I attended the Mile High Agile conference in April. One of the keynotes was Michael Feathers. He did something interesting in the opening moments of his presentation.
First, he asked how many non-coders there were in the audience. And about 80% of the group raised their hands. MHA was very well attended with approximately 850 folks – so that manes about 600 folks raised their hands.
The second thing he did was show us some code on the screen. And he asked how many folks were comfortable with it. For example, showing it (code) in a sprint review. I think there were even more folks that raised their hands.
Last year I scheduled a Product Ownership class that was entitled: Scrum Product Ownership 2.0. The description alluded to more advanced topics and I worked hard to weave them into the course materials and my plans.
Folks seemed to be interested in more advanced topics and I was trying to fill that need in the agile market – beyond the pervasive basic certification courses.
But something interesting happened when I delivered the class. I had three primary discoveries:
- Everyone in the class was clearly struggling with more basic skills and tactics;
- As I tried to convey more advanced topics, I realized that they really weren’t. Instead, they were based on doing the basics…well;
- And finally, the class was looking for silver bullets. That is, they wanted advanced topics that would solve all of their challenges.