shows a porcelain bird functioning as a pipe

OOP 2020 – DevOps culture simulation & Starting #TrainerHacks

At #OOPmuc this year – beside sketchnotes and other stuff – I had the pleasure to step Into the Unknow by attending a half-day workshop with Dana Pylayeva. I was so curious to finally learn about her DevOps culture simulation with Lego and chocolate.

As you can see from the tweet below, the workshop itself was a-we-some. Although I knew already a lot about DevOps from my former days as a software crafter I learned a bunch of new aspects. And – most of all – I enjoyed observing and experiencing the group dynamics of Dana’s highly engaging simulation.

Tweet from 3rd Feb 2020 (link)

So if you want to know more about the simulation, have a look at her slideshare, the book or simply ecosia it.

THE trainer hack of that conference

In the workshop I learned a tiny, little detail from Dana: after the first highly interactive part, Dana used a big wooden pipe with a loud-enough yet very pleasant sound to get the room’s attention (without needing to e.g. shout).

Of course at that moment the whole group then got introduced to the put-your-arm-up-and-close-your-mouth technique [*] used in big room facilitation.

shows a porcelain bird functioning as a pipe
porcelain bird functioning as a pipe

The usage of a pipe small-enough to carry with a pleasant sound for training or workshop facilitation with highly interactive parts totally made my day!

Today I found that little bird pipe back from my children days. Right away I knew: THIS is gonna be MY trainer’s pipe from now on. Thank you Dana for this great inspiration!

As I have a list with more “hacks” and tricks in my drawer which I’ve collected over the years, today is also the time to kick-off a new tag on my blog called #trainerhacks.

Be surprised what I’ll add in the future. And – of course – I am already curious to hear about YOUR #trainerhacks! 🙂


[*] While I wrote that blogpost, I asked on twitter for the “right” name of that gesture. I wasn’t aware what abundance unfolded within the anwers to such a “simple” question. Here are my top three suggestions and take-aways:

  1. read through the answers, experiences, origins, suggestions of the original tweet for inspiration and learning more
  2. print and distribute the cheat-sheet of hand-signs for facilitating large groups created by Corinna Baldauf (see, the tweet)
  3. Some people pointed to Jean Tabaka being the origin of that gesture within the agile world. And I truly love Rob Myers’ suggestion of calling it ‘The Tabaka’ in honor of Jean. Let’s do that! <3