Our house in the garden
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Our house in the garden

Agile lessons from constructing a house.

About the Book

When I wrote this book, I thought about Constructing Caro.

Together with her partner, and their two children Caro is constructing her own house. 

Caro is 35 years old. Caro is a senior engineer. She uses her smartphone to organize her life and that of her family. She has been renting houses the last 13 years. Together with her partner they decided that they prefer constructing a house, over buying an already existing house. As they have two children that they want to also give attention during the construction phase, they decided that they will limit the work they will be doing themselves. 

Caro motto is: always keep learning.

About the Author


The Agile community knows Yves Hanoulle from his many contributions, such as the public Agile conferences Google calendar, his Agile Thursday Quiz, the coach retreats and conferences he’s paired to organize, daily coaching questions via @Retroflections, and the Agile Games Google group, just to name a few. He promoted PairCoaching, an idea which has been adopted by many agile trainers and coaches. He’s constantly learning, and passing on what he learns as a coach and trainer to organizations large and small.

A self-identified change artist and first follower, one of Yves’ unique qualities is that he gives free lifetime support on anything he does: every client, everything he writes and presents, every workshop he leads.

Yves believes in maintaining a sustainable pace both professionally and personally. Yves has parentpair programmed an android game with his 13 year old son www.anguis.be You can learn more about Yves at http://www.hanoulle.be/yves-hanoulle/, and find him on social media as YvesHanoulle.

About the Contributors

Hanne Lemmens
Hanne Lemmens


Reader Testimonials

Sanne Vermeiren
Sanne Vermeiren

Once again, Yves managed to deliver

As an IT’er and someone who build her own house, I had quite some expectations for this book. Once again, Yves managed to deliver. An open and honest story, where recognizable stories are complemented with good advice I wish I knew before. Yves gives you a look into his building project and creates perfect metaphors for IT projects. This book does not only give great advice when you plan on building your own house (especially together with teenagers), but also for coaching your own team.

Table of Contents

  • Recommendations
  • Book In progress
    • This gives you these advantages:
    • This gives me these advantages:
    • Still to do on the book:
  • Foreword
  • Who should read this book?
  • Preface
    • Acknowledgments
  • How it all started
    • Buying a dream
    • Thinking outside the house
    • Your biggest obstacle might be you
    • There is no box
    • Function over form
    • Specify the goal of a feature
    • Build a new system while gradually replacing the old one
    • A house is not a website
    • Technical debt was too high
    • Vision
    • Working with family
    • Is there such a thing as too much transparency?
    • We’ve all lived in houses our whole lives, yet hardly anyone can read plans
    • Architecture influences dependencies
    • What is the best way to contact you?
    • What happens when we disagree?
    • Can you give us the name of some clients?
    • Ask hourly wages at the start
    • Bring coffee
    • You can’t take enough pictures
    • Create a different calendar
    • Create a separate Whatsapp channel
    • Use a mailing list
    • Small teams need more administration
    • Reading people…..
    • Work with local companies
    • Who are the stakeholders?
    • Open Source Domotica
    • Always have a backup system
    • How do these systems talk to each other
    • If computers can test something, let them
    • Manual of the house
    • Password manager
    • External documentation
    • Some people create problems others solve problems…
    • Limiting work in progress
    • Keep family life going
    • They have started on the driveway, or did they?
    • Those damn kids…
    • Why invest in something old?
  • Minimum Viable House
    • Roof
    • Electricity
    • Running water
    • Toilet
    • Bed
    • Heating
    • Tiled floors downstairs
    • Warm water
    • Kitchen
    • Shower
    • Bath
    • Laminate flooring on the first floor.
    • Walls between the children’s bedrooms.
    • Limit Work in progress
    • Washing machine, drying cabinet
    • Fridge & Freezer
    • Television & Internet
    • Network
    • Mobile phones accessibility
    • Home office
    • Library
    • Walking desk
    • Solar Panels
    • How do you know the electricity you are using? (need a better title)
    • Skirting boards & Window sills
    • Cellar
    • Terrace
    • No flat roof please
    • We are collectors
    • Finally a room to give trainings
    • Training room it became
    • Cabinets
    • New closets
    • Internal doors
    • OpenPlan
    • Open office
    • Real Open Offices
    • Internal window
    • Replacing the garage
    • The old house is falling apart…
    • Boy scouts rule
    • A small house
    • Electricity garage
    • Maintenance
    • Driveway
    • Garden
    • Empty the old house
    • Tear down the house
    • Insurance
    • Paperwork
    • The move
    • Installing the new stairs
    • Installation of the Robot mower
  • Lessons Learned
    • Building as a couple
    • Building with teenagers
  • What is next?
  • Booklist

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