Archive for August, 2008

Review of Agile 2008 Conference

Monday, August 25th, 2008

It’s been a few weeks since the conference, so let’s see what I thought of the Agile 2008 Conference in Toronto.

First, I think this will be my primary conference, although I would like to visit the Better Software Conference every now and then. I was pleasantly surprised to have enjoyed the pre-conference Research-In-Progress Workshop sessions. We listened to short presentations and were able to provide feedback to the presenters. The Keynote presenters were delightful and thought-provoking. And the biggest benefit was the quantity of presentations, which could cause you to wonder what you might have missed. I was pleased with all the sessions I attended, even when the speaker had difficulty speaking (nervous, foreign, etc.). I do try to make allowances for the speaker and try to concentrate on the subject being presented. The open spaces and social gatherings were wonderful chances to pursue other topics and user experiences. Of particular note is the week-long open development for a charitable organization, with the results presented at the closing banquet.

The major takeway thoughts I have are;

  • Software Engineering needs to be redfined
  • Project Development has mixed up Systems Engineering with Project Management
  • Agile principles have been developed from Lean principles.
  • Lean/Agile principles are as old as the Greeks
  • There needs to be Distinction between principles and methods
  • The community needs to promote Professionalism

What sessions did I enjoy?

  • Expanding Agile Horizons by Mary Poppendieck
  • Real Options by Olav Maassen and Chris Matts
  • Ancient Philosophers by Neal Ford
  • TDD Principles for Database Development by Dennis Hoyd and Sebastian Meine
  • What A CIO Wants to Know by Niel Nickolaissen
  • Collaboration Explained by Jean Tabaka
  • Keynote by Alan Cooper

BTW, check out the Pomodoro Technique. This technique for time management certainly enables the Agile principles. And check out the Jean Tabaka book or engage her as a consultant to learn how to manage a meeting!