Samstag, 26. September 2015

Socrates 2015 - What the f**k

I'm a IT professional for over a decade now - but I've never attended something like this before:

A colleague and me took part at the Socrates 2015 conference. It's an Open Space conference which mean there is no agenda at the beginning. Just an empty flipchart which if filled with self-proposed topics of the participants at the beginning of each conference day.
No pop star like speakers but people like you and me how admit "I am not the expert but I've done something in that field and I want to share this knowledge with you." For me this is all you need - for everything more involved there are books.

While thinking about the conference I was astonished how much I've either learned or was pushed towards something. Here is my top 5:

  1. Sketchnotes. This is for me "Doing something more with the whiteboard than the usual stuff without needing to be an artist." I believe in the area of Powerpoint spoilt organisations  it makes a huge difference to develop a topic just with a flipchart and a pen. It's amazing how much you can do. I love it.
  2. Walking Skeleton. I never heard of this topic before. It's basically an approach to build up a system not from inside out but from outside to the inside, guided by so called end-to-end tests as well as unit tests. The book to read on that topic is Growing Object Oriented Software Guided By Tests. People refer to the approach as "London School Of TDD" (the authors of that book are based in London) in contrast to the "Chicago School Of TDD" which is TDD as we know it (Kent Beck, Uncle Bob). Really interesting.
  3. Personal Kanban. I was once again pushed to think about my time management method. I attended a session about Knowledge Management but we soon found out the the key is actually Time Management. So one of the attendees offered a session about time management the next day. It all was about the guys Getting Things Done interpretation. Anyway, during the discussion I was reminded on the existence of Personal Kanban, and this is what I am trying out at the moment, all analog!. There will be a post with a nice picture somewhen later.
  4. Legacy Code Retreat. I spent quite some time wadding into muddy legacy C code. I thought I am quite good at this topic but this guy who hosted a 2 hour session an how to attack lagacy code was somewhere else. Really impressive. I've done some handson training for a Golden Master Test. Also, training people to deal with legacy code can be simplified by using Adrians work.
  5. I had a chat with somebody at dinner how was working for a software consultancy run as a cooperative. Basically, they have no boss and decide all together how they want the company to proceed. This was really thrilling, I was just about to hand in my CV but they are based in the wrong city ;-).
Overall the conference was much more than I expected. In my hometown Leipzig/ Germany there will be the Developer Open Space conference in some weeks, run also as an Open Space event - this time I plan to prepare something my self. Working title "Not Your Father's C".

Yes - there were also some hippies ;-)

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