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Experiencing Agile January 13, 2010

Posted by yvettefrancino in QA.
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Lisa CrispinI feel just like a cheesy tabloid posting this out-of-focus candid photo I took of QA-celebrity, Lisa Crispin, at the SQuAD meeting last night.  I just had my iPhone with me and I’m not a great photographer regardless of the camera, so I apologize for the poor quality. (Oh dear… poor quality on a site about quality!  One of my pet peeves!)

However, despite the bad photo, I did want to show off that I was able to make it to both my Scrum Master class and the SQuAD meeting last night — both giving me the opportunity to get some hands-on experience with Agile concepts!  (I had to skip the last hour of Scrum Master class and the first hour of SQuAD, but class instructor, Jean Tabaka, was supportive and asked me to send her ‘hello’s’ to colleague, Lisa Crispin.)

I’m really enjoying the Scrum Master class.  Even though it’s review of concepts I’ve already read about, it’s all been book study, and in the class, we have been actually able to “experience” a “59 Minute Scrum” with the goal of developing a marketing brochure.  The exercise included a 15 minute Sprint Planning Meeting, 2 10 minute Sprints (representing 2 days), a 3 minute Daily Standup Meeting, a 12-minute Sprint Review and Demo, and a 9-minute Debrief.  I got to play “Scrum Master” for my group during this exercise.  There was also a Product Owner and 4 team members who represented the dev team.

It was an interesting exercise and gave me some ideas of how I might do some similar things in the Beyond Certification group.  I’m still trying to figure out effective ways for members to gain real experience, but maybe we start with exercises such as this one.

At the SQuAD meeting, we didn’t get to “sprints,” but split up into groups and used some brainstorming techniques to come up with agenda topics for 2010.  This would be similar to working with the Product Owner to come up with prioritized backlog items.

Overall, the agile approach is one that really emphasizes collaboration.  The skills of the Scrum Master are very similar to the skills I was taught when going through coaching certification. The idea is not to solve the problem, but to facilitate, remove obstacles, listen, and ask the probing questions to help the team come to consensus and achieve their goals.

I’m glad I was able to make it to both events and to meet Agile Queen, Lisa Crispin, at last. I really admire that woman…  Despite how busy she is, she takes the time to come to these events and teach and mentor others.

Another perk of making it to the meeting was that I was able to meet someone else I admire: Jim Hazen! Jim was one of the first who commented on my blog and he has been so supportive in my job search. I have a special place in my heart for those who go out of their way to help others…especially people they don’t even know.  And when you’ve only spoken with a person “virtually” it’s great to finally meet them in person.  For Jim and others that have encouraged me during this job search, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I’ve had some great leads and I’m feeling very good about opportunities that are coming my way, thanks to the support and help from others.

And now it’s time to get going to my second day of Scrum Master training and get certified at last!

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Comments»

1. Joe Strazzere - January 13, 2010

In Jim Hazen, you picked a good guy to admire.

Good luck in your continued search!

2. Jim Hazen - January 13, 2010

Yvette,

It was good to meet you in person too. Nice to put a face (a real one) with the email/posts. Glad you made it to the meeting last night. Hopefully the group will have some good topics to cover this year.

And Joe is just being nice (thanks Joe), he’s known me for too long and puts up with my rantings on the other forums and such.

3. Cap'n Dave - March 29, 2010

Still drinking the Kool Aid huh?

Actually – I have finally found a company that knows how to truly be Agile. The Agile purists won’t think so becaure they don’t follow al the “agile rules”. But like I’ve said before, what do they know? :o)

I’m sipping the Kool Aid – very slowly!


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