Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My First Agile Atlanta Meeting

I attended my first Agile Atlanta meeting tonight at IBM's offices over near Perimeter Mall here in Atlanta. The building was easy enough to find, and I arrived early enough to grab a quick and unnecessary snack of potato cakes from Arby's. Unnecessary because pizza was served at the meeting.

I couldn't have unknowingly picked a better night to attend for my first meeting, as I discovered that John Scumniotales, a co-creator of Scrum and the first Scrum Master, would be the presenter. I had the pleasure of sitting next to him prior to the meeting and the opportunity to get to know him a little. Seems like an extremely nice guy. I hadn't realized it but Easel Corporation was a direct competitor with PowerBuilder back when he, Jeff Sutherland, and Jeff McKenna were working there and came up with the phrase Scrum to describe what they were doing.

Some of what I heard him speak of this evening re-affirmed other things that I had learned about Scrum, and Agile methods in general, from others that I've worked with in the past. One thing that I did learn was that he did not consider a development shop practicing Agile unless they are doing Test Driven Development. It's a cornerstone that seems like he doesn't believe can or should be compromised. There were 5 things that he mentioned, and unfortunately my skill at typing on my iPhone was not honed enough to capture them all.

Beyond what is commonly known as Agile and Scrum methods, he spoke in part to Scrum methods spilling out from sort of the software construction time frame to other parts of the business.

He also spoke to Agile and it's implications for distributed teams. He makes a good point, in that tooling in this circumstance is very important. He walked us through some of the application that he manages development for, Serena - Agile On Demand.

Suffice to say, I'm glad I finally made it to my first Agile Atlanta meeting, and I definitely intend to make it to next months meeting, time permitting. Thank you, John, for taking the time to come out and talk to us this evening.

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