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Sep 17, 2008
Agile 2008 Lightning Summaries - Xpdx September meeting

Hi all!!! To both of you - may the future be bright, happy and filled with continued blessings from above gold I've just been sitting around waiting for something to happen. gold element, gold, I just don't have anything to say.

Nov 19, 2008
XPDX - Agile Methodologies: A Matter of Survival
CubeSpace [ *sniff* out of business 12 June 2009]

In October, SolutionsIQ organized an entertaining, educational, and well-attended panel on Incremental Architecture.

In November, Michael Kelly will present our next evening meeting topic, Agile Methodologies: A Matter of Survival.

Metaphorically, we frequently think of things as surviving where there's no real threat to life. Companies survive. Products, and the teams that produce them, survive. Individual members of the team continue to be a member of the team by virtue of their ability to survive. In all these activities we see the same lively dance of competition and cooperation, of adaptation and evolution, within a constantly changing environment.

Michael Kelly, a survivor of numerous software campaigns, will bring together the insights of famed survival writer Laurence Gonzales, some rather surprising research into the neuroscience of decision making, and some hair-raising personal experiences to illuminate the importance of agile methodologies and suggest some potential new directions.

This is our usual monthly meeting for the month of November. Remember the location and time for future meetings! Third Wed of the month, at CubeSpace.

Jan 14, 2009
XPDX January: Lean Thinking for Agile Process Evolution
CubeSpace [ *sniff* out of business 12 June 2009]

Lean methods in software development have progressed from conceptual understanding to practical techniques that people are using to solve problems and ship software today. The Lean toolkit augments or enhances the practices that are available to today's Agile practitioner. Lean expands the organizational scope of Agile and provides a rich and robust set of methods for process improvement.

Corey Ladas is a Lean Software Development consultant and practitioner who focuses on evolving local development processes through systematic self-organization and continuous improvement. He will discuss and demonstrate some of the techniques from his new book, Scrumban: Essays on Kanban Systems for Lean Software Development.

Pizza at 6:30pm, talk at 7pm, beer after. Pizza is sponsored by YesMail. As ever, we will follow the meeting with a chat and hang out at a local pub.

Jan 16, 2009
XPDX lunch (eXtreme Programming)
McMenamins on Broadway

Join other XP and agile methdology practitioners and enthusiasts for a lunchtime discussion.

XPDX is group of IT professionals in the Portland, Oregon area that are interested in Extreme Programming and Agile software development methodologies.

Feb 18, 2009
XPDX February: Acceptance Test Driven Development >> NOW AT 6:30 AND FEATURING PIZZA <<
CubeSpace [ *sniff* out of business 12 June 2009]

Elisabeth Hendrickson will be coming to facilitate our February meeting. Here's her description:

UPDATE: SolutionsIQ are sponsoring pizza for twenty - arriving at 6:30 <<<

"It will essentially be a shorter preview of the Agile2009 demo I proposed at

Here's the blurb:

Agile teams practicing Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD) define acceptance tests collaboratively while discussing each story. This practice helps uncover assumptions and confirm that everyone has a shared understanding of what “done” looks like. During implementation, the technical team automates the natural-language Acceptance Tests by writing code to wire them up to the emerging software. In this way, ATDD tests become executable requirements. This session is a demonstration of the full ATDD workflow from initial discussions through final demo, and everything in between."

Mar 18, 2009
XPDX March: Ping Pong Pairing >> PIZZA FROM VERSIONONE <<
CubeSpace [ *sniff* out of business 12 June 2009]

Pair Programming has many benefits for a team above and beyond coding, yet it's still one of the hardest XP practices to get into. Ping Pong pairing is a lot of fun and is my favourite way to pair. It has a game-like style that instils good pairing and TDD practices. So come along to the next XPDX meeting to try it out. It doesn't matter if you've been pairing for years or want to try it for the first time. This will be a chance to learn from each other. We'll spend a little time getting to know the mechanics of Ping Pong pairing, do a brief demonstration, and then all pair up for over an hour of practice.

Absolutely positively bring a laptop with you. We'll be using Java, JUnit, and Eclipse. A big time saver will be to ensure that you have the Java SDK installed beforehand.

Thanks to VersionOne there'll be pizza for thirty! <<<

Be there at 6:30pm for the pizza. We'll start at 7pm. At 9pm we'll move on to a local bar.

Apr 15, 2009
XPDX April: Bugs Do Not Exist
CubeSpace [ *sniff* out of business 12 June 2009]

Chris Sterling and Michael Tardiff are coming to Portland and will be running April's XPDX session:

"We know about items on the product backlog, and getting them to “Done.” We know about impediments, and removing them as soon as possible. And agile methods lead us toward shipping software with zero defects, we hope. But bugs remain, for now, and we think of and treat them quite differently from stories, tasks, and other work items—perhaps to our, and our project’s, detriment. Buy why? We need your help finding an answer, or posing better questions.

In this interactive session, we’ll explore the wealth of thoughts, opinions, and especially the strong feelings behind the things we call bugs."

Pizza is sponsored by YesMail <<<

Pizza arrives at 6:30pm, the session starts at 7pm, and at 9pm we move on to a local bar.

Apr 28, 2009
Elisabeth Hendrickson's Agile Testing Series workshop: April 28 - 30
through McMenamins Kennedy School

Elisabeth Hendrickson came to Portland last month to introduce us to Acceptance Test Driven Development at XPDX. She'll be back in town in April to run a three day workshop: Agile Testing Series.

There are still places available -- be quick to get a spot as I expect that this will sell out soon.

What: Agile Testing Series When: April 28 - 30, 2009 Where: McMenamin's Kennedy School, Portland, OR Instructors: Elisabeth Hendrickson and Dale Emery Cost: Before March 29, $499/day. Group discounts also available.

Description: This is a 3 day series of 1-day classes on the essential principles and practices in Agile Testing: - Day 1: Adapting to Agile (also known as the "WordCount Simulation") - Day 2: Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD) in Practice - Day 3: Exploratory Testing in an Agile Context

These classes involve lots of exercises, demonstrations, and discussions, and absolutely no slideshows, and no long, boring lectures.

For more information, please see the registration page:

They're also offering this same series of classes in Pleasanton, CA the preceding week if you know anyone in the SF Bay Area who might be interested. See:

Jul 15, 2009
XPDX: A retrospective done well

For July’s meeting, Diana Larsen will run a retrospective for us. We’re going to cover the last year of XPDX activities.

This will be a good chance to see a well-run end of project retrospective. It’ll also be a chance to come weigh in and change what we do for next year.

Beer afterward will be at the Lucky Lab a few blocks from the meeting place (given our discoordination last month, we decided to figure the most important parts out ahead of time).

I hope to see several of you there.

Sep 16, 2009
Beer and Agile: XPDX September meeting
Amnesia Brewing

We're going to talk about some of the best new stuff to come out at the Agile 2009 conference in Chicago. Oh, and drink beer, which is why we're setting the meeting at a brewpub.

Depending on the interests of those who show, those of us who went may reprise parts of the talks we gave that worked, sections of other peoples' sessions in which we learned something cool, or quick info-dumps about new thoughts expressed in hallway conversations. Certainly, we'll spur conversations - this won't be a 90-minute talking head. Topcis could include testing (end-to-end and otherwise), real options (and feature pricing), kanban planning, metrics, or really just about anything.

Feb 17, 2010
Agile Transition Simulation
Robert Half Technology, 2nd Floor Conference Room

We're happy to announce that Elisabeth Hendrickson will be speaking to the Portland Agile Users Group on Wednesday the 17th. She's an energetic and informative member of the greater agile community who periodically comes up from the Bay Area to share her knowledge with us. Her talk on ATDD[*] last year at CubeSpace was great fun and well-received.

This year she'll be taking us through an interactive simulation of an agile transition. When she ran this simulation at Agile 2009, it replicated a number of problems I've seen take months and years to play out on real software teams. Bring your team members! It's far less stressful to talk about problems in the context of an evening's simulation than in the context of three years of product development.

Pizza is sponsored by YesMail of InfoGroup Interactive. Pizza and networking start at 6:30; presentation starts at 7. If there's enough interest, we'll go to a pub afterward for further discussion.

[*] Acceptance-Test-Driven Development