Here is a summary of another satisfying day:
I was introduced to some powerful team wireframing techniques that could be incorporated into the discovery phase of a project as another tool to aid in creating and defining the backlog. I wonder what my UX friends would think of doing UX as a whole team. It definitely fits the agile model where every team member provides input and takes responsibility for the whole process, not just their specialty.
The 11am session reminded me of the Trident Splash commercials - I wasn't prepared for the amount of information I received from Jeff Patton and I'll have to review my notes and his slides several times. What I do know is that there was a lot of valuable information on how to do agile discovery. The techniques were designed to help you get to a definition of ready - ready to start sprinting. Some quotes I wrote down: "Our job is to minimize output, and maximize outcome"; "Most agile practives emphasize delivery, and not much discovery", and as an example of that second quote: "velocity is a measurement of output, not outcome". A good reminder to focus on why the project was started in the first place. Update 8/31: The slides are now available here
The first session after lunch I joined the presenter up front as a timer object. Brian Marick was explaining OO programming practices to non-programmers by using volunteers who acted as objects. He explained SRP, encapsulation, MVC, etc. You can see a partial video of a previous talk he did on the topic at http://vimeo.com/13506935
Not shockingly, in the last session I learned I was using Selenium in the most basic (and mostly abhorred) way. I was able to spend some time with Patrick Wilson-Welsh after the session in a mini open jam to go through some coding examples of how to do it the 'right' way. Good thing I haven't given my Selenium SDEC presentation yet. Thanks Patrick for spending the extra time - you are one of many at the conference that have shared your time and energy with me and others.
The day ended when I didn't win an iPad, but I did thoroughly enjoy playing beach volleyball in the dark until almost midnight with occasional swim breaks. Thanks to everyone who participated - it was a great way to give my brain a rest.
We're at epcot tomorrow night until midnight so I don't think I'll be posting my Day 4 notes until Friday sometime.