Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Code Freeze 2010

Remember, if you see xb in the label, it may be cross blogged, and it's definitely about Agile or some aspect of development. Feel free to avoid it, although you will be missing out on a little deeper dig into some of what I do day to day.

Last Thursday, the day of the icy streets here in the Twin Cities, I attended Code Freeze 2010 at the University of Minnesota. In the past, topics have included Maximizing Developer Value, Innovation, and Global Systems/Global Development. This year's theme was Redesigning Agility.

After hearing Ming wasn't going and learning from him which developer was (apparently there was more than one from our department who went, but that information didn't make it down to everyone who was participating), I contacted Jonathan, determined he lived in Eagan, and arranged to be the designated driver. Considering it took 35 minutes to travel 35E from Lone Oak to the Minnesota River (a few miles) on the way to the conference, and an hour and forty-five minutes to get back to Eagan from the U of MN Alumni building, it was a good choice to carpool as it gave me someone to talk to for most of three hours of iced interstate driving. Maybe Jonathan disagrees. Maybe we didn't talk. Maybe he just got talked at. I seem to remember monopolizing the conversation.

The Symposium was great and I'll post some follow up on the presentations by Alan Cooper, Jeff Patton, David Hussman, and Tim Andersen. I appreciated that as a conference focusing on Agile, Interaction, and Design, and where the intersection of those activities is headed, the presenters felt there was space to disagree. Too often when I've gone to an Agile event, it feels as if all the presenters are lock step in their approach. That seems to be acknowledged by others as well, as there's plenty to read about whether Agile is a methodology or a belief system. Code Freeze had none of that feel.

A few non-Agile, conference-related items reminded me I live in Minnesota:
  • When I had to go back to the parking ramp for my blackberry, I had windburn on my face before I'd even made it off the Alumni Building sidewalk.
  • The steeply slanted windows on the Alumni Building pick up the snow in waves that flow down the windows in a cascading series of white akin to what you see when you shake an etch-a-sketch. It looks like you would expect the dune-building process at White Sands to look if you could accelerate time.
  • So many people are bundled up that you can see bits of down floating on the air current inside, dancing in the sunlight. Minnesotans molt in the winter, just like geese. It's probably one of the reasons I sneeze so much, and my eyes water, at random times (that aren't so random if you listen for the blower).
  • Despite those arctic-related anecdotes, there's still a constant stream of bicyclists passing by the window. Some without a hat or a jacket.

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