Tag Archives: Agile

Published new stuff

Since I’m not only a terrible blogger but also a terrible self-marketer, I tend to forget to mention the things I’ve published so far.

But today I want to introduce you at least to some of them:

To start with the most recent one, there is an article on Pomodoro Technique from my colleague at crealytics, Martin Mauch, and myself. It’s been published on Projektmagazin: http://www.projektmagazin.de/artikel/mehr-schaffen-in-kuerzerer-zeit-die-pomodoro-technik (sorry, English folks: It’s in German only).

The second is a book which has been published last October. I had the honor to contribute a chapter to Henning Wolf’s “Agile Projekte mit Scrum, XP und Kanban im Unternehmen durchführen”, which is focused on case studies from hands-on folks. Of course, my chapter was about Agile in startups. (And: Sorry again, German only, too)

Last but not least, I want to mention a book which is on the market for quite a while, but fortunately, it seems to become a classic: The PHP QA book aka “Real-World Solutions for Developing High-Quality PHP Frameworks and Applications” (yes, finally, in English! :-)) and “Softwarequalität in PHP-Projekten” (German Edition). Also available on Kindle.
It’s partly theoretical knowledge, partly case studies. Mine was on QA with Selenium at studiVZ, together with MAx Horvath, so maybe I mention it for sentimental reasons (good old days!).
But the book itself is an invaluable compendium for any kind of testing in the PHP world – have a look at it.

Enjoy reading!

If I had my own company…

I guess almost everyone who works for a startup has already had this thought.

I mean, I *have* my own company, but this is just a one-man-show as an Interim Manager and Consultant.

Why do we have thoughts like this? First, because it’s quite easy to stand outside and watch other people doing something. It’s easy to know better as long as you’re not involved.

And second, my guess is that 90% of the people working in startups are more or less entrepreneurs – at least with their heart.

So I continued this mind play this evening and wrote it down. Since I’m kind of a drama queen sometimes, I couldn’t leave it with a simple text. No, I had to create a Manifesto.

Here it is:

> Little Geek Manifesto

Products deserve Love!

If we put all our love, passion and energy into our product, people outside will love our product as well. We want to be energized while creating a product and we want to energize others.

Donʻt confuse Customers with Handbags

You can do whatever you want with your handbag: Smashing it on the floor, filling incredible amounts of useless stuff into it, taking anything you want out, not talking to it. Your handbag wonʻt appreciate this – but will still accompany you anywhere. Customers wonʻt! So we hear our customers. We work closely together and talk with them before we put something in or try to get something out. And, no, we wonʻt smash them on the floor. Promised.

Company == People

People who work for us are part of our company. Success is not imaginable without them. So they are part of our success. In order to make this real, we share 10% of our company with our employees. If we will get some money out of the company, they will as well.

Mind creates Environment – Environment creates Mind

We want to be playful, creative and rich of energy. So our environment reflects this attitude in every single aspect – even with restricted resources we can create a wonderful atmosphere where people love to spend time.

We follow Agile Manifesto Value #1

Indeed, we value individuals and interactions over processes and tools. People have hearts and brilliant minds. So theyʻre nicer to talk to than to a process (doesnʻt mean you are forbidden to use a tool, though :-))

No Copycats.

Yes, we did it. But we want to create and build our own stuff. Of course, we are also inspired by already existing ideas. But we donʻt wanna stupidly just copy things. We believe in creativity and evolution, so we always either start with our own ideas and then compare and evolve them influenced by others, or we find something interesting somewhere else, but then we work hard on doing it differently.

Transparency rocks!

No secrets about numbers, processes and products. We neither keep it secret from our employees, nor from the market. We love being transparent, because then we can spend our energy on creating great stuff instead of spending it with hiding information our competitors already know anyway.

Sharing is Happiness, not evil

We use open source technology every day. Our business is based on that. We are inspired by talking to other people and are inspired by other ideas. So we want to give something back to the community by sharing our ideas, experiences and products.

Life is too short to write Quick&Dirty Code

We are playful – but we take the tech business seriously. We did „quick&dirty“ too often in our past lives, and we are sick of it! We are conviced that doing things right will pay off in future. We want to support rock.solid.technology and encourage people to do that.

There is Life after IE6

Yes, we are aware of the fact that there are people outside still surfing the web with IE6. And no, we donʻt support it. We deeply believe in technologies which drive us forward and make our lives better. IE6 is not part of that, sorry. www.getfirefox.com :-)

< Amen!

I’m a terrible blogger!

As some of you may have already noticed: I’m a shame to the blogger community. Last blog post from July… well…

Just to keep you informed what has happened since then: I was in Tokyo, Japan, as an Interim CTO for Piku, the Japanese sister company of DailyDeal. This was a very interesting experience I’m very thankful for, for several reasons: It’s great to be in a culture so different from your own and to get the chance not only to be there for holidays, but also for living and work for 2.5 months! Another fabulous thing was to be part of two companies with an identical business model but different people and a different company culture. It’s a fantastic opportunity to look around, to compare what you see with your past experiences, and so to get some “lessons learned” insights very quickly. I also loved to share them (and I’d love to go more into detail for you, but I think even my generously open clients wouldn’t be very happy about it) .

Anyway, when I came home, the next challenge was already awaiting me:

As an Interim CTO for Rebate Networks, which is the company behind Piku, DailyDeal and about 25 other countries all over the world, my days are currently stuffed with tons of fun and interesting work to do. As you can imagine, this job is pretty international. And everybody who knows me a little bit will guess that our processes are set up “the Agile way”. Besides that, there are so many technological challenges to solve that you probably won’t get bored for quite a long time :-).

Apropos “you” and “technological challenges”: If you are a real kick-ass developer and you are looking for an amazingly exciting job with lots of passion, fun and professionalism: Yes, we hire! :-)))

See you at the Backfabrik (which will be our new home in a couple of days),

Christiane

AgileCoachCamp Germany 2010 #accde10 – a reflection

Even though I have tons of work to do these days, I was very looking forward to being at JAX2010, and, before that, attending AgileCoachCamp Germany (ACCDE10), which had been organized by me and a dozen of great agile enthusiasts.

AgileCoachCamp is a series of open space unconferences, which are organized all over the world. You can find them in the US, in India, and next July there will be one in UK, as Rachel Davies announced at ACCDE10. This was the first which happened in Germany, by the way.

Being involved in the organization of the camp makes it harder to me to write something about it. Because it’s difficult to be objective. But: Do I *have* to be objective? No, this is just one of my favourite mindf…. concepts.

Ok, so here is my short, personal, un-objective reflection:

– I liked to be there over the weekend, because it freed my mind from day-to-day stuff and made it possible to step back and reflect on how I do my work and what/how I can improve.

– I met many people I like very much – and I was so happy to see them again. Some of them give me inspiration, some make me think about my personal perspective, from some of them I’ve learned new techniques, some of them make me just laugh (which is IMO not less valuable)

– I got in touch with many new people, and it was a pleasure to meet them!

– I had some very interesting sessions, e.g. the illustration & visualisation session with Christine Neidhardt and Joseph Pelrine, the session on retrospectives, which was moderated by Rachel Davies, where I got some inspiration for my own session on retrospectives at JAX Agile Day. “Out of the comfort zone” was another very interesting topic, brought up by John McFadyen, with a lively discussion about what the comfort zone and what the safety zone is (and whether there may be a “safe zone”, which is different from the safety zone). Joseph Pelrine’s session on self-organization (of course, from a western perspective) made me thinking about the Sanskrit term “Purusha”, which means -among others- the spirit of a group as an autonomous being. I’ll check this and maybe I’ll write something about the parallels of western group dynamics theories (as far as I understand them) and the spiritual Hindu perspective. Deborah Hartmann-Preuss gave a very insightful session on how their work as coach has changed the last years. Again, Christine Neidhardt gave us the opportunity to find out something about our character in HBDI scheme (that was much fun, but also a bit scary, because I found out that my character/mindset obviously has changed nearly 180 degrees during the last 10 years). Martin Heider initiated a session called “Sharpen the saw – how to improve as agile coach”, which is the topic I’m interested in the most. Did I forget any interesting sessions? Yes, probably. There were so many things to join!

– Christine’s Tai Chi Session reminded me being more in the body, not just in my head. Why the h… do I forget this simple but powerful truth again and again and again??

– I found out that beer-driven development and single-malt-driven development belong to the same family of techniques, but differ in details (by the way: Praise Joseph for inventing story pints instead of story points :)).

– I had interesting discussions on agile architecture and special roles in agile environments which helped me to analyze our own process and working environment.

– Even though I 100% enjoyed the camp, my imagination of a quite different unconference grew further by seeing my vague idea of what it might be, confronted with the reality. I still can’t express how it should look like, but after ACCDE10 I’m one step closer to a concrete idea (different story, separate blog entry).

– Open Space: Just to say it in three words: I *love* it! :-)

It influenced my own interactive session at JAX2010 very strongly, because I already knew in advance that I didn’t want to do a session which is well-prepared and has a fix agenda. But just after the camp I was able to let things flow very spontaneously – and visitors’ feedback to this format was very good. Again, a different story.

– Finally: Thanks a lot to Pierluigi Pugliese, who really challenged me with questions right after the end of the camp. We didn’t plan to do so, but it came spontaneously and was so valuable for me to get a clear perspective on some things.

To come to an end: Thanks to all who joined the camp, shared their ideas and gave their energy into it!

PS: If I’d live in the ideal world and I had one free wish, I’d appreciate if participants wouldn’t leave before the closing session. I know, sometimes you have to do so because of train/ flight timetables. But if you have the choice – then choose staying there a bit longer, as an expression of respect towards the facilitator & organizers. Thanks :-)

Session on Retrospectives at JAX conference 2010

Well, so much to do at the moment, that there’s not much time for blogging. :-/

But I’m looking forward to first AgileCoachCamp Germany 2010 (see article below) an to my interactive session on retrospectives at JAX conference, May 3rd. What makes me really happy is the word *interactive*, because I think this the way to do sessions and even talks on agile topics.

So I hope to see you there!

http://it-republik.de/konferenzen/jax2010/session/?tid=1548

Wavemaking – gently creating radical change!

Registration for first AgileCoachCamp Germany has been opened since Monday. It’s an unconference, which means it is self-organized – and self-organizing. By the way, isn’t it an oxymoron?

I’m happy that I have the opportunity to organize this event together with great and very enthusiastic people from the Agile scene.

One thing I’m very, very happy about is our unconference theme:

“Wavemaking – gently creating radical change!”

Those who know me personally may already know it: I like wavemaking. And I like nearly everything which has to do with radical change… So, that’s what I can contribute to the community. What I hope to learn there is: To do it gently – well, that hasn’t been one of my strengths so far. :-)

If you are an agile coach, change agent, agile leader or someone else who is interested in creating change (or making waves :o)) – then join our camp – please notice that there’s space for just 50 people.

And if you’re interested in sponsoring, please contact me, there are still some opportunities for sponsorship.

AgileCoachCamp Germany 2010

April, 30th – May 2nd

Seminarzentrum Rückersbach, near Frankfurt / Main

For further information please visit http://www.agilecoachcamp.eu

Scrum Day(s) Düsseldorf

I will be speaking on Agile Leadership at Scrum Day Düsseldorf.

The event will be on Wednesday, Dec 2 at Novotel Neuss (near Düsseldorf).

The day before, Dec 1, there will be some interesting workshops. At least one of them is a highlight I want to recommend to you: Joseph Pelrine’s workshop on self organizing teams. I had a foretaste of what might come up there at “Agile2009” in Chicago. But his workshop in Chicago was one of 3 hrs. This one is a full day workshop.

Furthermore, he will also be the keynote speaker on Wednesday.

For more information, see Scrum Day Website.

I’ll publish my slides online afterwards.