Agile 2009

About four months ago we realized that Agile Bench was going to be ready at around the same time as Agile 2009 so I booked my tickets and then hunkered down to get a minimum viable product (MVP) in order to collect feedback from the elite of the agile world. I was truely lucky to meet so many amazing people and attend some tremedous talks.

The keynotes from Alistair Cockburn (“I Come to Bury Agile, Not to Praise It“) and Jared Spool (“The Dawning of the Age of Experience”) were fantastic and I hope they’ve been recorded for everyone to see. I spent a lot of time learning how others deal with the entire life cycle of an agile project.

Luke Hohmann’s (Enthiosys) work in the product management space (“Prioritizing for Profit” and “Beyond features: How to listen to your customers and learn what they really need“) and Jim Highsmith’s “Advances in Release Planning” were especially exciting to me. These speakers did an amazing job of reminding the agile community that agile projects are still projects (gasp!). ¬†Planning is often considered a dirty word to agile teams but doesn’t need to be. ¬†When working on a project we are trying to turn assumptions into facts and we use lots of different techniques

are still project that need plans and structure. As the agile community matures it will need to embrase a lighter form of planning and strategy which will allow it to be successful at multiple levels of the organization and not just limited to the delivery groups.

As usual, the people are what makes a conference. Rich Mironov has lots to say about the Scrum Product Owner role and the organization role of a Product Manager. Mario Moreira has lots to say on Software Configuration Management (SCM). I ended up having breakfast with a bunch of people including Gerard Meszaros, author of “xUnit Test Patterns: Refactoring Test Code” who was just a generally nice guy. I was lucky enough to have lunch and hang out with with Ola Ellnestam and Henrik Kniberg (“Scrum and XP from the Trenches“) who were a bunch of fun. There are so many others Cory Foy, Jurgen Appelo, Steve Hayes, Erik Petersen, Gabino Roche, Lisa Crispin, Abby Fichtner (Hacker Chick), Craig Smith, Esther Derby and many, many more.

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