Agile Coach Conference 2008

As you may have noticed, I haven’t posted for awhile.  I’ve been on the go too much.

Right now I’m at the Agile Coach Conference in Ann Arbor, MI.  The regular sessions will start tomorrow.  For Friday evening, we had some delightful lightning talks.

In praise of small conferences

I’m just back from XPDay Manhattan, one of those small conferences that Matt Heusser and I have praised before. This conference was a mix of prepared talks and open space. I think this is an excellent format. It provides material for those who haven’t yet identified a topic they want to discuss, and it also draws in active participation from the attendees. The participation was enthusiastic! Some people traveled a considerable distance to attend.

Coming up very shortly is the Simple Design and Testing Conference. This is an open space conference in York, PA starting Friday evening, November 30, at 5:00 PM and running through Sunday lunch, December 2. Last year’s was my first experience with the open space format. This year, Naresh Jain, the organizer, is asking people to submit a position paper with their registration application. This doesn’t have to be a big thing, and I don’t think anyone will be denied based on the content or position taken. The point of this exercise is to encourage participants to think ahead about the issues that are important to them.  It’s a small price to pay for a free conference. I hope this helps fan the flames of passion for the craft and career that you’ve chosen.

P.S. The slides from my prepared talk are available.

Carnival of the Agile Conference

The new Carnival of the Agilists is focused on the Agile 2007 conference.  You’ll find a bunch of references to blogs discussing the conference.  There’s some interesting stuff.  There’s even a pointer to my good friend, Jack Ganssle, who is not an Agilist and is highly allergic to people touting a New Methodology.  Jack is interested in things that work, and work well.  I was glad to see he had some good things to say.  The reason he did, is that people talked about things they had done and the results they got from doing them.  Telling those stories works ever-so-much better than telling your theories.

I found it amusing that the first response to the Carnival of the Agilists post was one complaining that the drinking water wasn’t obvious enough, being provided in coolers instead of bottles.  All I can say is that if this is the biggest complaint, the conference was a great success!

Amplifying Your Effectiveness

Johanna Rothman’s recent post on the AYE Conference prompted this unsolicited testimonial.

If you’re a techie working with people, you can learn loads about being more effective by attending this conference.  This is no sit-in-a-room-and-listen sort of thing.  You’ll get involved and learn lessons you’ll never forget.

I’m an independent consultant and pay for my own training.  This conference is one I won’t skip.  It’s well worth the cost.

Conferences and Conferring

Matt Heusser just posted a blog entry on conferences, where he makes excellent recommendations. During much of my career, I relied primarily on magazines and online communications (remember CompuServe?) to broaden my horizons. These were worthwhile, but are no match for face-to-face communications. (Continued)