I really like Agile Cambridge. This was my only my second and I only made the Friday keynote and my own session, but still had chance to catch up with some friends, speak to some exciting new people and I got to meet Dan North! I also did lots of SyncNorwich promotion and got plenty of positive response and lots of people wanting to speak and to visit us. Some people have already signed up!
Keynote: Embracing Uncertainty - Dan North
Although I've seen Dan North in numerous places I've never actually seen him speak. Embracing Uncertainty was a fantastic keynote. It had me nodding in agreement and laughing in equal measure. Suddenly here was someone who seemed to have much the same view of what's happening in the Agile world as me.
Dan explained that although the first principal of the AgileManifesto tells us to value individuals and interactions over processes and tools, so many of us are arguing over which Agile process we're following. Agile is about repeating what works, not making sure you're following a particular process. Dan is the father is BehaviourDriven Development (BDD) and pointed out that the only BDD tool is in your own head.
Of course the main thrust of the keynote was about how we, as humans, hate uncertainty. Dan, like many of us, would rather be wrong than uncertain.
The main takeaway from this keynote for me was that code that has tests fitted retrospectively is indistinguishable from code that is developed test first. I'm not an advocate of writing tests first, although I don't consider it a bad thing to do. My code is still tested just as if I had written the tests first. It's such a relief to see someone else recognising and stating this.
I'm looking forward to meeting Dan again in the future.
The Walking Skeleton - Paul Grenyer
This was the final outing of my Walking Skeleton presentation. I'll be taking a break from speaking until 2013, but hope to do some of the conference circuit again then. Today's audience were great and all people I hadn't met before. I was able to go into a bit more depth than usual and really enjoyed it.