Years ago now, Bryan Beecham came up with the idea of using LEGO to teach the concept of Test Driven Development (TDD). Since this is a topic most often used by developers, previous trainings had focused on demonstrating this technique on actual code. However, Bryan wanted to introduce it to a different audience; he initially wanted to explain TDD to management and then later to other non-developers on the teams. To do this, he needed to be able to illustrate the concepts away from the actual source code. And thus was LEGO-TDD first created.

When Bryan showed me what he’d done, I was inspired by the idea and the two of us then started expanding it out to teach other technical topics, such as technical debt and continuous integration.

Although originally intended to teach non-developers, these exercises have proven to be extremely popular with developers as well. So much that we’ve incorporated these into developer trainings that each of us teaches.

Many other people have provided feedback and suggestions for these and we couldn’t even begin to list them all. I should call out Ellen Grove though, for her contributions towards the collaboration exercise.

Each exercise has it’s own page here:

See also these interviews where Mike or Bryan discuss the exercises and how they’re used.