Retrospectives from 11/12/2010 Craftsmanship Day

posted Nov 16, 2010, 8:06 AM by Erik Przekop

These are the "raw" retro points from November's Craftsmanship Day at Gale that I captured.  Some more should be on the way from other sessions.

Note how the good/bad/improve poitns evolved over the course of the 4 code retreat iterations.
The "final retro" at the bottom was from the whole group across all sessions.

Code Retreat Retro 1:
Good Bad Improve
  • Donuts
  • cross team pairing
  • understood rules
  • project, code, tests
  • passing tests
  • design emerged through tests
  • Not enough time to do anything
  • didn't get here early
  • late start
  • not sharing keyboard
  • more time for first iteration ("sprint 0")
  • pre-canned Eclipse project w/ JUnit
  • pair with someone off-team

Code Retreat Retro 2:
Good Bad Improve
  • More code
  • More tests this time
  • Ping-pong worked well
  • Tried different approaches
  • People kept to-do lists
  • Keyboard failure
  • Not enough talking between pairs
  • Codnig under red
  • Overcoding
  • More time

Code Retreat Retro 3:
Good Bad Improve
  • First rule coded
  • Built on previous experience
  • Liked suggestions in pre-coding presentation
  • Tried different approaches
  • Duane is brilliant
  • Refactored tests
  • Variable naming was poor (Lions players?!?)
  • Bink broke keyboard
  • Easy to grab keyboard rather than explaining verbally what you're going to do
  • Some people stuck in the pattern used in the previous iteration
  • Bad test names
  • Too much up-front design
  • Build from where you left off
  • More time

Code Retreat Retro 4:
Good Bad Improve
  • We were on the same page
  • We had bad code to refactor
  • Dan got something to run
  • Many people got 4 rules done
  • Low hanging fruit first
  • More meta conversations
  • Failed faster with code in test
  • Amber loves her pair
  • Easier start with "TDD like you mean it"
  • Using a timer helped write good tests
  • Too aggressive ping-pong hurt Duane & partner
  • Tim talks too much
  • Reluctant to delete a test
  • Could not complete the exercise
  • Deleted code before final iteration
  • Clarify that we're not here to solve the problem
  • Different stories
  • Refactor prior iterations if we're practicing clean code
  • Offer problem-specific options

Randori Retro:
Good Bad Improve
  • Heckling
  • More than one right way to do it
  • Fun
  • Experienced the horror of the EI team
  • Safe way to work on ugly code
  • Enthusiasm was high
  • Group size was initially good (around 15)
  • Shared many points of view openly
  • Duration was good (shouldn't be longer)
  • Awkward chair arrangement
  • Font size on Erik's laptop
  • Too large a group @ the end
  • Loss of focus @ the end (people filtering through)
  • Unclear goals / guidelines
  • Too many side conversations
  • Coding before thinking5
  • Refactor should have good tests before we start
  • Mike S. says heckle when you're pairing
  • Do a review first & plan refactors.
  • Drivers should solicit more feedback
  • Clarify the navigator's role (filter / collector)
  • Have a scribe to capture what refactors we did
  • Mike S. should do then next one.

Lead-in points for final retro:
  • Get a wristband if you don't have one!
  • What epiphany did you have today?  Any "I never thought of it that way before!" moments?
  • What should we do again next time?
  • What was incomplete?  What should we do that we didn't?
  • What else can we do differently next time?
  • Who wants to do a session next time?  (Drew and...)
  • Continue at Roosevelts...

Final retro:  
Keepers Do Different Volunteers
  • JQuery / new technologies
  • Hands-on
  • What vs. how tests
  • Writing stories
  • Legacy code (but spend more time on it)
  • Randori
  • Code Retreat 
  • Craft day as a whole!
  • Where are the delivery leads?  Include them.
  • Solve a real problem (but don't keep the code)
  • Different tracks on different days - people missed out on the story & estimation track.
  • Better preparation by presenters (John & Jason called out)
  • JSP testing
  • More overlap with QA team
  • Where are operations people?
  • Share the retrospectives after this!
  • Get off-site employees involved
  • Legacy support sessions
  • Pair with different people
  • Drew - What vs How tests
  • Mike Gantz: anonymize some of our code prior to next day.
  • TC & Bernard: Definition of Done
  • Jason: JQuery again, with prepared hands-on code
  • Mudassir Hameed: Legacy Code