Agile Games Night II – Brussels – 6th of June

Let’s play Agile Games

As you may know, every month, the Agile Belgium Community organizes Drinkups, See here for more details. During the drinkups of February, several participants told us they would like to have an evening with an agenda, preferably on the topic of Agile Games.

In March we decided to relaunch the Agile Belgium User Groups by organizing a first Agile Games Night @ Touring Insurance. You can have a look at this past event here.

We are happy to announce you that we will organize a second User Group on the same theme: The Agile Games Night II on 06/06/2013.

Practical Informations:

What’s that event concretely ?

An Agile user group is a group of people who enjoy using Agile methods (Scrum, XP, KanBan,…) who meet regularly to discuss the use of those methods, share knowledge and experience, hear from peers and hold other related activities. They may host special interest workgroups, often focusing on one particular aspect of Agile. This User group will be focussed on Agile Games, we will also briefly discuss the Agile Belgium Community’s events.

What are Agile Games about ?

Agile Games are…games we usually use to teach about Agile. They can be very general e.g. experience what is Scrum through a game. Or they can be focussed on one topic e.g. planning. It’s a fun and powerful way of learning.

If you want to know more about Agile Games you can check the links at the end of the post.

When is this user group ?

Agile Games Night I

6 of June 2013, Welcome begin at 17.30 and we finish at 21.00.

Food and drinks will be provided by our host.

How much does it cost?

It’s free, but for security and organizational reasons it’s mandatory to register in advance!

How do I register?

Follow this link. You will have to register to www.meetup.com, it’s easy and quick.

Where is it?

The host of our User Group will be the Company Ogone.

Address:

Woluwedal/Boulevard de la Woluwe 102
B-1200 Brussel/Bruxelles Belgium.

You have free parking facilities between Ogone and the China embassy. It’s a 10′ walk from the metro station Rodebeek.

Do we have an agenda ? Which games will we play ?

Agenda will be published later, for those of you that were present at Touring, we will play different games and set the agenda based on games you asked.

May I facilitate a Game ?

Agiles Games

For some games, we often use Lego bricks

You know a great Game and you would like to facilitate it during the Agile Games night II ? No problem! Send me an email: bruno.sbille@gmail.com

Please note that we will be dependant on the number of attendees.

You are a company and you would like to welcome one of our next User Groups ?

Thanks for your support! Send me an email: bruno.sbille@gmail.com and we will discuss practical matters.

You want to support the Agile Community ?

Please like our Facebook Page, speak about our events and retweet us.

You want to be aware on what’s happening in the Agile Community ?

Check our Facebook Page, our Meetup Page or our Blog.

You can find more games and simulations at the following excellent sites:

Thanks in advance for your presence, hope to see you at the Agile Games Night II.

For the Agile Belgium Community,

Bruno.

Pictures: Conference Play4Agile 2013, Agile Games Night I

An android Agile project at the University of Louvain-la-Neuve

Over the past years, there has been some interest about Agile software development growing amongst belgian universities. Some belgian agilists have given lectures or organized workshops all over Belgium. Almost three years ago, with the guys from the AgileCampusTour we went to the University of Louvain-la-Neuve to give our first sessions. We received great feedback and planted a few Agile seeds here and there.

This semester, something changed. One of the professors from the computer science departement (INGI), Prof. Yves Deville, contacted me to help them bootstrap their very first Agile project. The context is quite simple: 60 students will form teams of 4 and work on an android application of their choice. They will have to come up with an original idea and implement it following an Agile approach.

We had a few meetings to identify the different challenges and the constrains we had:
- No room dedicated for each team, just a big room for all 15 teams.
- Students with few to no testing experience.
- No “Agile” knowledge.
- Precise project educational objectives.
- Same process for all teams (to avoid group discrimination).

We had to take a pragmatic approach to those constraints and we came to the conclusion there were so many things we could cover and teach students that we needed to focus on a few of them in order to not overwhelm them with too much information.

After different discussions with the Agilar folks, Prof. Yves Deville and his assistants, we came up with a lightweight process:
- Each group receives and Android tablet.
- Students are asked to come up with three application ideas using a “poster” format.
- Prof. Yves Deville and his assistants will vote for the best idea.
- Students work in two weeks iterations.
- Planning is done using Planning Poker and post-its.
- Pair Programming is strongly recommended.
- Students use Trello to visualise their work in progress.
- A Jenkins automated build gives them insights about coding and android guidelines.
- Another Jenkins build packages their application and sends it to Appaloosa, a private store from Octo Technology.
- The private store is available to every group, meaning that every group can test any other groups application.
- After each sprint, each team makes a demo of the finished work to Prof. Yves Deville playing the customer.
- After the demo, each team participates in a retrospective to see if they can improve the way they work.

In order to make sure the assistants really understood this lightweight process and the philosophy behind it, we gathered them to build, in three days, a small app following the previous points. We had 5 iterations of 4 hours and they managed to deliver something at the end of each iteration. They were introduced to the different tools and concepts the students are using at the moment. Here’s a couple of pictures showing the assistants under great pressure:

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So far, the students have finished their second iteration, and some already delivered features two weeks ago! They received feedback and have adapted their product already. Here are a couple of posters they came up with and that have been selected for implementation:

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We plan to organize an Agile Belgium user group meeting in April in Louvain-la-Neuve so that the most advanced groups can show you their progress if you are interested. The date is still to be determined but expect something right before or after the easter holidays. Stay tuned.

We’d like to thank Agilar for their great advices and Planning Poker cards and Octo Technology for giving the university unlimited access to their private store platform.

If you have any ideas on how to bring more Agility in universities or simply want to share what’s happening in your area, feel free to comment, contact me or make sure you free up the end of April in your agenda to be there for the special UCL user group ;)

I’ll keep you posted on their progress if anything happens.

Cheers,

Agile Belgium Drinkup 2011 Retrospective

I’d like to start by wishing you all a wonderful year 2012. May it be a amazing year for you an your family.

You probably know that two weeks ago, before the holidays, we had a small retrospective about the drinkups from 2011. I grouped them in categories.

Feedback about the place

- Find a quieter place
- A place we can eat as well

I’m looking around for places like that close to the Grand Place of Brussels that are not too crowded. If you have any suggestion please contact me or post a comment.

We talked about sessions that we could do for some drinkups. The goal is not to do an XP user group meeting, we already have that, and the drinkup should stay different with an informal fashion around it, but we could have some small sessions now and then.

Sessions we could do during the drinkups

- Speed problem dating (I have a problem, how would you solve it? Each person gives a quick answer, no discussion, thank you!, next!)
- a DIY session (something with a construction kit, maybe some lego serious play)
- Have a small 5 minutes skype call with an “Agile star”
- Sharing conference experience
- 300 seconds talk
- Small demo of an agile technique, dev or coaching skill
- Bring/share a book (bring a book you liked, lend it to someone)
- A psychiatrist couch session
- Have some Agile stars that are in Belgium from time to time to join us

Some games we could play

- Explain Agile to the barman
- Speaker wolves

Other things related to the drinkup

- Blog about the drinkups

There were also some things not directly related to the drinkups themselves.

- Organize an Agile Belgium book club
- Organize Agile Belgium lunches with people working in the same area
- Organize an Agile Belgium picnic during the summer

So here’s the raw content of the retrospective, if you weren’t there and you want to add anything more or react to any items, feel free to send an email to the mailing list or comment here.

I can also announce that the next Agile Belgium Drinkup will take place on the 18th of January. I’m still not convinced about the places I found so I’ll keep looking. I’ll post a new event on the website and here as soon as possible.

Again, all the best for 2012, see you at the next Drinkup!