Moving from cowboy coding to agile development

Monday, March 20, 2006

My Agile Week

Last week was probably more agile for me than any other week has ever been. On Wednesday I participated in my third randori coding dojo, and on Friday I eagerly listened to each of the three presentations in the agile seminar at Kiasma.

The seminar was absolutely great. The first presentation was Vasco Duarte's Team Building and Agile Software Development, followed by Sebastian Nykopp's Test Automation in Agile Development Today and - last but definitely not least - Joseph Pelrine's How Agile Works: Complexity and Agility. Vasco Duarte and Joseph Pelrine talked more about the social and "soft" side of software development. Some of the stuff sounded pretty familiar to me because of my leadership and management studies, but there were also several new things and the familiar ones were now tied to my own trade better than ever before.

Sebastian Nykopp's presentation was more on the technical side, and thus perhaps a bit more challenging to listen to. However, having learned TDD so far only at grass-roots level, it was really nice to see the whole bundle of test automation from FitNesse to the (familiar) JUnit unit tests. As I wrote in my last post, I really should get a grip of TDD on a larger scale, so this presentation really hit a good spot.

I think the presentations gave me some valuable ideas on the ways I could try to get TDD (and perhaps some other XP methods, later) started at my workplace. We'll see.

The dojo on Wednesday was - again - loads of fun. This time the dojo was held at the FifthElement premises, being the first dojo outside of the Reaktor office I have participated in. Although I consider myself as a novice in TDD, I actually started feeling the agony of being on the red bar too long... We stayed "on the red" for over five minutes during some big change, and although (or because of) I wasn't at the keyboard at the time, I almost started feeling uneasy physically, waiting for the green bar to appear. :)

Joseph Pelrine said on Friday "[After RUP,] Agile was like a homecoming for me". I can't say I feel the same, but there's definitely something in the agile ways that I find more and more alluring. I'm already feeling TDD puritanism creeping in, and I really like the feeling.

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