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Pawel Brodzinski on Software Project Management

GOTO Copenhagen 2011

GOTO Copenhagen

I had a chance to speak at GOTO Copenhagen this year. Attending the event left me with a head full of ideas. As always the best part of the event was networking. I wonder why people skip parties and don’t engage speakers during breaks. Presentation is one-way communication, but if you catch the speaker over coffee or beer it starts to be two-way street and also you can easily make it about your problem and not just about generic issue.

I met in person a bunch of great Kanban guys, who were the part of Kanban track along with me: Yuval Yeret, Bernd Schiffer, Arne Roock, Markus Andrezak, Mattias Skarin and most importantly David Anderson. It feels good be the part of such team. And it’s even better to exchange ideas in that kind of group. I’m energized to try out new things I learned.

In terms of organization the conference was good although the longer I think about it the more I’m sure that for two hundred something people you should rather cut a number of concurrent tracks down and choose speakers and sessions very carefully.

Does it really make sense to run a session for 4 people in the audience? And yes, there were a few such sessions on GOTO Copenhagen.

Anyway, the reason I attended the event was a full-day Kanban track. Kudos to David Anderson for organizing it. There’s a good lesson about organizing conferences and/or tracks you can take away: for Kanban track there was no call for papers. In fact, in terms of choosing speakers the track was invitation-only. It ended up to be consistent, with nicely shaped learning curve as basically each session was building on previous ones, and we avoided repeating our stuff, which is often a real pain the neck on different conferences. If you spent the whole day with us you should have learned a lot.

Among other tracks I really liked the idea of iconoclasts track, where big names were telling us that basically everything is wrong and they were doing that in an entertaining way. Well, it might have gotten a bit out of the line since, at least for me, there was too little of constructive conclusions and what’s the point of a rant if it’s not finished with some reasonable ideas? Actually Dave Thomas did a nice thing as he had a follow-up session next day where he addressed many points he made in his rant on iconoclasts session. Anyway, it was amusing.

I believe bringing DevOps to the attention of people was a good move as well. Long time ago we used to work in big teams. Then, our companies started growing and we started building walls between different roles in projects. It’s not a surprise we came to the point when we’re discussing how to demolish these walls.

You should soon expect some ideas, which I brought with me from the conference, shared here. Of course after some experimentation to check whether they’re worth trying.

in: kanban, personal development

2 comments… add one

  • Le Do Hoang Long May 19, 2011, 7:18 pm

    It’s such an interesting occasion. Too bad we don’t get those kinds of conference in Vietnam, but I’m joining an online event: PMXPO. You can go too to take a look :)

  • Pawel Brodzinski May 19, 2011, 11:15 pm

    I was pretty close with a guy organizing ACE Conference and it’s not that hard to hold such event. The only crucial thing is to get 150 people willing to attend, and pay, for it.

    I believe you wouldn’t even have problems with getting good speakers as Vietnam is considered pretty exotic in many parts of the world and this definitely is kind of attractor.

    In terms of getting sponsors it’s hard to say for me really, but my guess would be there are some strong software companies out there.

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