XP Day 2007

…was good fun, and well worth a couple of days off.

There’s a mixed crowd – some die-hard extreme programmers, quite a few self-styled (and self-promoting!) ‘coaches’ and a few newbies.

The atmosphere was really friendly – you would quite often find yourself sat in one session right next to the person who had been leading the previous one, so that and the often fun and interactive sessions broke the ice pretty quickly.

The first day was a bit flat for me, but after a night on the free beer courtesy of the sponsors, the second day picked up and really made it worth it. I wish I’d had time to stay for another session in the pub on Tuesday evening.

Key things I took from this conference, more detail on these later if you’re lucky:

  • There’s a fairly serious backlash going on against scrum (I heard more than one person drop the ‘r’, although I think one of those was accidental!), certainly within the London / UK agile scene.
  • There’s tension, which as I see it is between the coaching community and the programmer / creator community, who disagree about how much it’s OK to compromise on the original agile manifesto values and XP practices. I heard the phrase ‘valuing pragmatism over orthodoxy’ which summed it up rather well.
  • Nobody, but nobody, works for ThoughtWorks anymore, not even Fred George
  • You probably need to be working in Java if you want to get decent XP gigs, especially for a bank, and there’s quite a few people working for banks – particularly front office.
  • Kanban is where it’s at, baby.