bring software to life and grow mature systems that support business needs.
It has a wonderfull atmosphere and fosters an environment of participation and cooperation. As such you find a lot of interactive sessions.
Below you can find an account of the sessions I attended.
Table of Contents
1 What happend to the why?
Gitte Klitgaard and Lilian Nijboer presented a lovely session where they asked the question "What happend to the why". The started their session by asking to introduce yourself to your neighbour. Afterwards the took stock of the different kind of questions asked, noting that there was a considerable low amount of why-questions.
Gitte and Lilian cited some longitudinal study on the correlation between children asking why-questions and their creativity. It seems to be the case that children who ask a lot of why-questions end up in more creative jobs.
Because creative jobs spur inovations it is important to keep asking why questions. Unfortunatly, it is also apparent that there is a decrease of the number of why-questions asked, both in an individual growing up and in the population over the years.
The session ended with a similiar excersise as the session started, introduce yourself to your neighbour asking only why questions.
2 Agile client: a romantic relationship to build
In this session the presenters, Anais Victor and Huy Canh Duong, acted out different scenario's a relationship could go through, always in two fashions: not-agile and agile. From courtship to being married, they used these scenes to demonstrated and discussed the similarities differences between a love-relationship and a relationship with a client.
In this fun and playful session the object was to toss a ball between different participants (components). The components could be programmed to do certain simple tasks such as turn left, throw ball left or throw the ball when you hear "one".
Like in real life, the path the ball should follow was not revealed incrementally. Upon programming the components for one task, Olivier Azeau, would hand out a new requirement. Points could be scored by using simpler instructions, or reusing instructions from an earlier "sprint".
Although Soft(ware)Ball can be played by participants without software development skills, it demonstrated nicely software development concepts such as the cost of technical depth, refactoring and design patterns.
4 Anyone can write concurrent code using Test Driven Design? Inconceivable!
A set of rules was explained that a human computer should follow. The human computer could be tested with a set of provided test. With these rules and by sending messages to other human computers via sticky notes, it was possible to solve a sudoku puzzle.
The session demonstrated that it is possible to build concurrent systems by following Hoare's paradigma and seperating business logic from communication patterns.
5 Passion for Agile Education
One of the most interesting session of the conference showed how a school was using EduScrum to foster learning. The session was devided in two parts. The first part introduced EduScrum, a derivative of scrum, and how it is used in school. The second part was a speed date session with students and teacher who implemented EduScrum and told about their experiences.
It was very nice to see young people grasping the main ideas of scrum and using it to cater for their education.
XP Days Benelux is a delightful conference where one can immerse oneself with the latest insights into extreme programming.