Agile Central Europe 2010 is over. It was the first year of the event and I surely hope not the last one especially that I treat it as my home agile event. Here are some thoughts on the conference which will hopefully encourage you to attend it next year.
The organization was almost flawless. Only issues I could point were minor. When you go to a 2-day conference you actually expect a few things to be pretty much screwed and at AgileCE screw-ups counter ended up with a very low result. Really, I can’t name anything which was really painful or didn’t work at all. Kudos to Paul Klipp and his team for organizing the event.
I won’t describe sessions here – you can read about many of them in other AgileCE follow-up posts from Robert Dempsey, Marcin Niebudek or Pierluigi Pugliese. There should be videos on AgileCE site soon too. If I had to point my favorites it would be Rachel Davies speaking about retrospectives and Gwyn Morfey and Laurie Young with their session about simple low-tech solutions to different problems in software development teams, which was by the way also the most energetic presentation of the event.
A variety of different subjects discussed on presentations, at least from my perspective, was a good idea. Personally I’m not overly interested in agile coaching (not an agile coach, at least not yet) or programming techniques (not a developer anymore) but I can’t say I had a problem with finding sessions which had drawn my attention.
Even if someone found a slot when nothing interesting would be happening there was always Open Space where everyone could launch a discussion on any subject. And great discussions happened there indeed.
Actually I would have really hard time to decide whether I value higher best presentations of the conference I mention above or Open Space discussions I had. It was also a chance for me to have a cameral follow-up discussion after my own presentation. In short: definitely a great idea.
Most of opinions I’ve already heard about the conference was enthusiastic on organizational side and at least very positive on merits and I second that. Of course you can’t leave everyone satisfied, so there are folks who would like to see more content which was fresh for them. However being familiar with majority of content should be pretty much expected if you practice a lot of what is preached on this kind of events.
If you use Scrum in your teams for a few years already or you have a couple of years of experience in Kanban chances are good you won’t be surprised by the people sharing their knowledge on these subjects. Personally I didn’t expect any epiphanies and experienced none, but that’s not something I would be disappointed about.
My primary motivation to attend the event was networking and discussion opportunities and I got more of that than I’d expected. Thanks to all who took some time to talk with me – I have a head full of ideas after the conference and looks like I’m not the only one. For some time now Software Project Management can be a bit dominated with ideas and thoughts originated at AgileCE but they aren’t purely agile-related anyway so bear with me.
And if you look for a final recommendation: I’ll be on AgileCE 2011, that’s for sure, and so should you.