Author Archives: admin

Play4Agile 2015

In February I returned to Play4Agile 2015 in Germany. As always this was an excellent event where I could gain new ideas, discuss old ones and try out some new ideas of my own too. It was also special this time as I took someone with from Aberdeen. This made attendance different in a good way.

On Thursday before p4a15 started I attended a workshop with Deb Preuss on open space technology with several others. This was useful and helped me clarify how I’d been using this in the past and what I could do to provide a better experience for others when I’m facilitating events in the future.

The pre-conference Friday afternoon workshop on Improv this year was good fun as well as a useful experience to see how I can bring more improv to some of my classes as a way for people to warm up and move towards body storming aspects when developing and prototyping ideas. There were many demos during the session of the power of ‘yes, and..’ plus also how to better ‘accept your partner’s offer’ and what happens when you don’t follow these rules.

Play4agile_15 organising teamSaturday saw the usual excitement of the start with people lining up to offer a good variety of sessions. With the help of others I was able to have a session run on ‘Theatre of the Oppressed‘, which I missed last year, and wanted to better understand so that I might be able to use it too someday. We picked a scenario from someone and then worked through the possibilities to understand the options, which might’ve been available. Sarah, who led the improv session on Friday, also ran a session about improv techniques, which was very good too and built nicely on what she’d done on the Friday. There was also a good session on using the game Escape: the Curse of the Temple to highlight and help to analyse team interaction, and what happens when it falls apart.

Sunday saw me run a trial version of my crucial conversations game. This went ok, but was not as good as I hoped. Instead, I got lots of useful feedback about improvements, plus an important validation that the general idea was good and was worth pursuing further. As always, this is why we go to p4a; we can try ideas with a useful, supportive crowd of people. Afterwards I went to Ellen’s growth mindset game session based on Carol Dweck’s work, where she and Jens were exploring whether you could develop a game to help people understand the notion of growth mindsets. The conclusion was that this might be hard to achieve. Later, Ellen also ran a useful session on how to use Rory’s Storycubes for retrospectives.

I’m sure that I’ve forgotten some sessions and know I also had many conversations over meals with people – almost always sitting with different people each time – and late into the night at the bar with more people too. Because everyone is in the one location for everything you can always find people to chat to about work and ideas, or play a game with while chatting. This is ever so helpful. Lastly, of course, there were the sessions of werewolf, which are always fun and enlightening 🙂

As noted above, I had a colleague from the university with me. This meant I was looking after someone to make sure they knew what might be expected in this wonderful community and to point out people they shoud meet. This was good. The best part was seeing this person grow over our time there. By the end of p4a15 the person was more confident, open, and aware of what was still to be learned about the agile community. Plus, they had an even bigger thirst and understanding of the power that play brings to learning. I must try to bring more people to this in the future.

Macbook rebuild part one

I’m going to make sure that I keep track of what goes into the macbook. When it came back yesterday it was back in its pristine Tiger mode. First step therefore was to put Leopard in and to do the updates to bring it back up to scratch. This meant setting up the network stuff for at work and at home too. Surprising what you forget really, even though it’s stuff you use everyday.

The second step was to put in Macports, which in turn required Xcode 3.1 instead of the 3.0 version that it naturally upgraded to by the update process. That went smooth enough, altough getting there took a while, because of the number of updates I needed to do.

Macports is there to enable easy setup of Rails and MySQL and a few other odds and ends. At least I think it was the Macports version of MySQL that I had. I seem to remember trying a few different ones, and finally setttled on the Macport one. This is tomorrow’s project. Wish me luck.

Mobile megatrends 2009

VisionMobile have put up an interesting presentation on their perspective of the mobile market for 2009. It offers some intriguing insights: lower Linux marketshare in handsets now than in 2006, and also a nice view of how the different licence agreements for the software, et al, is also affected by the governance of the same projects. I also like how it differentiates phoneME from JavaME, which I’ve not noticed before. All in all worth a look and your time.

Welcome

Hey ho, here we go. This will be an ongoing experiment in putting down ideas and trying out content. The idea is that it should have stuff that is up for discussion, as well as a place to put things, which I can more readily find later. Hopefully, you’ll also find it useful.