The agile weblog of Sebastian Schürmann

Category: conferences

Agile Waltz – Brainstorming at #p4a12 – play4agile

While visiting the play4agile conference in Rückersbach, now for the second time in a row, a lot of great feedback was given to me by the participants regarding my journeyman’s year project. A lot of different people visit this conference: From agile coaches to project managers to coding craftsmen, all types of Agilists can be found there. It turned out to be a perfect mixture of people helping me with new input on the idea.

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A journeyman’s travel

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Some ups and downs brought me into the situation that I am actually without a job or contract and I have  some spare time at hand that I am going to spend with a journeyman’s travel or so called waltz.

The journeyman years refer to the tradition of setting out on travel for several years after completing apprenticeship as a craftsman. The tradition dates back to medieval times and is still alive in German-speaking countries. In the British Isles the tradition is lost and only the title journeyman itself remains as a reminder of the custom of young men traveling throughout the country. (wikipedia)

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Agile Coach Camp 2011

The coach camp, what to say about it? A little more happened than I had expected and in general I must say I am grateful I was accepted as an attendee to participate i this event. It was on the ending of the “Play for Agile” conference that it came to my mind that this would be the next chance in a realistic timeframe to meet all the nice people again and have a Openspace to communicate with them. After Play4Agile it turned out that my role is more and more turning to a coaching one or I could use the methods of coaches in my (work)life. According to the fast brainstoring I did in my hotel room I had the following topics I wanted to gather more Information on.

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Infos for the XP Workshop – Dutch PHP Conference

I am currently sitting in an cafe, preparing the XP workshop. Finally I have determined a structure and a good concept for the workshop.

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Remarks and Answers to the Questions for the #ale2011 Talk Proposals

I proposed talks for the Ale2011 Unconference in Berlin, September 2011 and there where some questions raised. I will post my proposals here and try to answer the questions upfront. Maybe this will create a little new momentum to get people to rate them, improve the proposal and answer open questions.

The Agile Meme, far beyond survival of the fittest

Agile Software development has changed the way we work and is still doing so.

The ever changing and evolving forms of “New ways we work” could be seen as memes or “an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture”.

Looking into the theory behind memes can help us understand how to develop and spread versions of agile methodology at workplaces and ease the adoption of Scrum/XP in our environments.


What is a meme and why is Agile one.

The 7 forms of meme replication and how they appear in agile development environments

  • Quantity of parenthood
  • Efficiency of parenthood
  • Proselytic
  • Preservational
  • Cognitive
  • Motivational

We will have a look into the appearance of these meme replication forms in your organization and how you can use this angle to review your own actions as a person changing an organization.


Q: Memes are a really important topic. I love the work of Julian Everett in this space. Would be useful if you could list the seven forms of meme replication.

A: This was my main point from the beginning on. I now state the forms of replication in the Abstract.

Q: I am not sure whether this will give me new insights that can be really useful for me.

A: As soon as you know how exactly the spreading of such a cultural message or idea affects the persons/teams who are confronted with it you could use the contents of this talk to “debug” your interactions with them to be more effective.

History of Agile

The methodologists seem to rise and I suppose they are somewhat right. From the early days when we used things like the V-Model or the Waterfall a lot of things happened in Development Space that tried to:

  • grow the rate of success in projects
  • use wisdom of the crowds
  • simply result in more enjoyable jobs
  • get stuff delivered bug free

But all that started way before we even thought about software development as it is concluded today. We will have a look into the timeline from 1950 to now and checkout who and what influenced the ideas and beliefs of people that tried to do things better, built and changed the software development space.


Q: I don’t see how this can be viewed as a practical experience. Maybe if you could provide more information on how this talk can provide practical insights that can be used on our current situations I’d be more interested.

A: For years I had the wrong impression that Agile/Iterative Development was kind of a modern response to heavily engineering influenced methods (aka waterfall) that where not applicable to software development. Oh boy, was I wrong. So I started to do some research and a totally different image unfolded in front of me. This contents really helped me to explain to people why iterations, pull and small dedicated teams work without always starting by citing the agile manifesto. The basics are going far beyond the manifesto and the early approaches to XP at Chrysler. If agile-critical people do not trust the content and creators of the agile manifesto, they might trust the guys who flew to the moon. Right?

I will now send a mail to all the persons who asked questions, maybe I can add some of the question/answer stuff to the conf. tool which seem not to be made for such conversations.

If you want to support my proposals: Everyone can register at and help me to get a speaker spot at this conference. Either by giving me an Idea how the proposals can be improved or just by liking it. I would really love to be there and exchange thoughts with the European lean/agile community.

The Lego is in – Dutch PHP Conference

Hello Sebastian,

We have ordered the lego you requested online and it should be delivered tomorrow or Monday if everything goes well. I will let you know if we received it!

Kind regards,


Thank you Dutch PHP Conference

Workshop preps – Dutch PHP Conference

Missing Bits – Dutch PHP Conference

  • XP Game textual Materials
  • List of Practices

It’s close to be done done.

OMG WTD (What the date?) – Linuxwochen Wien

I was asked to submit something to the Linuxwochen in Wien. So here we go with the node.js/express/expresso and the Lean/Agile History Talk.

I do not have the time for this, I needs to be done anyway and I am looking forward to the “Wiener Schmäh” 😉

Confoo2011 looking back

… I must say: I really liked it.

Given the Omni-Lingual  Approach (French and English, Multiple Programming Languages) I was pretty surprised to get the Talks I really wanted to hear. This was Awesome 9 on a 10 Awesomeness Level. Some talks remained closed for me, french (personal todo list: learn basic french).

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