Montag, 22. August 2011

Dieser Blog ist tot. Ich blogge weiter auf dem «Agile Trail».

Mein Blog ist tot. Lang lebe mein Blog.

Englisch Version


mein neuer Blog Agile Trail ist online. Er wird zukünftig alles enthalten, was ich über Agile, Lean, Veränderung und Verbesserung zu schreiben habe. Mein alter Blog "Klick um Klick" ist ab sofort tot.

The king is dead. Long live the king.
Chess Kings and knight by Andreas Kontokanis
Seit 1422 haben die Franzosen als Erstes den Ausspruch Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi!, was bedeudet Der König ist tot. Lang lebe der König. Damit wollten die Franzosen klar machen, dass im Moment des Todes des alten Königs der neue König ohne jede Unterbrechung die Amtsgeschäfte übernimmt. Meinen alten Blog schaffe ich ab und schreibe unterbrechungslos weiter im neuen Blog.

Diesen Blog "Klick um Klick" startete ich vor fast fünf Jahren, und ich habe eine Menge gelernt über Werkzeuge (Blogging, Schreiben, Veröffentlichen) und über Inhalte (Agile, Lean, Veränderungen, Verbesserungen). Der Blog hat seinen Zweck erfüllt; der Name hatte eine Bedeutung.

Ein Klicker ist ein Gerät, dass beim Drücken ein klickendes Geräusch erzeugt. Es wird in Obedience, Hunde-Training, benutzt, um eine Belohnung mit einem Geräusch zu verknüpfen. Das ist das Klicker-Training: Wenn diese Association hergestellt ist zwischen Belohnung und Klick, dann braucht der Trainer keine Belohnungen mehr, nur noch Klicks. Wird Positive Verstärkung genannt, B. F. Skinner lässt grüßen.

Meinen Blog Klick um Klick benutzte ich, um Feedback über mein Verhalten zu bekommen. Und das habe ich bekommen, Klick um Klick, in Form von Kommentaren, Diskussionen, neuen Bekanntschaften und einer Menge Spaß. Vielen Dank dafür, lieber Leser. Das hat mir sehr geholfen, mich auf meinen Agilen Pfad zu bringen.

Na, Lust bekommen, mir auf meinem Agile Trail zu folgen? Ich würde mich sehr darüber freuen!

Liebe Grüße,

Montag, 1. August 2011

Dieser Blog ist tot. Ich blogge weiter auf dem «Agile Trail».

My Swiss Alpine K78 Ultra Marathon 2011

I did the Swiss Alpine K78 Ultra Marathon 2011. That was a tough one.

That was my first Swiss Alpine K78: 79.1 km distance and +/- 2370 m altitude. It's the highest ultra marathon you can run in Europe. Top point was Sertigpass at 2739 meter above sea level. See more facts here.

K78 start at Davos Platz at 7 a.m.
Start was at 7 a.m. on Saturday. Great weather, sunshine and warmth. The first 32 km until Frevgias were a nice warm up for what would follow. I enjoyed the fantastic Swiss countryside. We ran through tunnels, along mountains and next to wild creeks. Relaxing.

In this run I learned to read the altimeter. In all other runs I  did so far, the question was: How long until…? Here the question was: How high until…? We started in Davos Platz at 1538 m ASL (above sea level). Until Frevgias (km 32) we lost 519 meter; Frevgias is the lowest point in the race with 1019 m ASL. That was the easy part of the race.

K78 altitude profile (original)
Have a look at the altitude profile: There you can see what seems to be a little bump in the graph after Frevgias, from Frevgias (km 31.1) to Funtanislas (km 39.0). The peek of that bump is Crestas da Buel with 1476 m ASL, and Funtanislas is at 1282 m ASL, so I climbed 457 m in 5.8 km.

I was irritated because every runner around me was hiking instead of running on the way to Crestas da Buel. Didn't expect that so early in the race. It was my first K78, so I adapted quickly and hiked up to the top instead of running. The others would certainly know why.

Bergün (km 40.3, shortly after Funtanislas), is considered to be the beginning of the hardest part of the race. It's the start of a climb to the Kesch-Hütte, from 1282 m ASL (Funtanislas) up to 2632 m ASL (Kesch-Hütte). That's 1350 m straight up! And it was unbelievable. I never experienced something like this. I counted every 100 m on my altimeter, expected my legs to quit any second because the path was so steep. Nobody runs here, not even the winners of this race.

I hiked without a break. 2 km before the top you can see the Kesch-Hütte. The 1350 m height are spread on a distance of 13.9 km, and it took me 2:25 hours for that part alone.

The weather was fine - until the Kesch-Hütte. I passed the doctor ("Heya, how are you feeling?" - "*gasp* *gasp* Guess! *gasp* *gasp*" - "Okay, he's responsive. Have a good run then!"), and right after that the weather changed. It was about 4° C, and it started to rain. The hard part was over, right? Wrong…

The descent was horrifying. I'm a noob when it comes to high alpine mountain running, so I struggeled with everything: the stones, the mud, the rain, the height, the cold, the depth. Runners were overtaking in a crazy speed; I saw a lot of them at the sanitarian after the race, with wounds from sharp rocks. I was really frightened about the terrain, and I decided to play it safe, and run slowly.

View from Platta Naira backwards (about km 54.8)
After the Kesch-Hütte, the way leads to Platta Naira (2397 m ASL), so that was another 235 m straight down. The scenery was kinda ugly, I usually see this in movies like Cliffhanger: Rocks all over, creeks and the path sharing the same way, fog, clouds, rain, cold. And the height.

I thought the hight would have an effect like difficulties to breath, a higher heart beat, head aches or similar. But instead the only effect it had on me was that I really had to focus on what I was doing. I had to concentrate all the time, had to watch every step. But that was all. Lucky me :)

above: Sertigpass and runners, not marked
below: Sertigpass and runners, marked
Hardest part over? Not yet. Next hurdle was the Sertigpass. From the Platta Naira (2397 m ASL) to the Sertigpass (2739 m ASL) I had to climb another 342 m in less than 4 km - and what a steep climbing that was! And it was really frustrating to see what was coming: 800 m before the Sertigpass there is a lake called the Ravaischsee. When you arrive at that lake, you see the path over the top. That pass leads around the lake right to the Sertigpass - almost 200 m height in less than 800 m distance - and we're talking about a point in time when all the runners had already pulled of 58 km!

On top of Sertigpass
Hard? Nope, get's harder. On top of the Sertigpass we had a visibility of 5 to 10 m. Fog or cloud, I didn't know, I didn't care, cause it was about 2° C and I really was looking forward to get to some lower ground. What I didn't know was that we climbed over the Sertigpass from the south, so the way down was on the north side. Yep, that's the ugly side. It was very windy, very steep, lots of rocks. Without the little flags in the ground the path wasn't always clear to me. If there was a path, it was often so muddy that there was no chance to slow down accordingly. More sliding than running. It was very hard to concentrate on not tumbling and landing on the rocks.

Just to give an idea of the speed I had on the way down. From Sertigpass (2739 m ASL) to Chleinalp (1871 m ASL) I ran down 868 m on a distance of only 8 km, and that took me only 42 minutes on that mean ground.

From Chleinalp (km 64.3) it was a normal run again. The scenery was back to green meadows again, the path to normal cart roads and streets, the weather warm (about 15 °C), no fog and almost no rain. I enjoyed the rest of the race, running through very nice forrests until the end in Davos Platz after 79.1 km.

I expected my muscles to shut down sooner or later during the race due to the climbing and the - more strenuously - downhill running. But they didn't shut down. Must have been the training. I was pleasantly surprised :)

My last meters before the finish
After all, the run was great. The Swiss countryside are lovely, and even the ugly conditions in the mountains rendered the scenery very impressive. The people in the moutain villages were very supportive, and especially the cow bells swinging locals were absolutely awesome :-)

After the finish - happy and exhausted :)
I reached the finish after 9 hours, 35 minutes and 1 second. From 1218 finishers out of 50 countries I achieved a nice 256th position. The winner Jonas Buud (Sweden) finished in 6:11:02 - for the fivth (!) time - and Lizzy Hawker (Great Britain) in 7:16:17. Congrats! Absolutely amazing. Only 6 people ran this race under 7 hours.

See more photos in the gallery.

Freitag, 15. Juli 2011

Dieser Blog ist tot. Ich blogge weiter auf dem «Agile Trail».

Explained to Dad: What I Do as an Agile Coach

Fat funny dog by ichibod

My parents usually ask me about what it is that I do to make a living. Same with friends who are not in IT. I struggle most of the time. For me it's really difficult to explain what I do as an Agile coach - training, consulting, and coaching - to someone outside the Lean and Agile domain. And when I do, it sounds nerdy.

Not so the other day. Here's how the conversation went:

Dad: "So you're flying over to that customer of yours next week, right? And what is it actually you're doing there?"
I: "I show them ways to improve themselves by so called Agile and Lean methods. I do that with training, consulting and coaching."
Dad: "Aha."
That's the sound my father makes when he's not sure how to handle what I say.

Dad: "But what is it you do all day? How can I picture that?"
I: "Well, let's imagine my customer feels overweight."
Dad: "Aha."
My father is a little bit overweight.

I: "I can help overweight people. In the first meeting, the customer tells me his goals, what he wants to achieve. Sometimes his doctor showed him bad examination results, or he just does not feel good anymore with his body.

"After the first meeting I can roughly assess the situation, can tell if they are really overweight, or if they just feel overweight and the symptoms might caused by something else. Then I ask them if I should help them with the methods I know, like doing sports and optimize the diet. (By the way, my real methods are called Scrum and Kanban.)

"That's when I'm the trainer: I present my methods to the customer, so he knows what he's dealing with. Besides that he learns about the methods, we can establish a common language with words like 'resting heart rate' or 'metabolism', so we can talk to each other on a common ground."

Dad: "Okay, sports and another diet. Does not sound too complicated to me."
I: "No, and that's not why they call me. Everyone can look up those methods on the internet or read a good book about them. But there's more to it than just the training. There's also the consulting part.

"Take sports: I analyze the sports background of my customer, figure out how long he can run in 12 minutes (called the Cooper test), or what his resting pulse rate is. Based on that I develop a training program for him. Same with the diet: I measure his weight, his body fat, figure out what he eats all day. From that I develop a diet plan which should help him lose weight."

Dad: "Hm, but I've seen such plans in magazines. There are magazine for the stuff you do, too, are there not? Why do the customers pay you instead of buying a magazine?"
I: "Because I offer made-to-measure plans, only for that particular customer.

"But let's imagine my customer would find a good plan for his needs in a magazine, then he would still benefit from my work. This is where the coaching part comes into play. As a coach, I help my customer find his way through all that change that's necessary to lose weight."

Dad: "Aha. And that's what you do all day?"
I: "Jup. Hey! What's the meaning of that look of yours?"
Dad: "I don't mean to offend you, but... Well, it sounds so simple what you do..."
I: "Simple? Losing weight is simple? You know it's not."
We both look at his belly.

I: "Often customers want to lose weight, but at the same time they don't want to change their diet or start doing sports. If they are willing to change the diet, I have to explain again and again why they should eat less sugar and what's that got to do with their dicky heart.

"Sometimes the customer 'reframes' my advice. My advice could be drinking water instead of coke. After a while, the customer might not like drinking water anymore. It's just not tasty anymore. He might change to diet coke, which could complicate his health more than staying with the original coke. Then I'm there helping him to understand what he's doing and what consequences that means for him and his goals.

"Sometimes the customer can't get up and find the energy to go for a run, even he knows exactly that and why he should. Then I motivate him, show him the negative consequences if he does not run and the already visible positive consequences of what he achieved with all his running before.

"Sometimes the customers is so eager to lose weight, that he runs too much, e.g. every day instead of only thrice a week. Then I'm there for him, appease him and let him know about sustainable pace, that he's not ready yet to run that often.

"And there are thousands of other challenges I face at the customers every day when I coach."

Dad: "Wow, that's impressive! Didn't know you're doing all this at your work."

I think he was really impressed. And for the first time I think I could explain what I do for my living - training, consulting, and coaching - in a non-nerdy way.

If you are a not a nerd, do you understand, what I tried to explain?

Dienstag, 5. Juli 2011

Dieser Blog ist tot. Ich blogge weiter auf dem «Agile Trail».

Pecha Kucha Guide

Pecha Kucha in Japanese

I happened to organize a few Pecha Kucha events (German) in the last years. Also I did present a few topics in the Pecha Kucha style (German). In a few weeks I will be host of another Pecha Kucha session at the Agile 2011 conference in Salt Lake City, together with Martin Heider, which is roughly a replay of last years quite successful Pecha Kucha event at XP 2010 conference in Trondheim.

Whenever we invite participants to share their memes with the audience in a 20-times-20-style, we send them a few words for their preparation. We gathered feedback in the last two years about those words, and it turns out that they were quite helpful to a lot of people. We also improved them over time, and now we want to share them with a broader audience.

Please download this two page PDF called "Helpful Things to Know About Pecha Kucha" (151 KB).

Dienstag, 13. Juli 2010

Dieser Blog ist tot. Ich blogge weiter auf dem «Agile Trail».

Dieser Blog flattr-t

In eigener Sache: Dieser Blog versucht sich an Flattr.

Flattr ist ein Micropayment-Dienst auf freiwilliger Basis. Das funktioniert so: Beliebige Inhalte wie Blogposts, Bilder, Videos usw. können mit Buttons von Flattr versehen werden. Das ist so ein Button:

So einer klebt auch an diesem Blogpost. Klickt der Blog-Besucher auf den unteren Teil des Buttons (da, wo "Flattr" drauf steht), dann bewertet er diesen Blogpost, er flattr-t ihn. Die Zahl im oberen Teil des Buttons erhöht sich dann. Sie zeigt an, wie viele Besucher den Blogpost ge-flattr-t haben. Ein Klick auf die  Zahl bringt den Besucher auf eine Flattr-Seite mit Statistiken.

Was genau heißt es jetzt, etwas zu flattr-n? Hier kommt das Micropayment ins Spiel: Wer flattr-t, verteilt Geld. Vom Flattr-nden zum Ge-flattr-ten. Das funktioniert nach einem ausgeklügelten System: Wer sich bei Flattr anmeldet, muss zunächst sein Konto füllen, mindestens EUR 2 im Monat. Danach darf er auf Flattr-Buttons klicken. Seine Klicks werden von Flattr gezählt. Am Ende des Monats werden alle seine Klicks aufsummiert. Sein Monatsbudget wird durch die Summe all seiner Klicks in diesem Monat geteilt. Dieser Betrag wird dann an jeden von ihm Ge-flattr-ten ausgezahlt bzw. dessen Konto gut geschrieben.

Was? "Nicht einfach", sagst Du? Okay, hier ein Beispiel: Du hast auf Deinem Flattr-Konto ein Monatsbudget von 2 EUR angegeben. Im Laufe des Monats flattr-st Du 100 Blogpost, Videos usw. Am Ende des Monats ist damit so ein Klick 2 EUR / 100 Klicks = 0,02 EUR pro Klick wert. Wenn Du in diesem Monat auf diesen meinen Blogpost den Flattr-Button geklickt hast, dann bekomme ich auf mein Konto von Dir für diesen Monat genau 0,02 EUR gut geschrieben. Hättest Du nur einen einzigen Beitrag ge-flattr-t - diesen vielleicht? :) - im Monat, dann würde der Ge-flattr-te von Dir die vollen 2 EUR bekommen. Flattr verdient dabei, behält von jeder Konto-Gutschrift 10 % ein.

Lohnt sich Flattr-n? Wohl eher nur für die großen Blogs. hat eine Bilanz für Juni veröffentlicht, und da sah's wohl ganz nett aus. Aber nichts umwerfendes. Auf jeden Fall nicht mein Motiv, Flattr auf diesem Blog einzusetzen. Meine kühnsten Träume werden wahr, wenn ich etwas das raus bekomme, was ich rein gesteckt habe.

Warum Du flattr-n solltest? Um Danke zu sagen oder um jemanden zu belohnen für Inhalte, die Du gut findest. Das Ding ist freiwillig, keiner zwingt Dich. Alternativ twitter drüber. Oder erzähl's Deinen Freunden. Flattr ist für mich auch nur eine weitere Art, das gute Wort zu verteilen. Mir geht's um Feedback, und Flattr ist ein aktueller Feedback-Mechanismus.

Noch ein Grund zu Flattr-n: Um zu geben, wenn Du nimmst. Du musst Dich bei Flattr anmelden, um ge-flattr-t zu werden oder selbst zu flattr-n. Wenn Du also empfangen möchtest, dann bist Du automatisch in der Lage, selbst zu geben. Und das freiwillig: Wer's mag, der zahlt, wer's nicht mag, der zahlt nicht. Meine Traum-GEZ. Und wenn das bedeuten würde, das die Online-Werbung zurück geschraubt würde... ja, okay, man wird ja noch mal träumen dürfen.

Mein Grund zu Flattr-n: Ich wollt's gerne mal ausprobieren. Die Flattr-Buttons tauchen immer öfter vor meiner Surf-Nase auf. Und da wollte ich endlich mal drauf klicken. Und wenn ich mich dafür schon angemeldet habe, dann kann ich auch gleich selbst die Buttons auf meine Posts kleben.

Die schlechte Nachricht: Wer sich selbst bei Flattr anmelden möchte, kann das momentan nur mit einem Invite-Code. Dafür bin ich @flattrme gefolgt. Die wollen dann dort, dass Du "Bitte, bitte" machst, aber wenn man über diesen Schatten springt, bekommt man flugs seinen Invite-Code und kann los legen.

Das Einbinden der Buttons in den Blog ist dann weniger spaßig. Automatisch geht das nur halb. Ich habe mit Hilfe von Nicolas Gramlichs Flattr Button Plugin für Blogspot (übrigens mein erster ge-flattr-ter Inhalt!) die Buttons auf die Blogpost bekommen. Das geht automatisiert. Trotzdem muss man jeden einzelnen Beitrag auf Flattr posten, sonst ist der Inhalt für Flattr inaktiv und dann sieht der Button so aus:

Ich habe wenig Lust, jeden einzelnen Post dieses Blogs zu aktivieren, ergo bleiben alte Posts wie dieser vorerst inaktiv.

Fazit: Spannende Sache. Glaube, dass Flattr und ähnliche Konzepte in Zukunft durch starten werden. Schaue mir das mal aktiv von hier aus an.

Montag, 12. Juli 2010

Dieser Blog ist tot. Ich blogge weiter auf dem «Agile Trail».

Kanban und Scrum aufm Entwicklertag Karlsruhe 2010

Vor Kurzem war ich für it-agile auf dem Entwicklertag in Karlsruhe und habe dort zwei Sessions gehalten.

Die erste Session war auf dem Agile Day und es ging um Kanban: "Kleine Kanban-Kunde" hieß denn auch der Vortrag, in dem ich ein wenig über die Historie von Kanban, wie eine Firma mit Kanban anfangen könnte und wie sich Kanban gegenüber Scrum verhält und sich beide super ergänzen können.

Die Resonanz war klasse: Feedback konnten die Teilnehmer über rote, gelbe und grüne Karten geben, die sie nach der Session am Ausgang abgeben konnten. Rot war schlechtes Feedback, gelb mittelmäßiges und grün war gutes Feedback.

Für meine "Kleine Kanban-Kunde" gab's von etwa 60 Teilnehmern 39 grüne, keine gelbe und keine rote Karte. Yeah!

Mehr Infos zu Kanban gibt's bei it-agile.

Die zweite Session war auf dem VKSI Day und die habe ich zusammen mit meinem aktuellen Kunden Johannes Feulner (Xing, Twitter) von fun communications GmbH (Webseite, Twitter) aus Karlsruhe gehalten. Es ging um "Scrum mit fun".

Ich durfte Johannes interviewen und er hat frei von der Leber weg erzählt: wie die Situation von fun vor Scrum war; wie er zu it-agile gefunden hat; was die einzelnen Schritte hin zu Scrum waren; was gut und auch, was schlecht gelaufen ist. Wir beide haben uns nett miteinander vor und später auch mit den Teilnehmern der Session unterhalten.

Das ist schon immer eine großartige Sache, wenn sich Kunden auf so etwas einlassen. Ein besseres Lob für gute Arbeit kann ich mir gar nicht vorstellen. Der Kunde kann zeigen, dass er mit der Zeit geht und moderne Softwareentwicklungs-Methoden einsetzt. Und so ist's für uns beide gute Öffentlichkeitsarbeit - win-win eben.

Erfahrungsberichte "ziehen" nicht so gut: etwa 25 Teilnehmer gesellten sich zu uns. Das Feedback war auch hier wieder toll: 18 grüne Karten, eine gelbe, keine rote. Leider stand auf der gelben nicht drauf, warum sie keine grüne war... :)

Mehr Infos zu Scrum gibt's auch bei it-agile.

Dank an dieser Stelle an den Ausrichter des Entwicklertag Karlsruhe, die andrena objects AG!

Donnerstag, 24. Dezember 2009

Dieser Blog ist tot. Ich blogge weiter auf dem «Agile Trail».

Prime Factors Kata - First Try

This is my first try of the Prime Factors Kata. It's my first Katacast of a kata at all. I performed it with Groovy.

Stefan wrote about katas (in German) a while ago, where he described his experience as an attendee of the contest "TDD with the pros" ("TDD mit den Profis", TmdP) at the XP Days Germany 2009 in Karlsruhe. TmdP is similar to "Programming with the Stars" at Agile 2009 in Chicago, where I was an attendee of.

Stefan was in the final of TmdP with his pair partner Franziska Widmaier. Their task was to calculate all prime factors of a given number, which is the same task as in the Prime Factors Kata. Stefan and Franziska had to finish this task in less than 7 minutes - and they failed to do it in time.

Stefan and I started to work on that kata right after the XP Days ended. Our first shot was in the train from Karlsruhe back to our home town Hamburg. After that we met once via Skype and wrote each step we took during the kata. I practiced a few times per week for the last five weeks or so and showed my performance to Stefan today. He said that it'd might be time to show the result to the world, and here it is:

On Youtube:

I've also shared the Katacast on vimeo and on viddler.

My to-do list for the next try so far:
  • Use a parameterized JUnit test instead of not isolated parameters in a map
  • Use more of TextMate's shortcuts and optimize on a keystroke level
  • Find out why 63 is too big... wtf? [Update: @datenreisender found out that this is related to a bug in Groovy.]
  • [Update: @datenreisender suggested in the comments to use primefactors instead of numbers2primeFactors[number] in the assertion.]
My heartfelt thanks to Stefan, with whom it was a lot of fun preparing that kata!

Happy Christmas!

P.S.: If you want to rate my performance, then post a comment with the number 0 (very bad) to 10 (very good). This kind of rating was inspired by Micah Martin. Any additional feedback is very welcome!

[Update: Stefan Roock made a Kata Bunkai - a commented kata - for this kata. Check it out!]