Agile Elsewhere: Agile Citizenry

June 30th, 2008 by vinbarnes 0 comments »

It seems as though we don't know our neighbors anymore. How many of you know your neighbors? Growing up, I knew neighbors up to five houses away in either direction. Today I know two maybe three of my neighbors; I only wave at the rest.

Here's an op-ed piece from the Times where the author performed an experiment and invited himself to a sleepover at various homes in his neighborhood.

So while the world is accessible to (some of) us at our fingertips, talking, engaging, discussing with people half-way across the globe, we hardly know the fellow denizens of our ward. So close yet so far away. Discuss! (Preferably with your neighbors.)

Agile Elsewhere: Agile Policing

June 19th, 2008 by vinbarnes 0 comments »

Isn't it interesting to see other disciplines implementing agile practices? Take these cops for instance. They are the judge *and* jury and like it that way. Of course, none of this seems legal.

Skipping the legalities of the situation, the real question seems to be whether it works. Does it? Supposedly it works and the victims are happy with the outcome.

Wash, Rinse, Refactor, Repeat

We came. We talked. We eventually post slides.

June 15th, 2008 by ymendel 0 comments »

So if I wait for Kevin to post something about RailsConf 2008, it might be out in time for Vegas. I’m still wondering if anything will pop out of his notes about going to Scotland on Rails back in April.

We spent a week in wonderful Portland, mainly because we could. We had some good times and good conversations with good people, which is what conferences mainly mean to me. And we gave a talk.

The talk was a bit of a stress point, especially as ideas kept changing, slides appeared, disappeared, and were moved around. The final incarnation gelled pretty close to actual talk time, which may or may not be a surprise to others. This was my first experience giving a talk, and I think the panel format had some definite pros and cons. It was at least a bit daunting to be given the keynote room, and with literally tens of people in there to hear what we had to say, we had our work cut out for us.

In the end, it went pretty well. Rick said he would’ve been happy if just one person got something out of it. Since at least three people came up to us and said they really enjoyed the talk and that it spoke to them, I figure we hit 300% success.

Where do you stick it?

June 3rd, 2008 by ymendel 1 comment »

Sitting in PDX airport right now, getting over the varied hectic/relaxing RailsConf trip, waiting on some schnitzel.

Hey, that’s shorter than 140 characters. Maybe I could sign up for this twitter thing.

Anyway, we had things on our minds other than reporting on progress, so the posts will be trickling in post-conf.

In standard consultancy/internet start-up style, we don’t have an office. We didn’t need lots of capital. All we needed was our knowledge, our computers, and connectivity. And luck and connections, apparently. Our business has almost entirely been word-of-mouth, playing on who we knew or could get in a meeting with. Eventually, we were pointed towards a design company that needed some work, and during those meetings (which were a blast because they are some awesome people) we started talking about what they could do for us as well.

After some interesting insight into the customer side of the creative process, we ended up with some sweet business cards and shirts. That’s right, shirts. We wanted our first speaking engagement to be a hit, and we figured if nothing else would do it, at least we could bribe people with free shirts.

Actually, we really just wanted a few of these shirts for ourselves and were going to use something like Cafepress before we were steered towards a different design (which turned out to be just like Haml’s logo) and a actual human shirt maker.

We printed up a limited run and they were a big hit. Thanks to court3nay (that’s Mr. Caboose to you), I have a picture of one in action.

That’s me telling Chris Wanstrath (of err the blog and github fame), who I consider the Crown Prince of sticking it in vendor, that even though all we had on us was a single large, we’d pick up a medium from the hotel room and get it to him. That never happened, so that is a picture of me lying to Chris Wanstrath.

Sorry, Chris. I think DHH got your shirt.

There seemed to be more demand than we anticipated (or really we just organized our first shirt run badly) and a few people missed out. Some of those were people who wanted a shirt, and some of those were just people that we wanted to give a shirt to. We can pull a Threadless and save up some orders until it’s worth printing some more.