Wall-Skills.com Advent calender launched – one 1-pager each day

Simple Workflow diagramIt happened: we launched the wall-skills.com Advent calendar, featuring one 1-pager every day to hang up on your office walls. Daily learning and improving your skills just got easier.

As announced a couple of weeks ago Wall-Skills.com launched its Advent calendar today. For the ext 24 days we will release one new 1-pager each day featuring information worth reading and learning about agile software development, IT project management and sometimes even self improvement tips for office workers.

Get the 1-pagers, hang them upon your office and toilet walls, and share knowledge which you think should be shared among your colleagues and team members. Subscribe to the RSS feed and make sure you don’t miss any Advent calendar post.

Today’s feature is about the Agile principles:
Agile-Principles_Wall-Skills

I’d like to thanks to Corinna from finding-marbles.com for her awesome dedication to the project, her design and work – and also for coming up with the idea to transform my 1-pagers into an actual project.

If you have interesting Ideas you’d like to share with the Wall-Skills community, let us know. The Advent calendar is almost filled by now, but there we plan to release more 1-pagers in the weeks after.

Wall-Skills – learning with 1-pagers, and an Advent Calender

Simple Workflow diagramA couple of weeks ago I introduced Learning on the Toilet here at this blog as well as at my regular Agile Meetup. It was well received, and fellow agile developer Corinna convinced me to team up and launch a dedicated project, which we called: wall-skills.com!

The idea for wall-skills.com is based upon Learning on the toilet (#LotT), which is again based upon Google’s Testing on the Toilet: it means hanging up 1-pagers on walls in places like toilets, on refrigerators and so on for people to read during their “leisure” time. The idea is to bring up information worth reading which can be summarized on one single page to improve the skills of the members of your company. Even if you read all the books about one topic, sometimes an additional tip or some prodding is just what you need. And if it’s hanging on a wall in a place where when you see it, you can’t ignore it.

The idea of Learning on the Toilet was well received when I presented the idea at my regulars Agile Meetup, I got a lot of constructive feedback. And Corinna (finding-marbles.com) brought up the idea to team up and create a project page dedicated to collect and spread such 1-pagers. Thus we met, found a name – hanging 1-pagers on “walls” to improve “skills”, aren’t we brilliant 😉 – and launched a project page: wall-skills.com was born!

wall-skills_screenshot
So in the future we will collect 1-page PDFs or images on Agile, Lean, development, devOps, system administration, Scrum and Kanban at wall-skills.com – ready for you to print out.

Right now we have published two sample posts to give you an idea what to expect. To kick off the project page and the entire collection we will present more 1-pagers in form of an Advent Calendar, publishing a new 1-pager each day of December until the 24th. So stay tuned – and subscribe to our RSS feed =)

Currently we’ve got ideas for most of the 24 slots, but some slots are still open and a greater diversity is always more interesting. Also, we will need more information for the future. If you got great, suitable content in your blog, tell us! Contact us on Twitter, via email, via this blog, whatever. If you are quick (that means 25th of November) your content might be included with the Advent Calendar, including a short paragraph about you and your blog.

And of course, please feel free to tell us what you think of the project, of the 1-pagers, and so on.

#LotT, Learning On The Toilet – learning where you’ve got the time for

Simple Workflow diagramA couple of weeks ago I heard about Testing On The Toilet, and initiative at Google where people hung up information about software testing on toilets. I liked the idea, and adopted it for our own key topics.

Testing On The Toilet (#TotT) was launched in 2007 by Google employees working in the area of software testing. They hung up flyers on Google toilets with information about how to write good software tests. The idea behind the flyers: they contain short but meaningful and easy to remember information. Each flyer only covers one sheet of paper, so its not too much to read. So far they have published dozens of flyers.

I loved the idea immediately – almost everyone goes to the toilet, so your coverage is almost perfect. Besides, each person can still decide on him/her own if its worth a read or not.

Not surprisingly, I decided to take over the idea – however, while the company I work for is situated right in the middle of Open Source software, writing software tests is not our main concern: Our key aspects are system integration and consulting. Think of improving database installations and maintaining enterprise scale server landscapes here. So most of the #TotT fylers do not really apply to us. But there are other things which are interesting and worth distributing, even if I have to create my own flyers.

Thus the idea of “Learning On The Toilet” – #LotT – was born. I just had to find proper information. I discussed the idea with my fellow project managers of my group of regulars, and it was suggested for an initial start to search the internet for suitable “top ten” lists. The idea stuck, and I gathered various lists in the next days. There was a list with tips for Vim, a cheat sheet concerning Selinux, nine points how to improve your communication skills, and others. I shortened the lists to each fit on one page, printed the first, and hung it on our toilets. And waited nervously for the first reactions: I didn’t tell anyone about the idea previously, and wasn’t sure if the sheets of paper would survive the first day.

But: they did! People read them! The feedback was positive – or about how to hang them better in the toilet, or that for example the refrigerator in the kitchen would be a good place as well. Also, some people mentioned that they would like to have this or that topic. But that meant the idea was positively received! I hardly got any bad feedback! That was great relief, and for now I decided to keep hanging up stuff.

The only problem is that there are so many information out there which are worth a read, but often the material does not fit to #LotT: its either too much to read, or too few real worthy information. Also, I’d love to publish the #LotT issues in my blog, but the copyright of the lists usually does not allow that.

So: if you have any good ideas regarding system integration in the Open Source world, just drop a note in the comments, and I will be happy to publish it here.