What did I learn during ABE2011? I earned some knowledge from practitioners, everyday tricks, straight from the tranches. I’m glad to know what kind of issues people have when introducing Agile to teams that weren’t familiar with it, or were using it in the wrong way. But most of all I’m happy to hear some incredible ideas from great agilers, like Marek Kirejczyk and his team rebuilt. Did it fix into my expectations?
Absolutely. Most important part was to be a part of Warsaw Agile Community at one of the biggest Agile events in Poland. With that I’m fully satisfied. I even wasn’t expecting to learn that much of those speeches (I thought that value/show rate would be way lower, I’m glad to be wrong).
Three speeches I will remember
Rebuilding Agile Team - Marek told us a story of how did he accomplished rebuilding a team after loosing most of it in a short period of time. Story contained job interviews using Codility, pair programming (with himself as a driver and a candidate as navigator) and other stuff. He showed an example of how to put effort in such an important part of building the team as choosing the right people, instead of simply ask few questions about last projects or try to solve deep programming language riddle [booooring].
How to Lose a Team in 10 Days - I’m not sure if the title fits the content well. Inbar Oren was speaking mostly about the role of Product Owner and about how it’s often degenerated to simple proxy between the team and the client. Also one VERY important issue pointed here - when you train a PO to actually play the extended role, to keep working with the team during the sprint and making decisions himself, you have to train him on how to handle additional work AND stress connected to additional responsibilities (but no additional working time).
Don’t Start with Kanban - Marcin Czenko was in my opinion the best presenter on ABE. The title says for the presentation, don’t introduce an agile methodology by starting with Kanban. Marcin showed us some very important issues teams are facing when they are not familiar with scrum or XP.
What about the place and coffee?
It was the first time I had a conference in a swimming pool :-) Great place for a conference in my opinion. Lots of air above our heads, original audience in pool placement and awesome acoustics made CBA the best conference room I remember of. Coffee and snacks were fine for me, but I would still appreciate to eat a sandwich perhaps, or a salad instead of tons of cookies (it’s hard to stop eating them ;)).
Let’s not forget of a cool ABE party after day 1. We enjoyed beer in the ticket price, pizza and great Agile community in unofficial mood :-) Great opportunity to get to know some new people, to ask speakers some additional questions or simply relax between two days full of lectures.
Thanks for organizing it! It was a pleasure to attend