Extreme Tuesday Club 2018 Retrospective

On Tuesday 18th December 2018 XTC held a retrospective.

Attendees were asked to create sticky notes to prompt discussion. Sticky notes could be labeled as positives, negatives, questions or ideas.

I’ve written my notes from each of the more detailed discussions, images of the sticky notes should be viewable on twitter.

Here’s a link to previous retro notes to see how much learning has taken place.

How will we manage without the Joeforce?

  1. There is a common concern between hosts that Joe’s departure will require considerable effort or change to mitigate.
  2. Joe left good documentation and guidance about how to run the events.
  3. XTC is resilient due to its community driven structure.
  4. Unfortunately the organiser didn’t turn up to the first Joeless session.
  5. Joe was always a fallback host.
  6. Joe’s consistency is important, he’d regularly attend, was good at welcoming people, had a good guess at who was new or a returning regular.
  7. We’ll learn over time more features we miss.

Retro frequency

  1. Is a yearly retro suitable for an XP group
  2. Running a retro 3-6 months was suggested
  3. Running something retroish every week was suggested and disagreed with (even by the proposer).
  4. Are the retros useful? Do we learn anything from them? We have mostly the same complaints as last year.
  5. Are we happy enough with how successful XTC is?
  6. Perceptions of XTC’s success aren’t universally common.
  7. 3 or 6 months was agreed to be a useful frequency.
  8. Organisers could retro more frequently to be more resilient to Joe’s departure.
  9. Retro’s don’t necessarily need to take up a whole session, it could be run before or after a normal XTC night.
  10. Organisers would suggest running a retro every 3 months

Switch to running XTC every second week

  1. Running on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of a month meant we always clashed with other meetups.
  2. We don’t know why 1st and 3rd strategy is currently used.
  3. No objections to every second week.
  4. First meetup of 2019 will be run on the 8th of January 2019.

Is prearranging speakers cool?

  1. Not prearranging can mean there is difficulty in facilitating international guests.
  2. Some prearranged speakers were really well liked.
  3. Prearranged sessions should be suggested by a proxy and be able to be voted against.
  4. Establishing a prearranged speaker requires at least 2 weeks notice to take part in the voting process.
  5. It’s fine as it’s not too frequent.

Size & Venue

  1. Size (attendance) has been good
  2. Sharing the room on the night of the retro was annoying (but it is the week before Christmas, and there was a low turnout).
  3. A venue with stairs is disappointingly inaccessible for some.
  4. Somewhere like skillsmatter could be a little impersonal
  5. XTC has been traditionally held in a pub
  6. Pizza is tasty, but too frequently eaten.
  7. Pizza is a poor choice for different dietary concerns.
  8. Current location feels like someone’s house. It’s cosy and comfortable.
  9. Quiet is good.
  10. Counting House or Bank of England were viewed as being good venues.
  11. Constantina suggested “The Victoria” in East London, but it may be a bit far out.
  12. XTC is open to suggestions, but it needs to be quiet, have decent beer and food, be in a central location etc.

XTC format

  1. General format is introduction to topic, group discussion, room discussion.
  2. Can we do some more hands on coding?
  3. Informal discussions and socialising are key
  4. Could we run Open sessions every other week? Is this just going to the pub?
  5. Guy offered to help Matt run 5 Whys on regularly suggested but rarely picked sessions, i.e. XTC clinic
  6. Templates for interesting sessions/fall back ideas can be stored on the wiki
  7. If you want a different format, run a different format.

High Turnover and Iffy Speakers

  1. High turnover wasn’t agreed to be an important issue. The size and turnout for most sessions was good enough.
  2. If we made sessions more accessible or clickbaity it could alienate XTC regular attendees.
  3. Is Iffy Speakers that an important an issue. There were potentially only 2 sessions in 2018 that would qualify.
  4. Some speakers aren’t interested in having their ideas discussed and challenged. This is an important part of XTC.
  5. Having an unpolished session is rarely a problem as XTC attendees can help drive a session.

Matt Davidson (me) will run the first XTC session back in 2019. Matt will run a Kata session exploring the TCR constraint.

Written on December 19, 2018