The video of our talk at AgileTour Beirut is finally available online!
You can watch it here:
You can also have a look at my previous two blogs on the subject:
In my previous post, I shared with you how Philippe and I prepared for our talk “Extreme Practices.” In this post, I will be briefing the talk’s content; starting with the pitch and ending with the feedback! Philippe has already posted a blog on the talk that you can read here.
Each of the speakers had to brief their session in a thirty seconds pitch. This was mine:
This is unusual for me, because my co-presenter is in Paris! Philippe and I will demonstrate how we adopted the practices of Extreme Programming in our distributed team. We will also have two live demos; the first on remote pair programming and the second on remote meetings.
The audience started taking their seats; and in a couple of minutes, the room was full! We started by engaging the audience with three simple questions!
Who goes to work by car?
Who goes to work by bus?
Who goes to work on Skype?
After introducing ourselves, our team and Murex, we spent the first half of the talk discussing four of the XP practices and their benefits.
Our second half of the talk was dedicated to sharing how we are applying XP in a remote mode, mainly focusing on Pair-Programing and Retrospectives. The discussion included the difficulties we faced at the beginning and how we managed to solve them. We ended the discussion on both topics by a live demo!
Here is a short video of the PairProgramming demo we did!
“You don’t have to move abroad for your dream job!“.
Remote work is becoming the trend! The advancement of the collaboration tools and technologies is making it easier for companies to adopt. In the future, you will see more and more developers working from home.
That was our message to the audience! We concluded that there are three ways to organize your team when working remotely:
In addition to the above two Kudo cards, I received several positive verbal feedback at the end of the session. All that was a sign that our talk was successful!
Finally, you can have a look on our slides here:
Extreme Practices was the name of the talk Philippe and I gave at the AgileTour in Beirut on 15th of October, which based on the feedback was a successful one! Our main focus was on the practices of extreme programming and how to adopt them in a distributed team.
As this was my first talk, I decided to write two blog posts about it. In this first blog, I will be sharing the preparation whereas in the second post (in few days) I will be talking about the talk itself.
Earlier this year, I attended a workshop organized by Pierre Hervouet who is also the organizer of AgileTourBeirut. After the session, we had a lengthy discussion on how we are applying Extreme Programming in our distributed team. We ended that conversation by agreeing that I give a talk at the AgileTour on that subject.
The next day I discussed with Philippe the possibility of him being my co-speaker. Unfortunately, visiting Beirut during that time wasn’t possible for Philippe! But later it struck us; why not giving the presentation in a remote mode (i.e. I will be in Beirut while he is in Paris) to simulate how we work on a daily basis.
That kicked off the preparation for the talk!
After a couple of brainstorming sessions, we defined our presentation’s content and agreed that having live demos of remote pair programming and remote retrospective would make the talk more valuable!
Here is the content we agreed on:
The next step was building up the presentation slides and preparing the demos!
We are both software developers. Thus we have limited design skills plus we usually are busy at work and can’t spend a lot of time on the design. That is why we requested the help of our Internal Communications team in the Paris office! The team focused on enhancing the slides’ background and images, but the content was not modified. After a couple of iterations with them, we ended up with very well designed and beautiful slides!
The below images show a sample of the difference!
I usually give talks, presentations and even training sessions at work, but this was my first attempt to give a talk at a conference. Yes, I was a bit worried about it! Thus, we asked for training with a professional coach from our training department in Paris.
We had two sessions with the trainer. The first one was in Paris (i.e. we were both in the same room) whereas the second one simulated the real scenario of the talk (i.e. I was in Beirut and Philippe in Paris).
The coach’s focus was on:
I have to say that this training was essential to the success of our talk! Some of the key points I learned from this training were:
Let’s admit, doing a remote presentation especially with an unstable connection as we have in Beirut is a huge risk! But we were well prepared!
Again here, I asked for help. But this time it was from the IT department at AUB (the tour’s host). They were very helpful, as they granted me a dedicated link with (relatively) high-speed Internet and performed two rehearsals to make sure everything is working as expected. (I took the below image from the last rehearsal)
To avoid any surprises during the talk, Philippe and I decided to record the two demos ahead of time and just play them if needed. Below you can check the two recorded demos.
The preparation for the talk took a lot of time and was tiring, but it was worth as everything paid off at the end!
Stay tuned; next post is coming soon!