At the end of March Seb Rose and I ran Continuous Delivery Kickstart in Paris. This was a two-day course, designed to introduce and discuss applying Continuous Delivery tools and techniques to your software development process. We wanted to focus on minimising the time between someone having an idea, and having that idea realised in software running in production in the hands of the users - without losing any of the rigor or reliability of our development process.
We were kindly hosted by Valtech who provided us with meeting rooms, and also use of their very nice canteen! As well as attendees local to Paris, we had people from London, and also from Plymouth! Thanks for making the trip.
We split the time in the workshop between hands-on technical exercises using particular tools to build up a deployment pipeline, and less technical exercises thinking about the overall process, and looking for bottlenecks and how to improve flow. We also tried to focus as much as possible on people’s own projects. This is difficult in a training course though, as it is difficult to replicate the complexities of a given software project away from team’s office, and to have other attendees (or the trainers) understand the subtleties of the problem at hand in a short timeframe. Similarly it is always difficult to come up with exercise situations that are complex enough to be meaningful, but still simple enough to be comprehensible. I think this is an area we can work on to try and find the right balance.
One of the themes of the course, and of agile development in general, is continually iterating, trying small experiments, analysing the results and using that information to steer your product direction. So we’ll be following our own advice, pondering on the feedback and how things went during this course, when we plan for the next one - so that we are continually trying to improve the quality of our training.
If you’re interested in finding out when the next Continuous Delivery Kickstart is, then follow Kickstart Academy on twitter.