This is more of a general FYI post then my usual subjective opinions. Firstly I want to mention the fun stuff – hopefully in the next few weeks you will see the number of contributors on this site grow. It was always my intent for this site to not be just my thoughts but also those that I respect but whom do not have an engine to contribute to. If you are also keen to contribute then please contact me directly.
Secondly I will be AFK from the end of the week for two weeks as I go on my first overseas holiday in six years I will also be attending #klrat in Austria.
Lastly I want to say with some sadness that whilst Craig and myself were very “The Agile Revolution” podcast happy when at Agile Australia unfortunately a number of casts have been relegated to the nether. We did a full podcast before Agile Australia that is lost and the first two podcasts we did – one with Ilan Goldstein and the other introducing our day has also not worked correctly (despite one of them being tested and playing back). The last cast done (with a new chip in it), has turned out and so that will be posted up tomorrow night.
So with the news all done, here are my thoughts on Agile Australia:
- Amazing atmosphere. With 850 participants it wasn’t just buzzing it was flying with conversations. Walkways were packed (which made it a little frustrating to actually try and find someone), but breaking out downstairs for some quiet conversation was also great.
- Fiona Wood was very surprisingly a brilliant Keynote speaker. I was incredibly dubious of how much worth I would get out of a non Agilist being first to talk to a jam-packed room but it occurred to me as she talked that she made the perfect keynote. This is because a keynote should be all about passion and a call to action and Fiona did just that. She re-inforced our Agile mindset through her discussion on collaboration, teamwork, passion, customer outcomes, striving for greatness rather than just good enough, knowing your weaknesses and staying in a positive mindset.
- The next session opened up with Craig doing a funny sequence of slides on the history of Agile (including my take on the manifesto being written in a spa tub).
- Michael Bromley’s presentation on hiring for agility was spot on and whilst I didn’t learn anything new I could see lightbulbs going off in people’s minds around me.
- My panel itself went well but as per my last post we really didn’t get a lot of time for questions due to some overruns.
- Ilan Goldstein was very good laying down the basics of Scrum Master. I had an Iteration Manager that I am working with sitting next to me in the session and he felt that it re-enforced a lot of concepts for him.
- The most raved about presentors from the grapevine included: David Joyce, Dipesh Pala, James Ross and the Agile Board Hacks guys.
I haven’t covered all the sessions, predominantely because I spent quite a bit of time outside of sessions speaking with people one on one in the open space and breakout areas.
Themes that were very strong throughout the conference included:
- Agile Governance (felt like it was covered through four presentations)
- Agile Leadership (see above)
- UX (see above)
- Offshoring (covered through three presentations)
I am not saying the cross coverage is a bad thing, in fact in each instance there were different perspectives and I felt that helped to re-enforce messages. In some ways the program itself is probably the key reason why it reached 850 people – the topics were targetted this year less towards developers and more towards managers and executives.
I also want to take the opportunity to thank all the people that I talked to. Your words have made me wiser and I loved every minute of listening to them.