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Building a Hovercraft with Agile

Written on: Sept. 22, 2015
I've only worked here for few months so you can imagine my surprise when I was asked to help build some hovercrafts.
Maybe it was some kind of jargon I hadn't come across yet or maybe Eric, one of our Directors, was mad? Being the new guy though my only real option was to smile and say 'of course, how many?'.
As it turned out, it wasn't jargon and Eric is not (completely) mad, this was Bright Interactive's first foray in to the Creative, Digital and IT Open Studios that happen every year as part of the Brighton Digital Festival.
Watch the short video above or read on for a review of the event.
We are all about Agile Development at Bright Interactive and we wanted to share our passion with the local digital community through the medium of gaffa tape, cardboard and polystyrene. 
The idea was to get a group of strangers from local companies together in room, fill them with beer and pizza, split them in to groups and get them to work in an agile team developing a minimum viable product (in this case a fully functional mini hovercraft)..... all in less than two hours!
All you need to build a hovercraft

After a little while of collecting random supplies like a squirrel preparing for the winter we had enough to build a fleet of hovercrafts and thought that we could have three teams going head to head on the day. As people arrived and the office started to fill up we were glad to have kept a lid on the numbers - it was busy in our office! 

Hovercraft race 1
As always I was amazed by people's creativity and capacity to absorb information in a short period of time. Staying true to our agile principles we split the process in to three 'sprints' with a new iteration of the hovercrafts emerging at the end of each one. In an hour and a half we saw our teams move from pieces of cardboard strapped to a balloons to hovercrafts that not only hovered but also moved. Just not always in the right direction.
And the winner is...Black team!
The final race was not exactly grand prix standard and we didn't need a photo finish but we managed to trash the office and made some great new local connections. Eric has already started thinking about what we can do next year. Can't be that hard to build a helicopter can it?

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