by the participants. While sharing the code we analysed and proposed different possible refactors. I like the dynamics of the session.

Next I jumped to the session «Bourne Again, Bootstrap a testing framework in BASH» where Rob Westgeest coded a «xunit-like» tool in BASH to test BASH scripts. It was simple great! I loved the session and it gave me lot of ideas.

In the afternoon I followed Woody Zuill to his session «No Estimates», I was already familiar with the topic but I wanted to see how Woody presented it. I really liked his approach and I enjoyed the session.

The last session of the day (and the conference) was a Keynote by Steve Freeman and Nat Pryce.

The closing of the conference was in charge of Seb Rose who was the host of the conference.

In the next post I will share some highlights of the conference beyond the «formal stuff».

XPConf 2016: Day 2, our workshop

We were a bit worried because we didn’t know how many people would attend our workshop. The conference agenda for that day was full of interesting sessions and attending to our full-day workshop would imply missing all those sessions.

To our surprise we started the session with ~15 participants! After the ice-breaker activity we shared the full set of activities we had plan for the session and asked the participants to vote them, so we can concentrate in those more interesting for the audience. After voting, the final plan was not very different to what had prepared.

During the morning we presented our vision of XP «new practices» and drilled into one of them: Infrastructure as Code. These two topics generated some interesting discussion.

Before taking a break we checked with the audience how to continue. At that point some people left the session, but about the half decided to complete the workshop. So after a 30 minutes break we we jumped into Continuous Delivery, we reviewed the main concepts and we did a demo.

The next topic was User Story Mapping which only one of the participants knew about. We presented the technique and then we put it in practice.

The latest topic was Specification by Example, we explained the technique and put it in practice using Cucumber-JVM and working a «enterprise-like» application we built for the occasion. We work on a set of stories identified in the Story Mapping. For each of them we provided a ser of rules and asked the participants to work in pairs to write examples, validate them with US and them implement them.

As usual, at the end we asked for participant to rank the workshop and we get 4.3 out of 5 which for us was great! Here are some quotes form participants:

I really appreciated seeing Story Mapping and BDD in action –  especially the continuity between the two because they used the same example project.


Certainly a lot of valuable things covered and I learned a lot.


Definitely worth attending!

Here are some pictures and here is the slide deck we used (it does not have much information and because of that we are writing an booklet some participants can drill down in the different topics)






XPConf 2016: Day 1 summary

The journey started with a very interesting keynote by Elizabeth Hendrickson who shared how they at doing XP at scale in Pivotal Labs.

After that I went to the session Symbiotic Design Practices by Michael Feathers.

In the afternoon I attended the session Example Mapping by the Cucumber guys. The session was very interactive and I really liked the approach proposed by Matt and Steve (the guys in charge of the session). I will share my info about this session in a future post.

My next session was a Panel where some «agile rock starts» discussed about the Agile Hype. The session was fine but at a certain point I felt it was not adding value to me, so I left the room and went into the hall to do some networking.

At 6 PM I joined the Open Space Marketplace where I proposed a Smalltalk Introductory session for that same day.

At the 7 PM there was a nice Whisky Tasting activity and right after that I went back to the open space to join a session about Mutation testing. Next to it, was my Smalltalk session. Seven guys joined the session and we did a walkthrough over Pharo Smalltalk that took about one hour. By the end of the session it was almost 10 and I went to my room to review some stuff for the workshop I had to run the next day.

Elisabeth Hendrickson’s Keynote
Example Mapping Session

About our Modern XP tutorial @ XPConf 2016

Today we (@dfontde and me) will held this workshop that is focused on a set of practices we consider have take the main stage in software development over the last couple of years.

During morning we will review the foundations of XP and we will share a backlog creation technique called User Story Mapping.

In the afternoon we will continue with Infrastructure as Code, BDD, DevOps and Continuous Delivery. For this second part we will work with Java, Cucumber, Jenkins and Ansible.

Even when the workshop is full-day we invite xpconf participant to join either in the morning or in the afternoon. We think the workshop is great resource for those just starting with agile and also for those that are already practicing it but that would like to get familiar with the mentioned practices.

The workshop is based on our Software Engineer course at UNTreF University and we have already run it a couple of times with very good results.

XPConf 2016: Pre-conference (day 0)

Day 0 is DONE. There was a set of pre-conference workshops. I attended to «Software Faster» full-day workshop facilitated by Dan North.  Another workshops I considered before making my mind were: Mob Programming (Woody Zuill) and Exploratory Testing (Elisabeth Hendrickson).

The workshop was useful, the main takeaways points for me were:

  • some techniques to deal with legacy code
  • a set of activities to experiment in my classes at the university
  • a list of reading

After the workshop there was an ice-breaker activity sponsored by Head Resourcing with some drinks & snacks and finally we had the «Dinner with an agile stranger» sponsored by Headforwards.

Software Faster Workshop by Dan North