From September 1 through September 2 I participated in SoCraTes 2011, a gathering of German software developers who are interested in Software Craftsmanship. It became the spark for a German Software Craftsmanship Community that is now organized under the label "Softwerkskammer". Me and three other participants volunteered to build up a regional community in Münster/Bielefeld/Osnabrück.
On October 19 we set up a kick-off meeting in the .space Osnabrück. Fortunately there are quite a few other people in the area who are deeply interested in the matter. It was easy to mobilize them for the kick-off. There were 11 people in the meeting; only four of them had been to SoCraTes!
In my opinion we had a great discussion on different aspects of Software Craftsmanship - agile processes, domain-driven design, test-driven development, educating junior developers. All the attendees were very energized.
This was the beginning of the regional community; we named it "SoCraMOB" ("Software Craftsmanship in Münster, Osnabrück & Bielefeld").
It turned out that a relevant number of members live/work in Münster. And people did not feel up to traveling to one of the other cities for (short) evening events in the future. We agreed on a different form of meetings: We are going to organize whole-day workshops on every second Saturday in a quarter. The program will be a mixture of open space sessions and coding dojos. The first one will be on January 14 in Münster. The members in each of the cities are free to organize local events.
Besides, Martin Klose and Jaroslaw Klose are going to stage a code retreat in Bielefeld in the context of the Global Day of Code Retreat.
The next step is to spread the word in the area. We already talked to the local .NET User Group on October 26. The people there were all energized and interested in the matter, too; all developers across technological barriers seem to have similar problems in terms of organization, development process, and team communication. The .NET User Group set up a coding dojo immediately for November 30.
The local Münster community are going to meet for a round-table on December 21. One of the topics will be the organization of the first SoCraMOB on January 14.