Last Saturday, I’ve shown the Agile@School project at ITSOS Fornovo Taro, the school in which I’ve studied for five years, just before starting to work as a junior developer.
ITSOS has been (and this is true right now) at the forefront of computer technology and now, thanks to the new “technology course”, the project becomes really interesting. During the year, indeed, the teachers have spoken about development methodologies, both for Agile and Waterfall approaches. This sounds great, especially in Italy.
After a couple of years, I’ve understood how I can help school to be closer to the business world. Agile@School (this term was created by myself, I hope it’s new :)) was born thanks to my experience in Agile stuff as team leader of a developer team (actually, more than one). The mission of the project is to let the students and the teachers to play the Agile “games”, in order to show them what the teamwork stands for. Additionally, everyone will take advantages from the outcome of the project:
- Students can use it for supporting and developing the exam topics
- Teachers can apply it for changing their mind about lessons
- I can learn a lot of things from everything and everyone
here is how the school looks like:
The room depicted in the pictures above is a multimedia space in a Google based style (colored walls, mobile chairs, colored tables, projectors, enhanced audio, white boards, and so on). It seems the perfect place for the agile ceremonies.
We’ve got the best environment to react to the changes during the project!
We will develop a “simple project” with two teams (I hope) of 6/7 people each. Simple because we need a, let’s say, learning curve for understanding the best way to move, speaking about both the software development by the students and the project management by the teachers.
The big picture is:
- Setup of a simple project, like “it stuff management” or “historical roster of the school soccer teams” or again “palmares of the students for each school year”.
- Setup of two teams of 6/7 people each
- Assign the team specialization (for each people in the team)
- Roles assignment (I’m the coach, teachers will be the POs and finally an helper, probably a University student, who will be the Scrum master)
- Aknowledgement of the professional skills of the members of the team
- Setup of the project milestone
- Iteration and ceremonies specifications
- Continuous Integration and Delivery appliance
Once the idea will be consolidated and well stressed, the next step will be to integrate also the IoT development. I hope to reach this goal.
Suppose to have an Internet of Things scenario in which a Smart Thing is developed by students as a school/exam project; why not adapt the Agile methodologies to it? For further details about this topic, I strongly suggest to follow our @agileiotdotorg
The feedback of the students was great and unexpected. After my 10 slides presentation, we did a demonstration of a simple daily meeting (aka stand-up meeting). They had a fake coffee in thei hands and they replied to the three questions suggested by the methodology.
They’ve spoken about their real project in labs and I’ve helped them as the coach to understand what are the issues, like:
- Graphic and desing implemented during a bug fix (focus lost)
- Knowledge on a single developer instead of team knowledge
- Missing cooperation
This meeting was very valuable. Little things can be powerful. I’ve caught the teachers and the students interest. School is not always so far from the work life.
Tools and solutions
What now? First, I’ll present the agile methodologies from a work life perspective, especially speaking about terms, which must be the same for everyone.
Then, we will start to populate the product backlog and to design the iterations and ceremonies. We will use Visual Studio Team Services (formerly known as Online) with DreamSpark and we will write .NET code! Wonderful!
What will I suggest for managing the team? Lean? Scrum? DaD? I guess that the pattern will be custom, in order to react better to the changes and obstacles. Keep in mind that the work day is not as in the work life. We will have “some hours of lab” and maybe something out of the school hours. It will be great, in any case.
Let’s start now! I’ll keep you updated!
Stay tuned! 🙂