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Agile Coaches' Corner shares practical concepts in an approachable way. It is for agile practitioners and business leaders seeking expert advice on improving the way they work to achieve their desired outcomes. If you have a topic you'd like discussed, email it to, or tweet it with #agilethoughtpodcast.

Feb 7, 2020

In this week’s podcast, Dan Neumann is speaking with Charlie Guse, the lead organizer for the Global Game Jam event in South Bend, Indiana. And today, they’re talking about going from zero to game in 48 hours!


With Agile teams — especially Scrum teams — they’ve got the notion of creating an increment within a timebox in Scrum between 1-4 weeks. Though this event is only 48 hours, there are many similarities and overlaps with one another. So in today’s episode, Charlie talks about how they go from zero to game in 48 hours and the facets of Game Jam that translate back into the work software developers do in their day jobs!


Key Takeaways

  • What is the Global Game Jam?
    • A global event where everyone starts at the same time and has 48 hours to create a game based on a certain theme (this year’s theme is “repair”)
    • A great way to meet new people and have lots of new ‘aha’ moments!
    • Not a competition
  • How the Global Game Jam overlaps with day-to-day software development:
    • Having a theme/concrete idea to rally behind makes it easier to make informed decisions about building stuff and helps everyone come together and contribute ideas
    • A framework was developed for this year’s event so that next year they can iterate on the framework based on the feedback they receive
    • There is an emphasis on trying to find what each person’s interests are and having them focus on those as opposed to ‘shoving’ them into a position based on their availability, skill, and need
    • Cutting scope for the timebox (i.e. working together to find the core of what you’re trying to do and cut the excess until you have a core you can deliver on)
    • If people are spread out in their own rooms there is less collaboration so open areas are better
    • There is rapid prototyping, iterations, and cycles
    • Lots of opportunities for networking and making connections


Mentioned in this Episode:

Global Game Jam

Charlie Guse


AWS Lambda

EVE Online


Charlie Guse’s Book Picks:

Reamde, by Neal Stephenson


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