Sunday, September 30, 2012

In English, Amigo

It was sad for me when some friends from Agile-Barcelona community didn't attended to ALE2012 because it was in English. Next week we'll have Rachel Davies in our Coaching Dojo, and there wasn't the enthusiastic response it deserved, I guess because it's in English.

I am lucky to be working in a company where I need to speak English every day, and being exposed is the best way to learn and practice a language. So, organizing events in English in Agile-Barcelona will be the best way to contribute to our improvement.

And thinking about our weakness got me to wonder if contributing on books translations makes good or bad. For my friends who have not had the opportunity to start learning English, having the books translated is the only way to have access to them. For my friends who understand English, having the book translated is an opportunity to be lazy: they won't go out of their comfort zone.

I've decided to help the ones who can not get to the original source. I'm trying to contribute in the translation of two very interesting books: 
  • Commitment is a graphic novel by Olav Maassen, Chris Matts and Chris Geary from which you can learn about Real Options
  • In Who Is Agile, by Yves Hanoulle you can learn about some agilists around the world, agile communities, events, etc.

You can get in touch with me if you want to contribute to the Spahish or Catalan translations.

I've realized that I have to use English more often in this blog, that I won't blog only in English. I will write in English, Catalan or Spanish, whichever I find more appropriate or I feel like. Just because I can.  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

ALE2012 energy continues in xALEc

We all agree on the energy we found in ALE2012  in Barcelona. All that crazy-wise people. We were discussing on how to continue with that spirit, waiting until ALE2013, and one of the ideas was xALEc: eXtreme ALE Club.

What's xALEc

Franck Depierre had an amazing idea after ALE2011: perform an on-line Open Space. We have all the tools out there for free, we only have to use them.

Since November 2011 we are meeting every Monday at 21:00 GMT+1. We use a shared document (The xALEc Dashboard) to suggest topics and take record of the meetings. Recently we've created a Facebook group named "xALEc" and a Facebook page. There you can find a description of xALEc written by Tonino Lucca.

I tend to pronounce xALEc as a word, making "x" sound as "sh", and pronouncing ALE similar to the french allez with the final "c". Others pronounce it like x-ALE-c (this time ALE pronounced as the beverage). You can use your own pronunciation.


We are using Google+ Hangouts, which is a video chat that works from the browser after installing a plug-in. We tend to use the camera and, despite it is not needed, is very useful. It helps also for non native English speakers. We also share documents in the same view and, sometimes, even the whole screen.

We use to publish the link to the hangout on Twitter, using the #xALEc hashtag.

We can have open hangouts (anybody can join) or we can close them to registered people. We try to adapt.

For some people, having to register to Google+ is an inconvenient. If we find better tools, we can use them. Google+ Hangout allows a maximum of 10 participants.


So far we've used a single Hangout, a single room in an Open Space, but we could use any number of rooms as needed, and we could use the Law of Two Feet (virtually).


We've had very interesting events about specific topics: DSDM Atern, with Matthew Caine;  Who is Agile, with Yves Hanoulle; Code Retreats, with Adi Bolboaca. But some unplanned hangouts were also great. Check the notes in the doc.

You can read the presentation of xALEc and the description of the first xALEc session that Franck posted in his blog.

Make it better

If there's something you think should be improved, you can reach me and make suggestions. Maybe you don't like Mondays, or the time, or maybe just the name or the technology. Make it better.