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October 21, 2008

Rails Summit Conference recap

That's me, delivering the closing keynote of the conference

Favorite parts of the conference

Here's a quick list of my favorites parts of the conference...

  • The Brazilian (and Argentinian) "Raileros"... Simply awesome and super-enthusiastic bunch of people and I was so glad to be part of their special conference.
  • The reception that my keynote talk about the "Hashrocket Way" got. I had a ton of attendees tell me afterward that they were very excited about adopting some of our Agile techniques and practices in their own operations.
  • Pounding the tables, clapping and singing "We Will Rock You" along with what felt like another 100 conference attendees packed into a sushi restaurant in downtown Sao Paolo.
  • Getting to spend quality time getting to know Dr. Nic and Chad Fowler, whoops I mean Chad Erik
  • The look on my lovely Desi's face when she saw my presentation slide promoting DevChix at the end of the keynote. :)

Picture 2

Keynote Recap

I'm going to give this talk again this year, so I'm not posting the slides (which were mostly pics of the Hashrocket crew anyway). My 60 minute talk spanned the range of Agile practices that we use at Hashrocket, organized by the principles of the Agile Manifesto.

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.

Among several other core practices, Hashrocket is a pair-programming shop primarily because we believe that pairing is a key way of emphasizing and leveraging the productivity of our people in effective ways. I spent a lot of time explaining how pairing works and its benefits.

Working software over comprehensive documentation

As Bryan says, "Test all the f*cking time!" There are other ways to put this principle into practice too, having to do with the test technology that we use.

Customer Collaboration over contract negotiation

Onsite customer is important, and our location on the beach in Florida plays into our ability to attract people to come work at our office. I also introduced some ideas about visual design, and when you should do design work on a project, that isn't necessarily what you would expect from a believer in extreme programming.

Responding to change over following a plan

I showed off Pivotal Tracker and spoke about how we use it. I also talked about the importance of standup meetings and how to do those effectively.

I can't recommend Pivotal Tracker enough for Agile teams. You should go sign up and try it for free.

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