Dave: Tom Grant and I spent the past week in Orlando at Agile 2010 and thought it would be good to share our observations of a fantastic event. This conference has been running for 9 years and during those years has always tried to both balance content and scale with focus and intimacy. This year I think they got it just right.
Tom: Among many virtues of the yearly Agile conference is its ability to be simultaneously high concept and eminently practical. You find yourself in a conversation that’s down in the weeds of build and test methodologies but then veers into a philosophical discussion of what the term “value stream” really means. You can see how, by entering the mainstream, Agile forces a fresh look at everything from SOPs to values.
Dave: This year’s event featured the now-familiar smorgasbord of sessions, from Agile for beginners to advanced topics like scaling and technology support. In addition to the physical sessions, a lot of discussions moved in and out of “open space” where participants could build their own content and sessions. Aside from increasing the number of interactions around an event, open space generates additional energy within the event. Many times, I tried to walk from point A to point B, only to stop and listen to a heated discussion on a particular topic.
Tom: Unfortunately, after the event, some of this energy dissipates. The Agile community really needs a community hub, a site that serves the needs of beginners and veterans across a wide range of topics.
Dave: Because of the sheer scope of the conference, there was no one theme, but if I were to pick three, they would be (1) UX design and Agile, (2) development operations (dev ops) and continuous delivery, and (3) technical debt.