These are the few user groups that I go to or keep track of regularly to see if they are discussing a topic that is of specific interest to me.

NEJUG

New England Java User group. It has been there almost for ever. They have some excellent speaker line up and its a very active user group. If you are new to Java or a veteran- you will always find something useful here.

Grails User group

Boston area Grails User Group. This is the only grails groovy user group I found in and around Boston. Haven’t attended any of their meetings yet , but seems to be fairly active group.

BASE

Boston Area Scala enthusiasts. This group was started by my friend Nermin and couple more Scala enthusiasts. They have had only couple of meetings so far- but the group is well….quite enthusiastic . At this point they do not have scheduled meetings on a particular day of a particular week. But I am sure they will get there soon. Currently, they meet once a month in Cambridge at Google office.

Agile Boston

This is perhaps the biggest Agile user group n the Boston area – very active . They also hosted a major event recently ,featuring speakers Jeff Sutherland , Ken Schwaber and Amr Elssamadisy , Sanjiv Augustine and Dan Mezick.
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Few weeks ago, I was talking to Jon about how the Agile adoption has been working for us.

One of the things I talked to him that day was – my observation that the developers were scrambling to get the development done during the beginning of the sprint and then it was la-la land towards the end.  And it was opposite for the testers. I found them not to be so busy during the begining of the sprint and then rushing to get it done by the end of the sprint.

To explain a bit more, the model we have right now is- The developer completes a story and then throw it over the wall to the tester who then tests it and during that time, the developer codes the next story. So obviously by the time the tester is testing the last story, the developer has little to do- maybe complete some documents and such . This is quite better then before when we had the QA team testing the delivery made by the developers in the previous sprint. But this still didn’t quite sound right…

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