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Getting things done: Practical Agile

Join Boston PHP and Dan Podsedly from Pivotal Labs (the creators of  Pivotal Tracker), for a practical presentation on Agile, Team Organization & Team Dynamics, Pairing & TDD, Project Breakdown and Management of the backlog, etc

Getting things done:
The last decade has seen a major shift in how software is developed: agile is mainstream, even the slowest adopters out there have embraced some flavor of it. But, to be really successful with agile is not easy, and requires a top-to-bottom transformation of values and development practices.

Dan Podsedly is one of the principals at Pivotal Labs, and has been with the company since its early days. In this talk, Dan will talk about the process that has worked so well for Pivotal, and show how to apply it to your software development projects. He’ll also show you how to use Pivotal Tracker to take your product from idea to working, deployed software, and beyond.

To set the stage, Dan will begin the talk with a focus on culture and engineering practices, which are important aspects of Pivotal’s successful agile environment. Specifically, the first part will focus on team organization, stand-ups, successful pair programming, developer testing, customer interaction, workspace layout, even breakfast!

Next, Dan will go over the “Inception” - Pivotal’s approach to taking a high level project idea and turning it into a prioritized backlog of stories that’s ready for development. This section will cover project goals, risk assessment, story decomposition, estimation, and release planning.

Finally, the presentation will shift to Pivotal Tracker, which is the project backbone and collaboration hub for all Pivotal engagements. Dan will show you how to create your initial story backlog in Tracker, dive into the feedback-oriented workflow and maintain steady progress towards your milestones, and manage scope as requirements change or new ones are discovered. Time permitting, Dan will dive into advanced Tracker features, as well as various best practices that have emerged at Pivotal, for example how to incorporate design or QA into the Tracker workflow.

About Pivotal Labs:
In the last few years, Pivotal Labs has emerged as a well known pioneer and practitioner of agile, with hundreds of successful projects and a long list of satisfied clients, including some of the world’s best known and fastest growing companies such as Twitter, Groupon, and Best Buy. It’s gone from a small Ruby on Rails practice to a global agile powerhouse without almost any focus on marketing or sales.

How? The answer is simple - by embracing and perfecting a development process based on the original Extreme Programming (XP) agile methodology, applying its techniques to accelerate development, reduce risk, and increase responsiveness to market trends for its clients.

Not only did it apply XP to make client projects successul, Pivotal also built a simple tool that embodies and simplifies the process - Pivotal Tracker. Since it’s release to the Rails community three years ago, Tracker has become the world’s most popular agile project management tool, with over 250,000 registered users .

About Dan Podsedly: 
Dan Podsedly has been building large applications since the Smalltalk era, and has been a practitioner and coach of Agile methods since the earliest days of Extreme Programming. He has led projects in a variety of industries, and has been instrumental in the successful adoption of agile methods at some of the world’s largest and most well known web companies. Dan works closely with Pivotal Labs’ clients to make their projects successful, and manages all things related to Pivotal Tracker, Pivotal Labs’ award-winning agile project collaboration software.

Free Beer
Pivotal Labs has graciously offered to host free drinks and appetizers after the event (9pm) at our favorite drinking spot Cambridge Brewing Company. Even more reason to join us for this event and share a pint with the movers and shakers in the Agile community.

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  • Michael B.

    We just posted the video and slides from the Getting things done: Practical Agile presentation with Dan Podsedly of Pivotal Labs.

    http://www.meetup.com/bostonphp/pages/Video_and_Resources_for_Practical_Agile

    December 5, 2011

  • Michael B.

    September 5, 2011

  • Lisa L.

    Very informative, and presented in a way that was also accessible to newbies. I appreciate that.

    August 28, 2011

  • sylvieg

    A very interesting, inspiring presentation. I hope Dan will post a message on bostonphp the day he will open an office in Boston. It will be surely a nice place to work. Thank you again.

    August 16, 2011

  • Michael B.

    Dan Podsedly gave perhaps one of the most inspirational talks I'd ever seen on the Agile process. Pairing and TDD seemed to be a pivotal moment for many, as I kept watching the tweets roll in. I don't think anyone walked away without an interest in moving their teams to this approach. Dan did a great job of explaining the principals, and took many questions from the audience.

    I'd like to thank Dan Podseldy and Pivotal Labs for coming to Boston PHP and presenting this important topic. I think Dan was quite impressed with Boston PHP and the huge turnout. Noting our monthly attendance seems to rivals that of many all day tech conferences in CA. Dan was particularly impressed with Boston itself, saying he had no idea how much tech was here, and that perhaps he should open an office in Boston.

    August 16, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was outstanding!

    August 13, 2011

  • Scott C.

    Excellent lecture. Lots of clear explanation about benefits of their approach

    August 12, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    The speaker was well informed of his topic.

    August 12, 2011

  • Thom C.

    Michael, big yes on the 1/2 long Agile workshop. Would love to bring members of my team as well.

    August 12, 2011

  • Holden S

    phenomenal. Thank you Dan and Pivotal for sharing your industry experience at optimizing one of the most difficult things to optimize.. a programmer's time! 8-)
    (Great stuff on work-society and immediately relevant to my client interactions.)

    August 12, 2011

  • Merlin C.

    It was great! Gave a very logical look behind the scenes of how Agile is used in a Software Development environment.

    August 12, 2011

  • Michael B.

    Still want more Agile? Check out the video from our event last year "An Agile/Scrum workshop": http://goo.gl/Mdz8Z

    August 11, 2011

  • Michael B.

    We are thinking of doing a 1/2 long Agile workshop. More hands-on, and training style. Wonder if you all would attend?

    http://www.meetup.com/bostonphp/events/16235767

    August 11, 2011

  • Gene B.

    Prior to Dan's presentation "agile" was merely a buzzword. Now, it makes sense. Dan rocks!

    August 11, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    One of the best presentations I've been to. I learned quite a bit of valuable information about Agile and its use. One request though - when we are getting close to 9pm, can we hold off questions and let the presenter finish? I had to leave right at 9 and was disappointed that I couldn't hear the end of it.

    August 11, 2011

  • Michael B.

    @Thom & Ray,
    Yes - video coming soon.

    August 11, 2011

  • Linda

    Interesting presentation. Still wondering how well this would work in a more diverse environment.

    August 11, 2011

  • Andrew

    Great presentation!

    August 11, 2011

  • Patrick P.

    I'm totally sold on Agile and Pair Programming now.

    August 11, 2011

  • Jeff L.

    Great stuff. Truly enthralling.

    August 11, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great first meeting for a newbie, interesting material in the talk.

    August 11, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Inspiring. Best meetup ever!

    August 11, 2011

  • Mike W.

    Dan Podsedly gave an excellent presentation on agile development along with a little info about Pivitol Tracker. Thank you Pivitol Labs for the post meeting beers and appetizers!

    August 11, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Very thought-provoking and full of practical ideas -- I'm always amazed when I see a business that combines technical prowess with a well-tuned (and fun) organizational culture.

    Thanks for sharing, Dan -- open that Boston office!

    August 11, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    +1 on the video. I want to show it to my whole team

    August 11, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Really Great. Must See

    August 11, 2011

  • John K.

    Awesome

    August 11, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    I agree on the video! More the usual I'd like to see the video posted--I've some managers and my CEO that are interested, but were unable to attended yesterday.

    August 11, 2011

  • Thom C.

    I really hope there was video for the event. Great stuff - too much to write down. Would love to be able to see it again.

    August 11, 2011

  • Thom C.

    Fantastic and very usable! Thank you

    August 11, 2011

  • Dan M.

    Excellent talk! Very informative and inspiring.

    August 11, 2011

  • Michael B.

    Here are the slides from the event: http://goo.gl/xIP1Q

    August 11, 2011

  • Ori

    I haven't learned this much new stuff in one sitting in a very long time. This was truly an amazing presentation.

    August 11, 2011

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