14 May 2007

Sydney Agile group meeting

Tonight was the first SyXPAC meeting I've been to in a couple of months, but boy was it good. I think it's the most useful meeting of the group that I've been to since we left the James Squire Brewhouse over a year ago.

The arrangement was in the Open Space method of meeting organisation: the participants suggested topics, and we scheduled them on the wall for the evening.

What I learnt tonight:

  • Value stream mapping is a technique used in the "lean systems" method of analysing an organisation in terms of the value of the output it produces.
  • Distributed development seems to work for small teams if you have frequent communication, face-to-face meetings, and experienced team members in all locations.
  • Belgium has more expensive programmers than Australia. At least, they're outsourcing development here to decrease costs.
  • Seaside is a Smalltalk web application framework that provides better performance than most other web application platforms.
  • Jarcom (or something like that) is an aspect-based instrumentation tool that can be used to measure performance of code in-situ. (I can't find the link right now; you'll have to wait until the photos are up.)
  • Acceptance test data is not really sufficient for performance testing because it doesn't simulate a realistic scenario.

The Open Space method worked really well for a group of 14 people, and we ended up with 2 or 3 interesting topics at each timeslot. I found the topics interesting as well, and having a note-taker kept the discussion on-topic.