'Tis the season to celebrate generosity and giving

Our Melbourne agile software development community can be described using many words - smart, resourceful, collaborative, clever. Even powerful. And one word that is top of mind for me right now is - generous.

Over the last few years, Flying Robot School (FRS) has seen wonderful acts of generosity from the agile community. In fact, it’s what’s kept the wind beneath our wings. And given ‘tis the season, I thought I’d write about it. In no particular order, here are some ways that individuals, community groups and companies have supported FRS:

1. Battle of the Agile Bands

It was four years ago that we got a phone call from Nigel Dalton “Hey guys, so I have a cheque of $5 100 from the Battle of the Agile Bands (BotAB) gig that we had the other night.” While this gesture alone was already so moving, impactful and generous, little did we know that this would be a year-on-year tradition.


BotAB is now an iconic tech event that sees Melbourne-based agile companies compete - musically! Growing bigger and better each year, the 2018 instalment needed to be spread across 2 nights (2019: Rod Laver Arena).

Flying Robot School has received in excess of $22 000 since that first phone call. We could not be any more grateful to Nigel Dalton for kicking the initiative off and for continuing to support FRS with the event’s proceeds. And yes Nigel still sits at the door to welcome all ticket holders as they arrive :)

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2. DiUS

When FRS was forming, DiUS had no hesitation in helping us get it off the ground. Both Joe Losinno and Clency Coutet were instrumental in helping with the basics. We needed CASA certification, and we needed insurance. And of course we needed people power. DiUS generously supported FRS’ work by offering their staff time in lieu for each day-long FRS program that is run. And this continues on even today.

Thank you DiUS for helping build a solid foundation for FRS and for continuing to support us along the tarmac.

3. Ed Wong and the Melbourne Agile Community

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“I have an idea”. When Ed Wong speaks those 4 magic words it’s wise to listen hard. Ed is a man of many ideas - all sparked by his kind and curious nature. He sought to find a way to better run his agile community meetups, and also create value for a community-based organisation at the same time. The problem Ed was trying to solve: too many people were reserving a spot but then just weren’t showing up on the night, which causes headaches for the organisers. The idea: each person that wants to attend the Meetup pays a fee when they RSVP. When they show up, they have the choice of having the money refunded, or donating it. If they don’t show up, then the money is donated. You can read more about his plan here

Inspired by the BotAB movement led by Nigel Dalton, he chose Flying Robot School as the beneficiary of his brave social experiment.

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4. Our volunteer team

Co-Founders Pete Cohen, Daryl Wilding-McBride and I could not do this on our own - FRS would not be possible without the rest of our volunteer team. Thank you to Trevor Plant and Paula Felagakis who have each helped shape and deliver the programs to the schools. It’s been early mornings, long commutes, questionable caffeine, energetic activities (teaching is tiring) - and all with a smile. Thank you!

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It’s a wonderful time of year, where giving and gratefulness is at its peak. We thank you to all of these groups and individuals that given so much to FRS and made it possible to deliver our program to over 11 regional or rural schools. And we are grateful that over 4 years on, we are still soaring at an awesome altitude.

On behalf of the Flying Robot School team, we hope you have a safe and restful break surrounded by laughter and those you love. We can’t wait for 2019 to arrive so that we can launch back into doing what we love.