As a program chair for Agile 2015, my head is swimming with ideas of experiments for Agile 2016. For this alone, I’m so very grateful. However, I wanted to take the time to appreciate a number of people and events from this past week. I’ll attempt to keep to my short and sweet format but it will be hard!
- My program team: Paul, Bob, Brian, Phil and the Elastic crew. It’s always a wonderful feeling when work doesn’t feel like work. When laughter and the good type of tears intermingle with the tough discussions about each experiment and issue raised. I’m proud to be a part of a team that supported this list of appreciations for Agile 2015. Much love!
- Paul Hammond, the keynotes were fantastic! Choosing a line-up is extremely stressful and you hit a home run with all three.
- Volunteers, you get a ton of praise durin g the week and it doesn’t begin to touch the amount you deserve. You were not focused on I’m doing my 20 and done, you were
always finding ways to help. Personally, I’m grateful to the crews that helped me keep things calm when sessions were full.
- Sponsors, the swag was nice this year. Superhero socks, battery chargers, massages, champagne…the list goes on.
- Track chairs & teams, our goal was a quality program…achieved. Understanding and recommending session submissions is no easy task but the result made it feel as such. People couldn’t decide between sessions, multiple sessions were full, a variety of topics, etc. Thank you for supporting your track speakers!
- Jake Calabrese, this week was extremely busy but there was no doubt I was attending my Agile For All’s teammate session. It’s a pretty amazing feeling to be thinking, “what a fantastic job…I get to work with him!”
- Ahmed Sidky, as a program chair – I can’t speak at Agile 2015. But I can facilitate and I had an absolute blast in your Stalwarts session. I had so much fun riffing off each other to get the room engaged…even if you almost broke the one chair rule 🙂
- Speakers, I’m no different than most of the conference attendees…I wanted to see so many of you. Every time I did peek into the room, I loved the energy and passion you had. The one I heard the most about and completely missed was Ellen Grove…so you now have a stalker in me 🙂
- Attendees, specifically anyone that I had to turn away from a full session. There are room capacity issues and speaker requests that can make for some challenging situations. I’m so very grateful to the individuals that understood – I’m hopeful that I pointed many of you to sessions that you were very happy with.
- Costumes were wonderful. Captain underpants, She-ra, Cat Woman, Batman, Joker, and even Grown Woman. We didn’t know how this would go over and decided to try it. I’m sure not everyone was a fan and everyone didn’t participate but many had fun with the idea. Thank you.
- Dancing, as my legs and feet recover today – I absolutely loved that the hotel had a dance club area. Yes, because I love to dance and it’s pretty much a guarantee where you will find me at the conference party. But even more, for the environment it helped to create. It’s difficult to invite too many people to dinner or or a hotel suite for a drink…capacity issues. Anyone could be at the club and DANCE! This also reduced my guilt when I didn’t get up and run in the morning…dancing absolutely counts as exercise!
- I look forward to this week every year. This is the one week where I get to catch up with many of my friends since I’ve been attending Agile Alliance conferences. This also includes former colleagues…forever a TechSmithie. We could almost have a video of the cheesy run up and hug moments that occur. This week is never long enough but the memories are spectacular and shall not be documented in a blog post 🙂
- For everyone I met this year, I will now look forward to the cheesy hug with you next year. When I first started attending, there were many people that helped me feel including Brandon, Olav, Lyssa, Hussman, Esther, Arlo, Llewlyn, Pollyanna, Cottmeyer, etc. Over the years, I’ve made a promise to make sure that I’m continuously meeting and including new people into the mix. I don’t want no stinking clique!
- For Eval and others that took the time to share with me the difference my session or interaction has had on their journey, well, there are just no words to truly describe how much that meant to me. I said yes to being a program chair because others have had an impact on me at this conference, to know that I’m paying that forward…priceless.
- A struggle with this conference is making sure there are various levels of sessions (for those just starting and for those years into their Agile journey). I had a few people in the community reach out to me and indicate based on the content of the tweets, they will be exploring returning to Agile 2016 – SUCCESS!
- For everyone that approached me with ideas and experiments, I look forward to discussing them in greater detail over the next few weeks/months. Thank you for you excitement and interest in helping to continue to improve this conference.
- One of my final conference program chair moments was this lovely woman approaching me to indicate that I was the first person she spoke with as a first timer and she wanted me to be the last by asking “how could she help volunteer for Agile 2016”. I finished the conference proud: of the attendees, speakers, volunteers, chairs, program team, and me. I didn’t know how much helping put this conference on would give me in rewards. I completely underestimated – imagine that 😉
Next week, I’ll write about what I wish had gone better and the ideas that were forming during this week. This week, I just want to say THANK YOU for an amazing week of learning, laughter, love and leaving it all out on the dance floor!!!
Do you have an Agile2015 appreciation?