Turku Agile Day 2012 reflections from the day 1

I participated for the first time in Turku Agile Day in the role of Agile Finland chairperson – with the intention of networking and talking a lot with people about Agile Finland and how to energize and activate the finnish agile community. It was also my first moment to get to know better people in Turku ict-scene outside Affecto. Just like with AgileJKL-event, I was impressed about the energy, passion and enthusiasm people were putting into the event – and how relaxed and cozy the atmosphere was.

First day of the conference was the workshop day. From multiple interesting options I had chosen Eemeli Kantola’s Acceptance Test Driven Development for Web Apps and Linda Rising’s Patterns for Improved Customer Interaction. As I’ve loved the Fearless Change-book ( see also the game, Fearless Journey ), I was really looking forward Linda’s session – but unfortunately due to sickness it was cancelled. Luckily she had had the chance to have the workshop with Turku Agile Day-staff – so that she had the time to influence at least a small group of people.  So instead of Linda’s cancelled session I joined in on Diana Larsen’s Liftoffs for Agile Teams and Projects.

Day 1: Acceptance Test Driven Development for Web Apps

Eemeli’s talk was actually a hands on show and tell about how to design an web application with user’s behaviours and acceptance criteria on mind. He quickly introduced the concept and thinking – and then moved into the hands on part, which was about building an application from the start up and testing it with Jasmine framework – and writing test spec with Coffee script.

Finished application can be found from:


Session was a good hands on introduction to Jasmine – and I liked how Eemeli described how the framework works, and how in certain places he wanted to do something different – so how he decided to tweak a function or feature here and there. Session was paced quite fast, so instead of doing my own coding I opted just to fork the repo and see what was in the source as Eemeli showed things on the projector.

The value for me of this session was to see and get the feel on Jasmine + Coffeescript workflow — so what would be the actual workflow when using Jasmine in a project. How would I setup the work for javascript ui creation and what would be design + testing strategy while building the application.

One improvement for future would be to be more clear in the description of the session that this session will be a handson workshop about how to do things in Jasmine and with Coffeescript.

Day 1: Lunch-time

During the coffee breaks and lunch I had the opportunity to talk with people about other sessions and heard good comments about Vasco Duarte’s session ’From an idea to vision you can implement’-workshop. But then again Vasco has always been a good presenter and talker, so whatever the topic – he is entertaining.

Venue worked quite nicely for all sorts of social interaction – and I spent most of the time outside the sessions talking with people. Brilliant place to meet and talk with attendees was the coffee line to Cafe Art’s Joona Suominen, who was making absolutely beautiful cappuccinos and delicious espresso. Spending time talking with people actually caused me to completely miss the lunch – but that really did not matter, as there was no time to feel hungry.

Day 1: Liftoffs for Agile Teams and Projects

Diana Larsen had just recently published a new book and this session was based on ideas and thoughts discussed also in the book. Liftoff is – based on quick glance and reading on the Kindle edition –  an excellent addition to your physical or digital library as it directly focuses on how to do a good agile charter for your project. This is something that I have personally stumbled with – as I have tried to write and create charters / visions that would properly talk to different audiences as well as really guide our work.

In the workshop Diana walked us through the path of understanding why setting up the project is important, how to do it in agile context and what should be the key components of an agile charter ( Purpose, Context, Alignment ). During the workshop Diana discussed numerous familiar ideas and concepts from the world of facilitation and brought the smile to my face, when she started to talk also about complex adaptive systems. During the break we discussed briefly about the subject and she told that her foundation for those concepts and ideas come from Humansystem dynamics institute ( http://www.hsdinstitute.org/ ).

During the workshop Diana told numerous interesting anecdotal stories which drove some of the points home and helped greatly the learning process and left really good memories, which will be easier recollect later on than reading about the same concepts on a page of a book.

Best takeaways from the session for me were the structure for agile charter and as an individual tool personal posters, which can be used to build the trust in the team. Each member of the team would create a poster of themselves, which would describe their  gifts to the team ( what they bring ), wants from the team ( what would they like, how they like to work ) – and something they share with people sooner and later. It was a simple and nice ice breaking tool and artefact to use while facilitating team formation.

Day 1: Socialization in Rantakerttu and Koulu

After the official program it was time to retire for some socializing in Turku’s restaurants with a nice group of speakers, attendees as well as Turku Agile Day staff. First place for us was Rantakerttu, where an excellent hamburger buffet made sure we  after hard day of work at Turku Agile Day – we would have energy to continue discussions, sharing and learning to the early hours of the night.

I have to say that I absolutely admire the stamina and energy with which people at Turku take on night time activities. On the other hand as the weather was so beautiful, collection of people participating in discussions was amazing –  and local breweries provided us with a nice selection of beers and ciders – there really couldn’t have been anything better to do.

Even though there was still a long conference day ahead, a large group of people kept of discussing and improving the world ’till wee hours of the morning. I had a blast and enjoyed our discussions with numerous people, including among others Pekka Klärck – who mentioned that he would be interested to do a Robotframework session some day in Lappeenranta area — as it happens to be on his route when he travels to their summer cottage. So based on that discussion we are now trying to organize first Agile Finland-event at Lappeenranta!

Big Thank you to everyone for making the first day such a great experience!

Kategoria(t): agile, business, life, programming. Lisää kestolinkki kirjanmerkkeihisi.


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