The XP Day Program. pt. 1


On the first day of XP Day Benelux, we have a track with three consecutive introductory sessions. If you want to know what XP, SCRUM and agile software development are about, this is the place to be. We’ve put these sessions at the beginning of the conference, so that those who attend them can get more out of the other sessions.

I feel it’s important to ensure that there are enough sessions for people with little knowledge about agile. We need to attract new people; agile is still in the early phases. There are lots of people out there who are curious about agile. A local event like the XP Days is a great way to learn more and, especially, to meet people who are also interested.

The sessions

The 3 XP Loops is presented by Vera Peeters and me. We’ve been giving this presentation for a few years now. The first few times we gave this talk, we were met with incredulity, lots of discussion and disbelief. Some of those incredulous people now give talks about agile topics themselves. Extreme Programming is less controversial these days, we’re met with less scepticism these days. We still start the presentation by asking the audience to “Pretend you believe us“. Suspend your disbelief for a while and hear us out. Afterwards you can decide if there’s anything in XP that is useful to you.

The presentation is structured around a drawing of the XP practices, which contains 3 connected loops: the developer/pair loop; the daily developer team loop; the whole team (including customer) iteration loop. Over the years, the presentation has become more “Zen“: fewer bullets, more pictures, more stories; less theory, more experience.

What is Agile Software Development? by Rob Westgeest and Willem van den Ende takes the opposite approach from the 3 Loops session: Rob and Willem start with the values of the Agile Manifesto, the ideas behind agility, and then zoom in on how the different methods implement the values and practices. If you want the big picture of agility, this is where you’ll get it.

Intro to SCRUM by Joseph Pelrine explains how the Scrum method works and why it works that way. Joseph has been applying agile methods for years now and is one of the earliest and best known Scrum trainers. Besides a really great explanation of Scrum, expect lots of stories from Joseph’s considerable experience. Bring all your Scrum questions to this Scrum Master.

With these three sessions down your belt, you’ll know more about agile methods than most. Each of these sessions is presented by people who have applied these methods for the past years, so you’ll get more than theory.