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Agile Israel next meeting infromation and other important news

If you arn't registered on the new Agile Israel mailing list - I just sent out this important letter to the list. If you'd like me to add your email to the list, send me an email to AddMe at AgileIsrael dot com.

Hi Folks.

On behalf of Udi Dahan and myself, I’d like to personally welcome you to the all-new mailing list for the Agile Israel user group.

I have some announcements to make so bear with me because this turned out to be quite a long email (but it’s really important that you read it).


  1. Our next meeting
  2. Moving to Microsoft Israel
  3. TDD and other workshops
  4. New mailing list
  5. New (basic) site
  6. Deciding on meeting topics
  7. Your feedback required


Our next meeting

First of all, the next meeting of the group will be at March, 23rd at 17:30.  The meeting will take place at the Microsoft Israel headquarters.

I’m excited to announce that we are going to have a special guest in this month’s meeting – Johanna Rothman ( She writes two of my favorite blogs and you can see them on her site’s main page on the top left.

She’ll be talking about “9 steps to making your project Agile” and this should be a fun lecture because it’s going to be a little interactive.  After that we want to maybe have a discussion and another lecture. Still not decided. Your feedback is required on this.


About Johanna

Johanna Rothman is a well-known consultant, speaker, and author on managing high-technology product development. During her decade-long consulting career, she has enabled managers, teams, and organizations become more effective applying her pragmatic approaches to the issues of project management, risk management, and people management. She’s helped Engineering organizations, IT organizations, and startups hire, manage, and release successful products faster. Her assessment reports have helped managers and teams create and execute action plans that help them improve their projects and their processes. She is a sought-after speaker and teacher in the areas of project management, people management, and problem-solving.


Johanna has written over 100 articles and papers and is now a columnist for Fast Company’s online career center, Software Development,, and Johanna is the author of the highly acclaimed Hiring the Best Knowledge Workers, Techies & Nerds, and is the coauthor of Corrective Action for the Software Industry. Johanna is also a host and session leader at the Amplifying Your Effectiveness (AYE) conference.


Meeting description

23/3/05  (there is still not regular meeting schedule – will update as we have one)

17:30 – 18:00 – Assembly, Networking and open discussion

18:00 – 19:30 – 9 Steps to Agile Projects


19:45 – 21:00 – TBD  (We need to decide what we want. See bottom of this email)



Microsoft Israel

2 Hapnina St,


(09) 7625-100


Floor 0 , Dekel Room

It is the new building across from Amdocs.

After the first traffic circle, there is an area for (free) parking on the right.


Moving to Microsoft Israel

This might come as a surprise to some of you (especially people coming from the open source crowd) but I’ve decided to host the group at the Microsoft Israel HQ after all.

            There are several reasons for this, the first one being very practical - We ran out of room. The first meeting featured 32 attendees. That’s pretty good. It’s actually much better than good and exceeded expectations. 42 “promised” – 32 showed up, and thank god for that. The room we had at SELA was practically full, maybe allowing for 2-3 more people at most to squeeze in had they showed up.

Following that meeting I have been scraping to find a larger place to host the group (which is why there was no meeting last month) and Microsoft is one of the few places that has such rooms large enough to host us, and that would actually let us use them. However, Microsoft was not the only one that would let us “host” the group and this leads nicely to the fact that we have a choice of place if we don’t find it as “open” as we expect.

I understand your concern as to what topic we may or may not be able to talk about there, but let me assure you that I will do my best to make sure that we can have open and honest discussions about Agile development that will be as platform agnostic as possible. With that I’d remind you that many of the people in the group right now come from a Microsoft oriented background. I personally intend to present not only on theoretical issues, but also on technical topics using .NET, as that is the main platform I work on these days.

That does not mean, however, that we can’t discuss other topics. In fact, Udi and I are planning a meeting schedule that would allow us to increase the number of topics in a single meeting, thus providing more value to a more broad audience by making the presentations and discussions shorter.

This is a test run to see if the group and Microsoft can work together without too many “bugs”. You have my word that if it seems to be too restrictive, we will move the group to a different place, probably not far away which has all the room we need and perhaps less restrictions.

That said – I think Microsoft is a great place to host this group and would be my first choice because I came to know the organization as a community evolver – communities thrive around Microsoft, and they get lots of help.


TDD and other workshops

I’m still planning on hosting TDD workshops at SELA every month or so. If any of you would like to help me with it (training, helping out etc.. contact me) send me an email directly to Roy at or to the list.

I need people who have some free time to make sure are the screws are tightened and maybe even help out as a trainer in the groups (thus getting some valuable first hand knowledge and technique from me to make sure they are the “aces” in the class).

If you’d like to attend the next workshop in TDD, reply on this mailing list. There are no dates yet, but I want to have a full list ready for when we do. Specify whether you would like to take the “advanced” or “basic”  workshop.


New mailing list

We have a new mailing list dedicated to the group. You can see an archive of the mailing list at . In fact, you’re getting this letter through that mailing list. Since it’s a mailing list, its main purpose is to share knowledge and ask questions. You can send an email to the list by using the address: list at . Note that only email addresses that are registered with the mailing list can send emails. If you’d like to be removed from the list or update your email address, send me an email to me or Udi  at Roy  or udi at .

The list is not using Yahoo or Google – it is a private server and thus should have less spam messages. I’ll post instructions on automatically adding or removing yourself from the list in the near future. In the meantime – just as me or Udi.



New (basic) site

Our new site is up at . It’s still just in raw form, but it will hopefully get bigger and better with more information, news and resources. If you’d like to help us out with maintaining the site, add news items, schedules and basically make it your pet project, contact me and tell me about it. There’s nothing I’d like more that for this site and group to be supported by its members.


Deciding on meeting topics

I would like us to use this list to decide on meeting topics. Specifically – what topics would you like to hear about that can be done in 1.5 hours? We can also divide it to two or three short sessions about different areas. If you’d like to speak about something or suggest an idea – reply to the list. I’m anxious.

Personally I can “finish” the lecture I started in the first meeting about Agile concepts. We can also do a more technical presentation about .NET mock objects if you’d like.  I would also like to have some open discussion time on problems and solutions you’ve been facing. Kind like Q&A – but not 10 minutes, but 30-45 minutes. What do you think?


Your feedback required

These are first steps. I expect you to write to the list with suggestions if you don’t like anything, or have suggestions for improvement.  I also expect this to be the place we use to formalize our future meetings. So if anyone would like to present anything to the group, and I mean *anything* in any platform relating to Agile, send an email. I promise that I will not let good information go without a fight.

            It’s up to us if we want to make this a vibrant community that learn from each other, or a dead zone. I do think there is a great basis for community in Agile methodologies, crossing platforms and languages. We all want to make better software. We all want to be proud of what we do and look our customer eye to eye when we say “things work”.

It starts here. And I can’t do this alone.  I expect you to participate, not just listen, because maybe you yourself have learned some important lessons that all of us should hear.  Make yourself heard. I encourage you to speak even if you’ve never spoken before. I encourage to write even if you’ve never written before. And I expect us all to have a whole lot of fun!


Here’s to a great productive groups of interesting people!




Roy Osherove


Udi Dahan

Another one gets test-infected

Met some nice people in Prague