Experiential workshops

At Greater Sum, we facilitate hands-on workshops.  We take a collaborative, experiential approach to learning.  Our workshops focus on modern software development techniques from the agile, lean. and software craftsmanship communities.  Learning these practices and techniques allow your team to deliver sooner, with higher quality and in a sustainable way.

On site experiential workshop

On-site workshops

We will come to you! Our facilitator will come to on-site to your location for an interactive workshop on any of the following topics:

  • Refactoring
  • Test driven development
  • Modernizing legacy code
  • Continuous delivery
  • Continuous integration
  • User story mapping
  • Pair or mob programming
  • Agile development practices
  • Lean development practices

We can tailor the content to what your team needs.  We can do anything from a 2-hour Intro to TDD workshop to a 3-day workshop going in depth on refactoring techniques.

Group activity
Cleaner Code through Test Driven Development and Refactoring

Do you want to code with confidence? Reduce the number of bugs in your code? Build well designed software? This experiential workshop will give you hands-on practice with agile technical practices such as Test Driven Development, Refactoring, SOLID and more. Using these techniques you can build maintainable, simple code.  You will be working with a coach, with a pair, with a mob or by yourself depending on the exercise to gain experience with agile technical practices.

This workshop focuses on developing new code using Test Driven Development (TDD). Topics include:

  • Software craftsmanship
  • Clean Code
  • Code smells – identify and resolve
  • Expressive naming
  • Core refactorings
  • Four rules of simple design
  • Three laws of TDD
  • TDD Cycle
  • The SOLID design principles
  • XUnit (JUnit, NUnit) and other testing frameworks
  • Test doubles such as mocks, fakes, and stubs
  • Patterns and anti-patterns
Getting Existing Working Code Under Test

Most dev teams “own” some code that they don’t really want to work with. However it got there, the code is scary but pretty stable and requires updates. The code might be a tangled mess or it might be well factored code but if it doesn’t have automated tests to give us confidence in our changes, it’s still difficult to update.

Michael Feathers says “with tests, we can change the behavior of our code quickly and verifiably. Without them, we really don’t know if our code is getting better or worse.”

This experiential workshop will give you hands-on practice with the process of dealing with code that doesn’t have tests. Starting with characterization tests, we’ll understand what the code is doing and then methodically refactor the code to allow for unit tests. During this workshop you will work to build your skills working with unruly code.  The goal is to make small changes in order to create a suite of tests that give programmers confidence making changes (cleaning up or adding new features). 

Topics include:

  • Characterization tests
  • ApprovalTests
  • Core refactorings
  • Compound refactorings using small steps
  • Introducing seams for sensing and separation
  • Legacy code dilemma
  • Legacy code change algorithm
  • Four rules of simple design
  • XUnit (JUnit, NUnit) and other testing frameworks
  • Test doubles such as mocks, fakes, and stubs
  • Code coverage
  • Clean code
  • Code smells – identify and resolve
  • Expressive naming
  • Patterns and anti-patterns
Lean Mindset for Software Developers

Lean concepts have become more and more popular in software development.  Coming from the manufacturing world, understanding these concepts and how they can apply to your software development efforts can help you get to deliver faster and more reliably.  We’ll do several simulations that will help to see the concepts in action and we’ll debrief how to apply them to your team.

Topics include:

  • Seven principles of Lean Software Development
    • Eliminate waste
    • Amplify learning
    • Decide as late as possible
    • Deliver as fast as possible
    • Empower the team
    • Build quality in
    • See the whole
  • Flow efficiency vs resource efficiency
  • Pull vs push
  • Batch size
  • Lead and cycle time
  • Queueing theory
  • Value stream mapping
Agile Basics

Getting started with Scrum, XP, SAFe or another Agile methodology? Do you understand the why? This 1-day workshop is for those just getting started with Agile, those joining an Agile team, or those that need a refresher on the basics.  It will help you connect what your team is doing to the practices that your team needs to be successful building software.

Topics include:

  • Agile values
  • Agile principles
  • Common ceremonies used in Agile methodologies
    • Standup or Daily Scrum
    • Iteration or Sprint planning
    • Iteration or Sprint review
    • Retrospectives
    • Backlog grooming
  • Connecting ceremonies and practices to principles and values

Public workshops

Are you an individual looking to improve your software development skills?  We also do public versions of our workshops. To see what we have coming soon, check out our workshop calendar.

Online workshops

Some of our workshop topics work in an online format for some teams.  We prefer in person, but understand that travel costs are expensive!  We use a combination of video conferencing, screen sharing and remote control to keep it hands-on and interactive, even when physically remote.  Contact us to find out if this will work for your situation.

Let's find the right material for your team

We’ll work with you to find the right material for your team to help them accelerate your software development.

Feedback from attendees

“The teaching style and variety was the best I’ve experienced.”  

“I plan to use what I learned in my day-to-day coding at work.”  

“The variety of activities kept me engaged the entire workshop.”

“Nice to have someone who is in the thick of things teaching as it is more applicable to current issues”

Mentally satisfied. Had a blast.”

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