Tag Archives: 2012

Kudos for the Global Day of Coderetreat 2012

Global Day of Coderetreat 2012

As last year I helped the coderetreat first-time facilitators to jump-in and organize their first coderetreat. I had some training sessions on Google Hangout during which I talked with a lot of passionate professionals from all over the world. Together with me Jim Hurne had done the same effort to spread his knowledge about the way he facilitates a coderetreat.

Jim has done a lot of work for the Global Day, he added the sessions on the coderetreat.org website created, the hangouts for all the registered attendees for each session, and a lot of other very useful things. He was full of energy and I want to thank him for all that effort, I don’t think the Global Day would have been that successful without his sustained effort.

I chose to go to Cluj-Napoca to facilitate the coderetreat on the Global Day. I had talked with the Cloud Troopers company about hosting a community event, and this was the time. They were kind enough to sponsor also the lunch. Out host was Georgiana Gligor, and she was very keen to see what a coderetreat is all about.

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My Teddy Bear went to XP Days Germany 2012

My Teddy Bear went to XP Days Germany 2012

And here is the proof:

Mosaic Works Teddy Bear

My pairing partner

My teddy bear was willing to go with me to Hamburg because after facilitating the Brutal Refactoring Game, Taking Baby Steps and TDD as if you meant it at the SoCraTes conference I was invited by Marc Philipp to facilitate again one of those sessions at XP Days Germany. Marc he helped me a with the German website, he submitted two sessions for me and in the end the conference organizers chose the Taking Baby Step as a winner.

I was happy I could meet passionate people from Germany at this conference. Then Alex decided to come along with me at the conference.We made all the preparations and off we went to the beautiful city of Hamburg!

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Open Agile Cluj, the 6th edition

Open Agile, the 6th edition in Cluj

17 November 2012. It was a great day for the Romanian developer community and for all passionate people in and around Cluj. This was the day when Agile Works and Mosaic Works organized the 6th edition of the OpenAgile conference. As always, its purpose was to popularize both gold old concepts and brand new ideas in Agile, Lean and Software Craftsmanship. Additionally, we often talk about Gamestorming, Change Management, Psychology and other interesting fields. Like the other editions, the event was balanced between information and practitioners’ experiences while mixing organizational and technical topics. OpenAgile was thought from the beginning as a non-profit event that helps knowledge exchange between the members of the Agile Works community. And what better way of sharing ideas and experiences than having three Open Space time slots!

I have to remark the great job done by my colleagues Alexandra and Nicoleta to remotely organize the event. For example, they did not have the chance to see the venue in advance. This works because of the trusted network of conference partners and suppliers that help organizing everything smoothly. But what a work that is! As an attendee, you often don’t see all the aspects of a conference (especially when it all goes well), so here’s a short list: the speakers know where to arrive and how to get to the venue, the volunteers are doing their part of the work, the sponsors are happy with the packages offered, the venue is set-up right, there’s enough coffee and thousands others. There are always small complaints and unexpected events, sometimes conflicting: it’s too warm *and* too cold, the coffee machine broke down etc. Everything was very well in the end, so I’d like to thank Alexandra and Nicoleta for the awesome job they did making it look easy!

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Open Agile Cluj 2012 – Our Fabulous Volunteers

Open Agile Cluj 2012 – Our Fabulous Volunteers

Since a couple of Open Agile editions we had the idea to ask volunteers to help us with some parts of the conference. It seems that for the Cluj edition we had this idea well-baked in our heads. Alexandra and I took the responsibility to ask who would want to be a volunteer and then to explain our concepts and how the conference would be.

We decided to have a remote call with all the volunteers, a couple of weeks before the conference. It seemed like a very useful ideas as it was also underlined by our volunteers retrospective, made after the conference. We explained during the call what were the areas where we would like help and each volunteer chose at least one responsibility. This was a kind of kick-of of the conference.

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Open Agile Cluj 2012 – The Crazy Erik Talboom and Jurgen De Smet

Open Agile Cluj 2012

The Cluj edition of Open Agile was special for more reasons: it was the first Open Agile in Cluj, for the first time we engaged volunteers who were fabulous, the first touch with Open Space for most of the attendees at the conference.

At this edition we had invited Andrea Provaglio to have the opening keynote, but because his flight was cancelled in the last minute he could not arrive. In return, he made a short ten minute overview about his presentation on Skype.

And because of this happening we had to convince Jurgen De Smet to give another talk, since he was already present at the venue after the Management 3.0 course he had taught. He was crazy enough to create a new talk in less than an hour. After we told him about our idea of him replacing Andrea, in a couple of minutes post-its started to fill-up the coffee table in the lounge of the venue. His idea was a bit alien to the Agile world, this giving it even more value: Financial Improvement. You can find his video here and his slides here.

We then stole the idea from this year’s ALE Conference: all the speakers of the day will have a Talk Show where they will say briefly what they will talk about in their presentations. Since everyone found it really useful during ALE, we thought, why not use it for Open Agile too. So thank you ALE 2012 organizers for inventing this concept!

One of the highlights of the talk show was Erik Talboom dragging Jurgen De Smet on the stage and slapping him hard, just because Jurgen was sloppy with his Agile Transformation. You can see this outrageous event here.

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Balkan Coderetreat, the first edition in Sofia

Balkan Coderetreat in Sofia

A couple of months ago I contacted Stefan Kanev to ask him if I could attend a coderetreat in Sofia. My main concern was not to bother all the attendees to speak English just because of me. What happened was that instead of attending a coderetreat I ended up facilitating a coderetreat in Sofia, and a rather special one.

Then I started chatting with Stefan and we ended up with the concept of Balkan Coderetreat. We want to create a type of event that will be organized in different countries in the Balkans. Why? Because there are not enough events for programmers around here. And one more reason: people from different countries and cultures would meet and share their knowledge and ideas. This idea is in the spirit of the ALE Network which I support as much as I can by being a bumble-bee, cross-pollinating ideas in the local European communities of Software Development. I would like to see this event happening in one of the Balkan countries each 2-3 months, organized each time by someone else. This would be in the spirit of a community of professionals that care about what they do and about sharing and learning, cross-language, cross-cultural and cross-border. I intend to support this event being organized again in a different country sometime in January.

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