Sunday, 11 December 2011

University of Nottingham Agile Software Development Talk

A work colleague and I recently attended the University of Nottingham Jubiliee Campus, to present a talk to second year Computer Science students that were taking part in the group project module. The talk was entitled 'What's it like to work in an agile software development team?'.

The talk focused on how the Esendex development team tackle software development, and we presented some ideas for the planning and development aspects of their own group projects. I did the same module when I was an undergraduate at Nottingham and the module stands out for me as the closest thing you experience at university to working as part of a real software team in industry.

It was tough selecting exactly what to put in the talk, 'agile development' is a broad subject and means different things to different people. We could have easily talked about the Agile Manifesto for the 50 minutes we had, but in the end I think we did well cherry picking the parts that would interest the students and be relevant to their group projects. We also thought it important to run through a demo of some of the concepts we talked about and this part was especially received well.

We carried out a 'mini retro' at the end of the talk, asking the students to leave some feedback on their way out. We split the board in two; 'What went well?' and 'What could have gone better?', providing the students with some post-its and pens. We were very pleased with the feedback, as you can see the feedback was 90% positive :)

You can't see the comments on that pic unfortunately, but here's some I've cherry picked...

Content truly excellent! All highly relevant & interesting, right level of detail.
First live demo from a guest lecturer :)
Great to see a live demo, putting theory into context.
Actually related to the group project.
Students might have struggled following the detail of some examples. Slow down a little. Font size & colour, for demo.

Here's the slides if you're interested, looking forward to getting invited back again next year hopefully.