XP Manchester

XPMan – Thursday 10th April – Team Productivity and Flow, with Francis Fish 

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The main talk this month is being hosted by Francis Fish.

Francis owns and operates Lean Teams Consultancy and will be demonstrating some of the techniques he uses to help teams deliver more work faster. The session will include practical examples and discussions on the negative impact of too much Work In Progress as well as Flow and Communication.


Madlab from 7pm

Written by Mark Kirschstein

April 6, 2014 at 11:26 pm

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March 13th – Baby Steps Kata with Ian Howarth

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Baby Steps, a hands-on session to encourage working in the smallest possible increments.

You will need…

- A laptop
- A development environment
- A unit testing framework for that environment
- A version control system (git is ideal)
- A stopwatch/timer (most smart-phones will be fine)
- A pen & paper

Some help will be available with Git on the evening (command-line and Tortoise-Git for Windows)

Madlab from 6:30pm

Written by Mark Kirschstein

March 8, 2014 at 11:00 pm

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February 13th – BDD & Spec By Example, with Andy Longshaw and Mike Dickens

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Mini Talk – Overtime with Iain Mitchell
10 minute lightning talk on the topic of over time, probably including bad metaphors about Biggie and Tupac.
Main Talk – BDD & Spec By Example with Andy Longshaw and Mike Dickens
The use of Behaviour-Driven Development (BDD) and Specification by Example can be a massive help in gaining clarity around what needs to be developed to satisfy the customer’s needs. Their benefits are fairly obvious but, as with many things, the devil is in the detail of how you work with them in practice. Capturing examples related to a system is comparatively straightforward but the challenge often comes when converting them into BDD. These can include:
  • What is the right level of granularity for your BDD scenarios?
  • How do you deal with common or shared scenarios?
  • Who are the main roles from whose perspective you write ether BDD scenarios?
  • What if you are working on only part of the system, for example a REST API to be consumed by others?
  • Do you have enough examples are are they the right ones?
This session will explore some of these questions based on the experiences of the session leaders. Attendees will then engage in group work which allows them to practice creating their own BDD scenarios based on simple examples which can then be compared to those created by other groups to see how similar or different they are!

As usual, we’re at Madlab from 6:30, with the talks starting at 7pm.

Written by Mark Kirschstein

February 10, 2014 at 1:02 pm

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January 9th – Elephant Carpaccio

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Happy New Year!

Main Talk – Elephant Carpaccio

The first session of 2014 will be headed up by Carl Phillips and Graham Wilson. Elephant Carpaccio is a practical session aimed at the skill of story slicing. There will be a 15 minute introduction to set the scene followed by a an exercise (involving code) to develop the skill.

Although code based, the session is suitable for none-coders involved with software development.

Mini ‘Talk’ – Bot Tournament

The http://beatthebots.apphb.com/ tournament will be run at the start of the session, and the £50 prize awarded. Remember to email me (markkirschstein at gmail dot com) with the name and url of your bot to enter.

Written by Mark Kirschstein

January 3, 2014 at 1:42 pm

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12th December – Bot Tournament, with prizes!

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Bit of a brain teaser for you this month…

December’s meet up features a light hearted, fire side chat with good company, a nice bottle of port and some quality cheeses.


December’s meet up is a bot tournament with prizes provided by AO.

If you think the answer is option 1, turn up to Madlab with mince pies and mulled wine.

If you think the answer is option 2, make sure you have a laptop ready for development and capable of hosting a web server. The bot protocol this time is HTTP based!


Thursday 12th December,

Madlab from 7pm,

See you there!

Written by Mark Kirschstein

December 3, 2013 at 1:25 pm

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Nov 14th – Courage in the middle of Conflict

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Novembers session is hosted by Ash Moran of Patchspace, his introduction follows…

Extreme Programming espouses the value of courage. In Kent Beck’s words courage is “effective action in the face of fear”. Conflict is an inevitable part of living in a complex system. It manifests in forms such as competition between individuals, incongruity between a person’s words and actions, dilemmas between courses of action, among others.

There are many bad ways to resolve conflict. One is compromise. Two people once argued over how to divide a cake. One wanted to take all of it, the other wanted to share it equally. They compromised, and the first person got three quarters. Fortunately, you don’t have to be either of these people.

In this session we will practise a more effective way to resolve conflict. We will use a simple “conflict resolution diagram” to visualise the two opposing sides, challenge the assumptions of each, and find a better overall solution. (If you want to bring your manager along, we will sit on the same side of the table while we do our blue sky thinking to find a win-win synergy.) We will also practise expressing both sides of a conflict in a fair and reasonable way.

It is my belief that many people avoid trying to resolve conflict because they subconsciously feel they lack the skills to do so. I would like to present some straightforward techniques, give you all chance to practise them in a safe environment, and then listen for feedback on how well (or otherwise) they’ve worked in your day-to-day life.

Madlab from 7pm. See you then!

Written by Mark Kirschstein

November 4, 2013 at 7:12 pm

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10th October – James McDonald on SOA

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This month, XPManchester founder @Jimmbob will be presenting a talk about Service Oriented Architecture.

This event isn’t ticketed, just turn up on the night.

The talk starts at 7pm at Madlab, meeting at Common beforehand if anyone is early.

Written by Mark Kirschstein

October 4, 2013 at 12:50 pm

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