Last week I was at “Mathema Campus” - A small conference in Erlangen, Germany. It was great - I learned a lot and had a lot of fun! I also was quite exhausted every day - but in a good way! Daniel Haslinger (from Objectbay) and I arrived on Wednesday Evening. We had dinner with some guys from Mathema in a nice little frankonian restaurant.

On the next day, Daniel and I held a Scrum-Workshop called “Hands on scrum”. Here’s some pictures:

Most of the participants had no prior experience with scrum, so at first we explained the mechanics of scrum and why we have all these rituals (planning, review, retrospective, daily scrum, …). We tried to keep this really short because we wanted to get to the hands-on part as quickly as possible.

After the “theory lesson” we explained what we wanted from the participants: We wanted them to implement a computer game in Java. At first we had a release planning meeting: We explained our user stories and the team estimated them. We had to split a really important user story because it was too big (coincidence ;) ).

Then the team planned their first sprint and they started implementing. They quickly realized that their planning was not sufficient. Also, there was a lot of setup to do in the first sprint (which only lasted an 01:15 hours), so there was no result at the end, only some bits of code that didn’t fit together.

We had a retrospective, and the team identified 2 things they wanted to do better in the following sprints. In the afternoon we had two more sprints (both ~01:30 hours long), and after the last sprint there was a little animation and the game also processed keyboard input. It was far from being playable, but IMHO it was a great result.

But the “software project” was not the real focus of the workshop. We wanted to show the participants how it feels to be in a scrum team and how the mechanics of scrum work. We let them do all the meetings and resolve conflicts themselves. They really were a self organizing team, we just were there to answer questions. We had fun, and I hope the participants learned a thing or too. Thanks again to Daniel for doing this with me!

The next two days were regular campus days: I listened to a lot of talks and held one myself. All the talks I heard were good this year, there was no boring or badly prepared presentation this time. I was especially impressed by “Von der Schulbank” by Michaela Borzechowski - A student who talked about computer science education in German schools. The talk was interesting and delivered very well (just the slides were a little bit crowded) - It was brilliant considering her young age and the fact that it was her first talk at a conference.

I will write about my talk in the coming weeks in the mini series Framework Design Principles.

You might be also interested in… Learn more about how I can help you save money and earn money by improving your implementation of agile software development.