Tag: ploneconf2008

Plone Conference 2008: My Session Picks

Ok, time to start figuring out what sessions I want to go to at the Plone conference. I work mainly as a project manager / scrum master, so I tend to avoid the techy stuff. Here is my preliminary list:


  • The 10% manifesto and further — Methods for organized contribution to strategic development of Plone. I need to get better at this, interested in approaches to “building in” time to contribute back to Plone.
  • Usability Testing: From High End to the Dirt Poor. An area I don’t have formal knowledge in, always interested in how to better capture what users need.
  • Real world intranets. It’s Joel Burton. ‘Nuff said.


  • Hybrid Vigor: Plone + Salesforce Integration. We (ifPeople) have done a couple of Salesforce + Plone projects, thanks to Andrew and ONE/NW’s fantastic contributions. Interested in doing more of these projects.
  • What Makes a Great Development Team? I’ve heard great things about Michael, who works with Martin Aspeli. I’m passionate about Agile, so interested to hear his talk, which I expect will have an Agile flavour to it.
  • The Future of Plone’s User Experience. Being Alexander Limi, I expect something entertaining and visionary.
  • Simplifying Plone. Some bleeding edge thought and real examples from Martin Aspeli and those attending.
  • Using Deliverance to Theme a Website. Ok, finally getting my geek on here. I’ve been wanting to understand Deliverance better, never got my head wrapped around it. There is your challenge, Mr. Bicking, one really smart cookie.


  • Repoze.bfg – a Zope explosion. Geek fix #2. Probably won’t ever code with it, but want to understand when it is a good solution.
  • Plone.org Documentation Team Panel. Interested in how the panel wants to make documentation on plone.org rock even harder. Hope to contribute some thoughts.
  • High performing teams: What’s the secret sauce? Good idea to attend my own presentation in case no one else does.

So that’s my list. What interests you? Let’s get some discussion going.

Of course, the discussions that happen outside of sessions are valuable also. I’m looking forward to seeing *so* many people, this being my first Plone conference after 5 years of being in the Plone community. Lunch anyone?

High Performing Teams: What’s the Secret Sauce?

Agile definition and value illustrated. View full size poster

I’m really looking forward to Plone Conf 2008 for many reasons, one of which is presenting on a topic I am passionate about, namely Agile development, in particular Scrum, an Agile software development framework.

What is Agile?

For people unfamiliar with Agile, Scott Ambler defines it concisely this way:

Agile is an iterative and incremental (evolutionary) approach to software development

which is performed in a highly collaborative manner

by self-organizing teams

with “just enough” ceremony

that produces high quality software

in a cost effective and timely manner

which meets the changing needs of its stakeholders.

Scrum, not just for rugby teams

Scrum is a framework that helps teams work in an Agile fashion. Development is time-boxed into iterations lasting 2 – 4 weeks. Each iteration delivers fully working (and tested) software that is “potentially shippable”. Work to be done is defined in a list, or product backlog, prioritized by the client so the most valuable features are done first.

At Agile 2008, I was fortunate to attend Jeff Sutherland’s (co-founder of Scrum) presentation on Agile contracts. His research has shown that teams firing on all Scrum cylinders can generate 400% more revenue than a team using Waterfall methods. (1) That’s some serious competitive advantage. Early retirement, anyone?

(1) See slide 19 of Jeff’s presentation

What do you want to learn about Agile and Scrum?

45 min goes by quickly so I’m soliciting input on my talk in advance. If you were thinking of catching this one, here is your chance to maximize your time investment. Let me know

  1. if you are currently using Agile and to what degree (see the Nokia Scrum test for a self evaluation)
  2. what you’d like to know in particular about Agile and Scrum

What I am thinking of covering:

  • Introduction to Agile and Scrum, if most of audience is unfamiliar
  • How Scrum leads to high performing teams
  • Quick demonstration of Agile tools built with Plone or built by Plone solution providers using other technologies. Pending list: Plum, XM, Agilito, RoadRunner. Anything else that should be in the list? I may use the tools in the other parts of the presentation to illustrate Agile / Scrum practices

Plone Conf 2008: The unofficial social calendar

Plone plays frisbee too
Plone plays frisbee too

Part of what makes conferences like Plone Conf 2008 so great is the chance to meet and hang out with many of the people we only “see” online from a distance. This is especially true for me. I’ve been involved with Plone since 2002 but have yet to attend any conference / sprint. Thankfully, that will soon change!

My organizational personality twitch wants me to make it easier for people to meet and do stuff, so I created a page for people to suggest and sign up for activities to do, things like ultimate frisbee (maybe we can design a Plone disc – yeah!).

Maybe you want to visit the Smithsonian, tour the national monuments, or go for a walk up Mt. Vernon after sitting on your butt all day in sessions.

To add something to the page, request access to the project.