Bosses hate unit testing! They see it as code that doesn’t contribute to the final product. But here’s the truth: unit testing makes us faster. We’ll look at specific examples of how unit tests save time in the development process, whether we’re creating UI-based applications or server-side libraries. With this in hand, we can show our boss how testing makes us faster and lets us move forward confidently and quickly.

Jeremy Clark makes developers better. By drawing on over 15 years of experience in application development, he helps developers take a step up in their skillset with a focus on making complex topics approachable regardless of skill level. He is a Microsoft MVP for .NET, and he has authored seven courses for Pluralsight, including “C# Interfaces”, a course aimed at giving developers a clear understanding of abstraction. Jeremy lives in Southern California with 2 cats and a banjo. 

The talk begins at 6:30pm on Thursday, May 12th. Here are directions. Many thanks to our gracious host Allan Schougaard at Learn Academy.


“Your company culture is your operating system” – Dave Gray

As a team leader, the line between company culture and a dogmatic cult is thin. Embracing individuality, yet finding alignment as a collective, is tough. Understanding what defines one over another is critical so everyone can bring 100% of themselves to table.

In this talk I’m going to talk about the mechanics: finding values, embracing individuality, understanding the role of leadership and empowering every member of the team. I’ll also identify pitfalls, red-flags and a set of questions to ask yourself everyday to make sure that what you have a is “Culture of Talent” and not a “Cult of Conformists”

The talk is broken into four parts:

  • The source of cult-like behavior;
  • The downward spiral of fear-based control;
  • The ideal company culture promised land; and,
  • The questions to ask yourself to avoid the trap.


Our speaker Adam Cuppy co-founded Coding zealZEAL, an Agile web and mobile applications development company based in Medford, OR.  He is a stage actor and seasoned speaker including speaking at RailsConf and RubyConf.

The talk begins at 6:30pm on Thursday, April 14th. Here are directions. Many thanks to our gracious host Allan Schougaard at Learn Academy.



The Agile Principles, in combination with the Values of the Agile Manifesto, are a philosophy of software development.  We can use them as a handy set of guidelines by which we can evaluate and choose the practices and techniques we might want to try in our software development efforts.  In this mini-workshop we’ll take a look at the Agile Principles, and work together doing a few activities to gain a deeper understanding of the principles and discover how useful they can be to us.  This will be a fun, educational, and highly interactive session.

The workshop beings at 6:30pm at LEARN Academy.

How detailed do the Scrum teams, you work with, plan their sprints? Do they prioritize the sprint backlog during sprint planning? Do they write tasks for the entire iteration during planning? Do they self-pre-assign those tasks? What steps do they follow to obtain the confidence they need to commit to a plan for the next 2 weeks?


Scrum is a commitment-based approach but commitment cannot be realized without the appropriate level of awareness and responsibility. In this session, we will explore a tool to help teams plan their sprints on sprint planning day which will also provide the visibility necessary to adapt to changes in the plan at any time during the sprint. This tool can also be used by teams as data points for the teams to retrospect, evaluate, learn and improve future sprint commitments.

Enric Lizondo is a team servant dedicated to helping people grow their potential in Agile environments. His current engagement is with Bank of America while adopting Agile practices throughout the Mortgage Technology department composed of roughly 1,000 people, 12 of those Agile coaches.


Our meeting beings at 6:30pm at LEARN Academy.


The future our kids will walk into is going to be very different than when we graduated.  They are entering a world that is highly competitive, increasingly complex, and rapidly changing. Students will need to be adaptive, self-directed, reflective, and collaborative to thrive. They will need to be agile.

Yet, our school system is walking students into the future backwards. It is rooted in a mass production paradigm where students are told what and how to learn, sit in rows, and passively absorb a waterfall curriculum. Where teachers must comply with standardized lesson plans rather than meet students where they are. Mass production will lead to mass obsolescence.

Imagine classrooms across the world where students learn in self-organizing teams and iterate their own learning. Where teachers move from instructor to coach and facilitator. Agile Classrooms cross-pollinates principles and practices from the world of Agile with the world of education. Resulting in an agile framework that is authentic to education. John Miller will share some amazing stories of how teachers and students are becoming agile and how they have shaped the evolution of Agile Classrooms.

John Miller is the Chief Empowerment Officer of Agile Classrooms, a Certified Enterprise Coach®, Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, Associate Certified Coach, Spiral Dynamics Integral Level 2, and a Project Management Professional. When not focused on work, John loves to surf (well, wiping out more than actually surfing), make silly faces with his seven-year-old daughter, volunteer as a life coach for students, co-lead a Nonviolent Communication Group, and make insanely delicious drinking chocolates.

Our meeting at Agile San Diego begins at 6:30 PM. Carl Manaster is kindly donating the beverages this month.


The Agile community is increasingly using games and play in its teaching and training curriculum.  Come explore the value of incorporating play in a work environment using the techniques of Lego® Serious Play® with Certified LSP Facilitator Paul Wynia of Work Agile Consulting.

Think about your average work meeting, notice the engagement level of everyone around the table?  Are they on their phones and laptops, falling asleep, monopolizing the discussion, or maybe just passively listening?  How much do they really even want to be there and how much, if anything is accomplished?

Learning using play is “stickier” and participants are more engaged and invested. Using Lego®, Paul will discuss the theories behind and the benefits of play and how it can be used to grow teams, explore creativity, and introduce Agile principles.  In this hands-on session, attendees will look at ways to spark innovation as well as the Agile practices of TDD, Code Refactoring, and User Story and Test Case creation.

With LSP being used everywhere from Executive Boardrooms to the United Nations, play isn’t just for kids anymore!  Come find out what they’ve known all along.

Presented by Paul Wynia:

Paul has over 18 years of software industry experience and has been involved with Agile for over 8 years.  He has led onsite Agile transformations for teams in the US, Canada, Asia, India, and Europe.  As a certified Agile Coach and Lego® Serious Play® Facilitator, Paul works closely with companies to ensure teams don’t just adopt Agile practices, but incorporate the Agile Mindset into everything they do in both fun and interesting ways.

This session will be held at our new meeting location in the SDLearn location in North Park.


I got laid off. I stopped taking a shower in the morning. I now work shooting dice. And I still know nothing about agile data warehouses. But I know Woody Zuill was wrong; he told me so.

We did Deming’s red bead experiment and half of the willing workers got laid off, myself included. We used User Story Mapping to find an MVP in a forrest of user stories. We took “getting ready for work” as the epic, and worked it down to a handful of essential stories, such as “get out of bed”. Somehow “take a shower” was moved to version 2.0. We played the Power of 13, with handful of dice for each player. It was an interesting and powerful demonstration of the difference between a group of individuals, and a team. We started with a lean coffee exercise, that somehow, filtered out data warehouses.  Woody never told us exactly what he was wrong about, but he made the great point that you may not know when you are wrong, but there will be times…

We tried all of these exercises, and more, in one (very full) Saturday at the LEARN space in North Park. LEARN is a great space for collaboration and learning; a lounge area for discussions, projections and audio, open wall space for post-it exercises, tables, chairs, open areas for games, and air conditioning.

The meet up came together in just a week through the AgileSD mailing list, where Woody Zuill announced “I am holding a FREE meet-up to explore and discuss Modern Agile ideas, Software Craftsmanship, software development in San Diego on August 15th..” We covered a lot of ground; very worthwhile. I’m glad that I still have my actual job, I’ve got a bunch of new ideas to try.

by Tom Greene


Kicking the day off with Lean Coffee.


User story mapping for getting ready for work.


Working hard at scooping beads, before I was callously laid off.


Woody pretending to know something about something.


Man-with-Glasses-Yawning-007Does the idea of writing user stories get you and your Team down?  Do you need something better than “As a USER, I want…”?

If you feel there has got to be more to a user story than that tired, old “As a [user], I want…” template, then you need to come to Agile San Diego on Thursday, Sept 10th!   In this hands-on and practical session, Carlton Nettleton will show the essential elements to writing great user stories and you will practice two techniques to find hidden requirements using Innovation Games® and Story Cubes®.  Do something fun!  Write killer stories now!

Carlton Nettleton, co-founder of Agile San Diego, President of Look Forward Consulting and Certified Scrum Trainer, will present this interactive session at our first meeting in the new SDLearn location in North Park.  This session is also the same session Carlton will present at the international Scrum Gathering in Prague later this year in November.  Our meeting at Agile San Diego begins at 6:30 PM.


Join us this Thursday to play some Agile Games, in an interactive presentation led by veteran Agilist and philosopher, Pam Fox. The meeting will take place this Thursday, August 6th at 6pm, at the offices of Mitchell International. Pizza and beer will be provided courtesy of VersionOne. Please RSVP to joonspoon@joonspoon.com

Come play some games to learn about using games with Agile!

Pam will share some of her experiences using games for:

  • Identifying product goals
  • Helping customers focus on what is important
  • Understanding the customer experience
  • Prioritizing the backlog
  • Helping teams inspect and adapt

And we’ll play a couple of games to let you learn by doing.

Our speaker, Pam Fox, brings 30+ years of innovative product development experience and an unflagging desire to identify and solve business problems and “build products customers love”.

Her passion is focused on the use of technology to make a difference in people’s lives and pam“humanizing” work through the use of Agile and Lean principles. The Scrum values of courage, commitment, focus, respect and openness are important to her and are what motivates and colors her daily professional life and interactions. She’s managed four major educational products at Bridgepoint Education where served as Product Owner and lead the product Scrum team in the development of a valuable, feasible and usable product. Pam received her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University with a major in Philosophy and a minor in Romance Languages. She is currently Director of Product Operations at Significant Technology and is a Certified Scrum Professional.


retro-moving-pictureAfter nearly thirteen years of meeting on the first Thursday of every month, the leaders of Agile San Diego have take the step to mix things up!  Agile San Diego is moving to the second Thursday of every month beginning in September.  This date change also coincides with a change in location to a new home in North Park.

A few months back, June, Gary and myself were thinking about how to re-energize the group and improve the dynamics of our meetings.  We all agreed that Agile San Diego was at its best when we were hosted by The Linkery in North Park.  Our meetings were well attended, our discussions were lively and we had more opportunities for social interactions after our speakers.  When the organizers of SD LEARN approached us to see if the Agile San Diego community was interested in scheduling our meetings in North Park, we all jumped to say, “Yes!!”.

There was just one little hitch in accepting their generous offer – the first Thursday of the month was already taken by another usergroup.  Since we already decided that a move was in the best interest of the group, we thought, “Why not change our night as well?”.  So beginning on September 10th, Agile San Diego moves to its NEW night and NEW location in North Park.

As the founder of XP San Diego and co-founder of Agile San Diego, I am truly sad to say “good-bye” to our original night and after 13 years it is time for a change.  I am also sad that we are leaving our location at Mitchell and want to personally thank everyone at Mitchell for hosting us, especially Joe Dailey.  Everyone at Agile San Diego appreciates how much Joe and Mitchell have supported the community.