Archives for the Month of June, 2008

Paris Visite

Lucky Number 3

I’m back in Paris this week, loaded with three kilograms of British sweets for distribution, ready to co-present three action-packed sessions on the Theory of Contraints with Pascal Van Cauwenberghe (co-inventor of the XP Game). It’s also going to the third time I’ll be co-presenting with Pascal at a conference this year.

A l’aide mon processus m’étrangle

Pascal and I will be running the session twice at Université du SI. Also present will be Eliyahu Goldratt, Bjarne Stroustrup and Neil Armstrong. Physics meets Computer Science meets Consultancy meets Space meets Philsophy meets Humanity. Wowser.

First Things First

We’ll be kickstarting a week-long intense learning and collaboration endeavour by presenting the Theory of Constraints session at the XP France usergroup in Paris tonight. I’m very much looking forward to catching up with the usual friendly bunch of Francophone Agilistas!

The Apprentice

‘The best teachers make the best students.’

In my experience, personal agility is rarely tested in a corporate environment. That’s why we need conferences to help us grow. Conferences are an ideal way to learn because they combine theory with practice in an unfamiliar environment. More importantly, they force us to exercise our Agile values: Communication, Simplicity, Feedback, Courage and Respect.

Type 1: International Conferences – Agile 2008

Agile 2008 is a set-based conference with a breadth of topics and renowned speakers such as James Surowiecki, author of The Wisdom of Crowds. Whether you’re a novice or seasoned Agilista there’ll be a great choice of sessions to suit your interests and learning style.

Type 2: European Conferences – XP Days Benelux and XPDay London

The Beneluxian crowd are well-known for their friendliness, inclusivity and innovative approach to session topics, formats and social events. First time speakers are strongly encouraged to submit. The XP Days Benelux Committee prioritises sessions from first time presenters to help grow the Agile Community. What a great idea!

XPDay London will consist of predominantly Open Space sessions this year. It’s a way of injecting innovation into one of the longest running Agile conferences. Watch this space.

Type 3: Technical Conferences – QCon and JAOO

Both QCon and JAOO attract an impressive array of reputable speakers. The majority of sessions are usually in the form of presentations rather than more interactive alternatives such as workshops. Tutorials are available at an extra cost.

Type 4: Conferences in a Foreign Language – Université du SI

Mainstream Agile conferences are becoming multilingual. It’s great news because it increases our sources of learning and appreciation for different cultures. Agile 2008 has an entire track in French this year.

Université du SI is a conference with the most impressive lineup I’ve seen this year to date. Speakers include Neil Armstrong, Bjarne Stroustrup and Eliyahu Goldratt. It’s the conference I’m looking forward to most!

Type 5 – A Random Course or Conference of Your Choice

It’s good to mix things up a bit. Pick a course or conference you wouldn’t normally attend and go. Treat yourself to some real options. Give yourself a chance to learn the unexpected. Most important of all, have fun!

Sound of Music Sing-A-Long

A recent survey shows that birds don’t bother singing in towns and cities because their song cannot be heard. Their country cousins, on the contrary, sing to their hearts’ content even though there are fewer humans around to share their song. What makes your heart sing?