Category Archives: Workshops

2. PotsLightning announcement

The second PotsLightning peer workshop will be held on 27th of October 2013.
It is lined up on the sunday before the Agile Testing Days 2013 conference.

Some people are arriving the weekend before and now they have the chance to attend also a workshop with peers in a relaxed atmosphere.

This year we will do an Open Space format as not to restrict the flow via setting a strict theme upfront.

If you are interested to attend, please contact us via email.
Should you already know a topic you want to talk about, feel free to sent it in the email  and we make a rough idea collection on the website.

Twitter Hashtag: #PotsLightning

Here are the information in short:

Date: 27.10.2013
City: Potsdam, Germany
Venue: Dorint Hotel

Scrum in your daily life

At the AgileCoachCamp (#ACCDE12) I attended a wonderful session named „Scrum in your daily life“.

Deborah W. (#weberde) brought this session up and chose an outdoor location.

We started with six participants and the idea was to share stories, where one had applied Scrum or other agile elements in her or his personal life.

Deborah started and shared how she and her boyfriend used Scrum one weekend to finish her household chores. Next was Sebastian (#stdout); if I remember correctly; who told a story, where a couple organized their flat moving with Kanban.

Quite a few people used retrospective elements with their partner on a time boxed approach (every week 2 hours) and also tried out coaching elements with their kids.

This lead to the question, why do we as coaches have to “fix” the things, which went wrong way earlier in the society. (Well, “wrong” in our opinion).

In the meantime a little crowd of bypassers had gathered to listen and sharing their input.

The topic brought up some stories of regular school life in Germany and Austria and how kids are natural agilists and how that is (seemingly) changed when they enter the school system.

The session was closed after 90 minutes (triple the initial planned time), since it was clear, we could spent even longer on that topic.

On the open space evening news Deborah and Wolfgang (#wwiedenroth) proposed a follow up session the next day.

The session was filled with up to 20 attendees. One local school teacher was convinced to join us and shed some of his opinions.

Due to the sheer number of active people we had to use the fish bowl format.

It was a wonderful experience to attend these two sessions and the energy and involvement the people put into it.

I put up some pictures from the second session (agile school theme) here.

(As a side effect, I started to use a personal Kanban board. Let’s see what my retrospective about it will be.)

AgileCoachCamp 2012 (DE)

Last weekend was the AgileCoachCamp 2012 (#accde12) in Rückersbach, Germany.

I got lucky and my spot on the waiting list came through. Willingness to share a double room with a stranger surely helped.

The seminar place was marvelous. It had more than half a dozen rooms for sessions and also two forum sized rooms for group meetings and big sessions. Food was awesome and the service very good. A very good spot for a retreat.

There were some socializing on the arrival day and my roommate turned out to be Michael Leber; who I met at the CAT trainer course.

We watched Germany win their game, nearly doomed by a projector shutting down.

“How many coaches & consultants do you need to abort the 90 second sequence?”.
Well, 40 were not enough. Thanks to the service personnel for helping us out.

Next morning we met at the forum room and we surely needed that space. Seventy people sitting in a circle was quite a sight. The opening session was facilitated and the organizers, sponsors and the Open Space format was introduced.

I had experience on a small scale with this format, but to see it working with so many people was cool.

And here came the typical problem… too many interesting sessions at the same time.

The day went by and I had some good sessions. Some planned ones I skipped and some chance ones I attended. And it was alright as it was.

We got some evening activities like Swing dancing and “Jazz & Agile” and some pretty good games; Pirate Fluxx the secret winner. It was so well sought after, that, even after patiently waiting, I didn’t manage to score a seat in the rounds. I surely have to try that one out.

Sunday was another great day. By now I knew quite some people and we used the breaks or the walking around for chitchat and some good discussions.

Leaving in the afternoon felt quite strange. Happyness mixed with sorrow.
For me it was a very worthwhile spent weekend.

I will blog about two sessions in particular:

1. Scrum in your daily life

2. Two Pronged Approach to Agile Transition.

PotsLightning Announcement for 2012

We are happy to announce another great community event for Agilistos (agile interested persons).

In November are the Agile Testing Days in Potsdam, Germany and it has become an ever increasing stream of participants, which is fabulous in itself.

For those interested for discussions not covered by the conference and with the opportunity not to be limited by a time-boxed session, we coined „PotsLightning“.

It is a Low-Budget, Non-Profit, Free-Entry peer event.

What does that mean?
Most conferences or workshops have entry fees, which often is out of budget for regular folks. Getting your employer to pay for it is also often difficult.

Secondly the tracks are pre-defined by the organizer and might or might not cover your interest.

We decided to organize an alternative form.

There will be no entry fees in any form. Each participant will cover their own expenses, be it accommodation, travel or meals.

We as the organizers will take care of the room, soft drinks (or the odd tray of German beer 😉 ).
So far we always found a sponsor for the room; which most often is the biggest cost.

We also draft a rough vision, what we think could be the topic for the workshop.
Experience shows, that this focal point helps some people to create ideas for their contribution.

And that is another major difference: Each participant is expected to contribute.
Be it in a talk, a presentation, a puzzle, test or code challenge or any other interesting work.

That way we try to ensure, that the workshop will be active and interesting.
It is “by the people for the people” (borrowed from Abe).

So here it is:

PotsLightning (Pre-ATD workshop)
18th of November, 2012
Dorint Hotel (venue of ATD)
Potsdam, Germany


  • The role of the tester in agile;
    or why do testers have their own conference
    and do not go to general agile conferences
  • Training and coaching
  • Transition to agile –
    approaches, obstacles, practical experiences?
  • Agile pitfalls, common reason for “failures”;
    lessons learned, etc.

Deadline for contributions: 30th June 2012

You will find more detailed information on the GATE homepage over the course of the next months.

Feel free to contact us if you are unsure. We will be most glad to provide you feedback.

The GATE workshop started in 2011 by Markus Gärtner and Maik Nogens.
The second GATE workshop will be held in Munich this September.

While I am the “main face” for the PotsLightning, the initial idea bouncing was with some passionate Agilistos:

Seeing the DEWT and GATE people work together gives me some great ideas for the future. 🙂
Who knows, next time we pair with the Danish (DWET) and Swedish (SWT) folks…

GATE auf Reisen, München Ahoi!

Schwer zu glauben, das der erste GATE Workshop (German Agile Testing and Exloratory) schon über ein halbes Jahr zurück liegt…

Im Oktober 2011 starteten wir unsere Vision, einen Ableger einer Community Veranstaltung zu schaffen, welche es weltweit gibt und auch in Europa in einigen Ländern erfolgreich gestartet ist.

Unsere Vision einer Low Budget, Non-Profit Veranstaltung ohne Eintritt haben wir umgesetzt und sind gut gestartet (betrachtet man die damals kurze Vorwarnzeit für Interessierte 🙂 ); mit Eusebiu Blindu hatten wir internationale Beteiligung und insgesamt sehr viel Spass.

Wir hatten im Kern die Diskussion/Fragestellung, was macht einen “Agilen Tester” aus und ich für meinen Teil habe noch viel Neues mitgenommen an Wissen.

Und endlich haben wir, dank Markus Gärtners Initiative, den zweiten GATE Workshop am Start. Er findet am 08. September 2012 in München statt.

Diesmal geht es um das Thema “Die Zukunft des Agilen und Explorativen Testen”

Wie immer erwarten wir von den Teilnehmern, das sie Beiträge zu diesem Thema einreichen.
Wir sind interessant an

  • innovativen Ansätzen im Testen
  • Kombinationen von Session- und Thread- Basierten Testmanagement
  • Kollaborative Wege zur Test Charta Erstellung
  • Testpraxis (Testing Dojos, Testautomation Codeklausur, Hands-on)

Einsendeschluss ist der 1. August 2012, schickt es bitte via EMail.

Genaueres findet ihr auf der GATE Seite.

Bei Fragen, Wünschen oder Feedback findet ihr Markus und mich auch online. 🙂

GATE 02 Announcement – German Agile Testing and Exloratory Workshop

We are proud to announce the call for contributions for the second GATE workshop. It will be held in Munich, Germany on September 8th 2012.

The main theme for the second workshop will be

The future of Agile and Exploratory Testing

We expect participants to submit content in line with this theme. We are interested in contributions such as

  • innovative approaches to testing
  • combining session- and thread-based test management
  • collaborative test chartering
  • testing in practice (Testing Dojos, Testautomation Coderetreat, Hands-on testing)

Feel free to contact us if you are unsure. We will be most glad to provide you feedback.

The language of the workshop will be dependent on the workshop participants. It might be German all day, but if we got international contribution, we might decide to hold the workshop in English.

If you want to attend the second German Agile Testing and Exploratory Workshop, come up with a contribution, and send it to us until August 1st. Further details on the attendees, the program, and travel information will be provided later.

If you are interested in the format, there have been quite a few of these peer workshops in the testing space recently. Here are some pointers:

Swedish Workshop on Exploratory Testing
Dutch Exploratory Workshop on Testing
London Exploratory Workshop in Testing
Calgary Perspectives On Software Testing
Los Altos Workshop on Software Testing

Hope to meet you in September 2012.