Only 3 weeks to go before Agile 2008, the main agile conference. I am very excited, as Laurent Bossavit has kindly invited me to join him in organizing the Breaking Acts (BA) track for the conference. Also, many colleagues of mine at Valtech, between 15 and 20 (it is difficult to keep count!) will be presenting sessions. More on that later — for now, I want to tell you about my favorite sessions at Breaking Acts.
First, you’ve got to realize that Breaking Acts is a big track in a big conference: at any time, there will be 3 or 4 rooms dedicated to the track. That’s already the size of a decent conference by itself! Making a choice between all those parallel presentations will be heart-breaking.
An interesting trend this year is sessions around Lean — and they mostly got high ratings from reviewers. We tried not to have too many of those, since they are interesting mostly to advanced agilists, but we still came up with at least 6:
- Real Options (there were at least two Real Options proposals initially — this one was the highest rated of all BA proposals)
- Value Streams Mapping
- Lean Pull Applied
- GTD + Kanban + Round Robin
- Kanban, Value Streams and Theory of Contraints
- KFC – Kanban, Flow and Cadence
- Mirror, Mirror on the Wall… Why Me?
These are just the obvious ones, and I am not even counting Mary Poppendieck’s talk on Open Source with Christian Reis. No doubt that Lean is the big thing this year.
Others that I would really like to see are:
- The Pomodoro Technique; it is related to Getting Things Done, also a hot topic that we will be hearing about
- Cognitive Friction; though the title is not very clear, it will be a fascinating talk on how to design very readable and maintainable code, going further that classic refactoring techniques. Régis Médina, the presenter, is a great guy and I regret missing his talk at the last XP Day conference in Paris.
- Beginner’s Mind, partly because Jean Tabaka is such a nice person, but also because it is important for all of us to understand how inexperienced agile practitioners see the agile approach — a fact often overlooked, now that we can easily meet between experienced people.
- Agility & Evolution; I like this one, as I am a believer in the evolutionary principles applied to project management.
- Rituals In Agile; this seriously reminds me of the presentation by Jefrrey Fredrick & Alister Cockburn “Creating Change one Tic-Tac at a time” that I appreciated at CITCON London in 2006.
- Artful Making for Agile Team; one of the best-rated proposals for Breaking Acts, no how to become on of those super-achieving people
- Insuring IT projects; a very intriguing thought, sparked by Laurent Bossavit
- Coaching Self-Organizing Teams: I have heard, but not worked with such teams. However, this is typically a question that I am asked when giving Scrum courses.
Writing this list is rather depressing, in fact, as there is no way, I’ll be able to attend them all. Plus, I really, really want to see
- Agile Estimating & Planning, with Mike Cohn himself
- Hiring for An Agile Team, a real challenge for which I have no perfect answer yet
- Jeff Sutherland presenting Money for Nothing and your Changes for Free
- Jeff Sutherland (again) on Hyperproductive Outsourced Development Teams
- Ron Jeffries on the Natural Laws of Software Development
- Dave Nicolette on Overcoming Resistance to Change
- New Car Development in Toyota, a presentation originally given by Nobuaki Katayama, Chief Engineer of Lexus/SC and IS
- Building Your Coaching Skills
- The Coding Contest
- Ward Cunningham on his Testing Frameworks
- plus, of course, the Open Jam, the open space section of the conference
I feel like a kid in a candy store!