Highlights of the presentation on Agile (Ruby On Rails) by Neal Ford for Agile NYC Users Group

This is my site Written by Jeff Furman on July 7, 2011 – 11:18 am 0 Comments
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I  recently attended an excellent presentation at the NYC Agile Users Group in Manhattan

Agile expert / book author Neal Ford presented: “Case Study: Rails in the Large – How Agility Allows Us to Build The World’s Biggest Rails App” (location: Euro RSCG, 350 Hudson Street, Tribeca, NYC).

What was so good about it? Here a few highlights:

  • Hands-on recommendations - In the short hour, Neal was able to share a great many hands-on tips & lessons learned, from a state-of-the-art agile project he led using Ruby On Rails.
  • Showed instead of told - Neal used Keynote graphics very effectively to make his points.  For instance, he demonstrated the success of co-location on this project by showing several photos of his team’s war-room (including photos of his team both at-work and at-play working on a “team hobby” – Neal talked about how that kind of activity goes a long way to increase a team’s productivity and creativity).
  • Music when a software build breaks?!!@@ Neil shared the out-of-the-box idea of enabling everyone on the team to immediately be alerted to a problem by “Oops, I did it again!” (or your song goes here) kicking in automatically in the war room any time a major bug breaks the app.
  • There, On The Wall! - Neil shared the technique of having a projector putting the project’s progress up on the big wall of the war room,  where the whole team can see it, via a product called Cruise Control.
  • Focus on Agile Programmer Pairing - Neal shared his team’s successes from extensive use of paired programming.  I was personally very surprised to hear that they split up the pairs as frequently as twice a day. And when I asked Neal how he got his programmers to perform under such frequent change, he told me: “We specifically hire programmers looking for strong collaborative skills, with programmer pairing in mind.  And then we match the pairs up based on our best judgments about who will work best together.”

Thanks again to Neal at: http://nealford.com and to Jochen “Joe” Krebs, leader of the Agile NYC Users’ Group.

Note – For more blogs on PMP topics and Agile events in NYC, see my blog: www.Jeff-Furman.com/blog

Jeff Furman, PMP

Book: “The Project Management Answer Book” (2011, Management Concepts)”

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