This year, Mile High Agile Denver adjusted the conference from one day to two days. Unfortunately, I had a class scheduled for during the week, so I was only able to attend the first day. I do not recommend that at all but sometimes it happens.
Here is my thoughts on day one. Short version: Solid. Long version:
- Positive: My session. Ok, I know this sounds a little bad to put first but this was the first time for this session. I was extremely happy with what happened in the room (right level of energy, content, engagement, etc). I had numerous people approach me afterwards about how to help people experience a concept that they want to learn. I’m really excited to submit this session to other conferences now!
- Postive: Agile For All team. I know that I say this every time but I’m keeping it real. Again, I had some of my peeps in my session – just to be present and help in anyway they could. Plus, I loved having a former teammates of mine take Richard’s session and tell me it was the best one and totally made the conference worth the price. Seriously, it’s an amazing feeling to have the opportunity to work with people that continuously raise the bar.
- Positive: I had the opportunity to sit and chat with Howard Sublett for Agile Amped. No one should be surprised that I love just sitting and chit-chatting. Now add to the mix Howard, well, I would have sat there for hours. I didn’t think I would have time – thanks Howard for challenging me (ok, mocking me) to find time 🙂
- Positive: Coaches Clinic – I’m grateful to Manoj for reaching out to me to participate in the coaches clinic. I didn’t volunteer for many slots but was able to do a couple of sessions. I always leave smiling as I help someone have that “oh, I could try this” moment.
- Positive: Keynote – Joshua Kerievsky; I thought he did a wonderful opening keynote. Content along with humor – that’s my kind of session. I even followed up with him so I could leverage one of the slides/points for my Scrum course.
- Positive: Speaker Appreciation Dinner: Although there were no short ribs (internal joke), the dinner was a wonderful gesture for speakers. I was able to catch up with a few people that sometimes during the actual conference, we just don’t have time. Plus, I met a few new people and was super bummed that one of them was speaking at the same time as me – I’ll be stalking until I see him.
- Positive: This is very petty and really not important but so many people complain about the food; that I wanted to be the person that appreciates the food. The buffet line was made for me! The dressing was not already on the salad. The sauces were not already on the food. I like to choose what I put on what. The buffet line made me so happy.
- Room for Improvement: Since Agile for All was a sponsor, I was dumb and signed up for booth setup. 6 am people. I was there but not all of our stuff was. There was a shipment delay issue (not the organizer’s fault by any means) but it would have been nice to do setup the evening before. 6 am start makes for a very long day, especially when stress is increased trying to find things.
- Room for Improvement: 15 min breaks are a little tough for speakers specifically. Speakers will often have people approach them after their session. Speakers have to pack up their stuff (which is more then just unplug the computer – I didn’t even have slides this go around). New speakers have to unpack their stuff. I was lucky and had a team there to help me and yet I still felt like I was being rude to the next speaker.
- Pondering: The ability to see feedback ratings in the application immediately. First, the numbers remain low (this is a problem I face as well – electronic feedback doesn’t get as much participation). Second, you don’t see any comments just how many and what the summary rating is (IMO: comments are more valuable). Third, you can see anyone’s. I like the super transparency of this but I had a thought of whether I would if my score was low. I definitely went through and looked at everyone’s scores.
Overall, this conference continues to exceed my expectations. The organizing committee and volunteers are truly invested, engaged and continuously experimenting. That will always get high marks from me. I highly recommend checking the conference out in 2018!