Pretty cool stuff happening here in Cowtown. XP Agile Universe is just wrapping up the last day. Last nights festivities were great as Bob Martin gave a wicked (bet you never thought you'd see that word in an Agile blog) Keynote speech, centering around Copernicus and how Johannes Kepler used Unit Tests (and 15th century mathematics) to prove Copernicus' theories of how the Sun was the center of the universe (and how he had to throw out his UML diagrams halfway through because he discovered orbits were eliptical not round). Kepler's laws (orbit of a planet around the sun being an ellipse, orbiting intervals, and squares of the periods of planets) are still in use today and solid. Yes, this all related to Agile in Bob's unique and uplifting way (look for Bob's crumbled up notes on eBay shortly, especially the last one he didn't talk about).
Eric Evans also gave a great presentation, revolving around his own Domain Driven Design book (which I highly recommend as part of my Programmers Essential Bookshelf). Eric talked about how the domain model is key (and it is) and that your system should be an implementation of that model. Far too often I see teams that tread down the DDD path only to toss away any semblance of a model and go heads-down coding to build a system. At the end of the day, it bears no resemblance to anything originally concieved and is a maintenance nightmare. Again, great words of wisdom from a quiet but smart man.
Next years conference is to be merged with the Agile Development Converence. The new name is (drumroll please...) Agile United. Now of course our immediate reaction last night was around the Manchester United football club, with a table breaking out into song which I'm sure will carry on the joke for years to come. In any case, it's been a great conference so mark the next one down on your calendar and be sure to attend.