For the past two days I’ve been at XP Day 2006 . This morning I arrived at Ironmongers Hall on autopilot and took a seat for the keynote speech, not yet fully awake. I was woken sharply by noise; a lot of it. The session, Love in the Age of Software by Robert Biddle and James Noble had started.
It was a truly bizarre session in terms of its style. Lots of noise, music, presenters talking over one another, repeating what the other had said to simulate some kind of echo. I was confused at times and just couldn’t figure out what was being said, but I eventually tuned in and was able to follow along. That said, credit goes to the presenters for doing something different. It played out as a tumultuous conversation between the two presenters, who dropped in and out of different characters. I thought getting us all to stand up and recite the Agile Manifesto , like the Lord’s Prayer, was worth a chuckle. As was the short dialogue about which is more macho, a train wreck or a death march .
I liked the direction they were taking when they declared their distaste for wimpy agile :
- System metaphor: Most neglected practice - EXPUNGED.
- Onsite customer: Apparently impractical and unrealistic - EXCUSED.
- User stories: Promise to have conversations - AUTOMATED.
- Planning game: Embrace change .. but not for us - RESISTED.
The essential message was this: If the customer and the developers don’t love one another then the agile magic cannot happen .