Back in the day, in 2004, I was a novice software engineer. My first team lead Sergey got me to know what is an Extreme Programming (XP). We were trying most of XP practices. Since that very moment, I simply crushed on Agile software development approach. Having absorbed ideas of Alistair Cockburn after XP, I continued learning various Agile methodologies. After many trial and error experiments, it all came down to Customized Agility methodology used in our team.
And here I am in sunshiny San Diego trying to realize my thoughts and feelings right after Agile2018 Conference completion. The biggest Agile event of the year. 5 marvelous days for studying and inspiration with a lot of networking involved. Wow, meeting such gurus like Jurgen Appelo, Ron Jeffries, Jeff Patton, Chet Hendrikson — sounds like dreams of me 15 years ago come true! I was also happy to meet in person part of Agility Scales team: Paula, Ceyda, Jurgen, it’s been a pleasure!
Top 5 talks and workshops
- Jurgen Appelo sharing his thoughts about the live cycle of companies and the internals how his team has been developing revolutionary Mind Settlers.
- Jeremy Kriegel. Design Studio Sketching technique to improve UX design through team collaboration. Best workshop ever. I’m going to try it out in practice.
- Heidi Helfand made a leadership with listening workshop. I had an insight after practicing active listening, paraphrasing and asking power questions.
- Pradeepa Narayanaswamy organized audience to play many short games that help transform conflicts into collaboration. It was fun! :)
- Reneshan Moodley with his smart and hilarious talk about future workforce who ask “Why should I do it?” and not worrying about how to do smth. This is what we all have to take into consideration.
Workshop, workshop, workshop
I was truly surprized by quantity and quality of workshops suggested at Agile 2018. It turned into an excellent opportunity of learning though action. I seized it. Tuesday was particularly awesome in this sense given I took 4 workshops in a row!
It is interesting a visitor could have some workshop activities even during conventional talks. A speaker could simply pause their talk asking the audience to discuss something in pairs or with a table. It was convenient to do it because all rooms had round tables. Big thanks for that go to conference organizers!
Bias in visitor age
Surprisingly, I found the age of the most visitors was 40+. Why was it happening?
Agile is not old and, moreover, its impact has been widening much during last years. I have two ideas of the bias:
- Agile transformation. Transforming non-IT business with agile was a dominating theme. Therefore we witnessed lots of experienced managers from banks, goverment, insurance companies. Massive trend!
- Ticket price. 2500$ for a ticket. Averagely, younger people are less ready to afford the price than 40+ people.
I believe there should be something done about the expensiveness of the tickets. If Agile Alliance comes up with new ticket options, that may unbias visitor age. Otherwise, while having diversity and inclusion as a frequent Agile2018 topic, we have a strange lack of diversity at the conference itself.
How can we possibly discuss work with generation Z youngsters without having generation Z representatives in a room?
Sketch notes by Talia Lancaster
I was really amazed by live sketch drawing of Talia from South Africa. Never have seen anything like that before!
Her visual thinking + tablet with an app + technique create magically doodled result of a talk/workshop you have just been experiencing. For me, it was difficult to stop looking at her process of sketching :-) Here are few of the sketches by Talia.
You could find more sketches here:
What I love the most about Agile2018
Having an opportunity to dive into the worldwide Agile community is just awesome. Meeting new interesting people including Ukrainians — Dima, Valera, hi there! :) — is also something to remember for a long time.
With that said, the best part of the Agile journey is going to California with two friends of mine.
Kate and Ksu, I can’t express how I am grateful to you for being together at Agile2018, reflecting on talks, sharing deep thoughts and emotions. Dear friends, you are cool and lovely!