Goodbye England, hello Canada!
I've recently moved with my family to Ottawa, Canada. There were a slew of reasons for doing so but the principal ones were the amount of travel I was doing for work - which took me away from my home and family too often - and the fact as an independent consultant I saw lots of "beginnings" - helping teams to start down the road to Agility - but felt I was missing out on the bigger picture: I want to go back "inside an organisation" and coach teams and individuals over a longer period than a consulting gig allows.
It was a slog getting everything packed up before we left - although we allowed plenty of time for it, the work definitely seemed to expand to fill the hours available - and after we arrived I couldn't remember precisely which items had come with us on the plane rather than being packed into boxes to follow by sea. So I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I opened the work-related folder I had packed into my suitcase. This is what I found: one copy of Kent Beck's XP Explained (2nd edition); one printout of Martin Fowler's article The New Methodology dated December 2000; printouts of Alistair Cockburn's articles Characterizing people as non-linear, first-order components in software development and Software development as a cooperative game dated March 2001; my most recent notebook; a few index cards; and a small packet of coloured "sticky dots".
Which made me think about why I had selected these particular things (ignoring the notebook and index cards which get stuffed into a bag to go with me pretty much everywhere), especially since I probably packed them "on autopilot". Well, Kent's book is pretty much a no-brainer: it's small, the XP values and principles resonate deeply with me and I frequently find myself dipping into it. The article printouts were probably selected on the basis of their dates (although they remain a good read): they have sentimental value from back when I started applying an Agile approach to my own projects, and remind me of the wonderful people I got to meet in London through the Extreme Tuesday club and Thoughtworks. Which leaves the "sticky dots": I think I must have thrown them in as props to represent the kind of facilitative role I enjoy taking as a coach and which I've learned so much about through the retrospectives community.
Here's hoping that I find the kind of work I'm looking for!