random thoughts and discussions on the things that interest me

ScrumMaster Certification

I recently attended a Certified ScrumMaster course in Zurich given by Jeff Sutherland.

While Jeff’s anecdote that he invented Scrum when flying missions as a top gun fighter pilot for the US during the Vietnam war might not be literally true, it might be. Because he did invent Scrum. Well, co-invent it anyway.

As it turned out, the course was a far more valuable experience than I could have imagined it would be. I think in my case that I was able to gain so much from it through being able to relate the work that I’ve been doing in Agile environments over the past five years where I have spent the majority of my time as a Scrum team member in teams that have seen varying degrees of success.

I did not take the course because I want to be a ScrumMaster. I took the course because I wanted to know why when we were practising Scrum projects were liable to fail, team morale was low, there was a disjoint between what we committed to and what we delivered, etc.

And these questions got answered. In fact, all my questions got answered. I understand why these things happened. Now I have some tips on how to go forward. My understanding of Scrum now has a grounding and I can help others to reach that understanding too. But mostly, I learnt that I have much more to learn. But that’s not a bad thing, and in some terms its apt especially as Jeff thinks of Scrum as a martial art.

I suppose the point of this post is that if you’re going to learn about Scrum it would be my recommendation to learn from Jeff. Lets just say “he knows what he’s talking about”.

Event Sourcing Presentation

I gave a presentation recently on event sourcing. The talk included a demonstration of a system that I had been involved in designing and implementing that made use of events as a mechanism for storage.

The content of the presentation was heavily influenced by Grey Young’s QCon talk “Events are not just for Notifications” hosted on InfoQ here - in some places to the point of verbatim – so if you are interested in the message I was trying to convey I suggest you watch his video. For those that attended my course the slides and notes for my presentation can be found here: eventsourcing.pptx

I was surprised by the interest in the topic especially from some senior architects. It would appear there is a growing recognition that there is an inherent reduction in complexity when you’re forced to think of the boundaries that are implicitly enforced when moving to a distributed architecture.

As the reaction to the talk was good I shall be giving a follow up talk in September – this time on the subject of CQRS.