Red Hat Agile Day

Typically, this blog is devoted to questions about Agile or problems that teams encounter and how they resolve them.  I’m making an exception because a pretty cool thing just occurred and I want to share it.

We just hosted our first annual Red Hat Agile Day yesterday, and the turn out was fantastic.  We had a bad-ass group of speakers who agreed to come and from all the feedback I’m getting, they delivered the goods. 

We had two tracks.  The first was on the core elements of Agile.  In that space, Jared Richardson gave a talk on “Agile Team Basics,” which kicked things off nicely on that side of the conference.  Based on the conversation aftwerwards I think quite a few people enjoyed it and appreciated his talk.

James Sweet talked about “User Stories and the value of swarming,”and conversation afterwards seemed pretty lively. 

Bob Galen brought the noise on “Product Owner Demystified.”  The responses to his talk lead me to belioeve we need to hold another 1/2 day conference solely for Product Owners.

TR Buskirk wrapped things up talking about Agile Testing and TDD.  There was excellent Red Hat QE turnout for his presentation.

The Second track was the  “Advanced” track, but I like to think of it Agile beyond the team level.  In that track, Cory Foy kicked things off very slickly with his talk on “Scaling Agile.”  He really set the tone well for the rest of us. 

I followed him with my talk on “Kanban: from the shop floor to the wall,” which dovetailed nicely with Cory’s earlier points on experimentation and on kanban.  This was a great opportunity for me to to try out some things for  the same talk I’ll be giving at Southern Fried Agile on Oct 23rd. #southernfriedagile

Larry Maccherone gave an enthusiastically received talk on “the Impact of Lean and Agile Practices Quantified.” Larry is one of the few who can make statistics a lively and engaging topic.

Todd Olsen wrapped up the day with his thought provoking talk on “Elevating Your Agile Process to the Portfolio Level.”  There were lots of good conversations following that talk as well.

 There was plentiful food at breakfast and at lunch combined with great conversations during the 30 minute breaks.  Afterwards, the beer and wine flowed well. 

Here are a couple of our Speaker’s Excellent links:
Jared Rechardsons blog:
Bob Galen’s blog: Agile Coaching, Training and Assessment

We had over 150 people show up, 2/3 of whom were from outside of Red Hat.
I think one of the things I’m most proud of was that the event was free.  I think it really captured the spirit of what Red Hat is about–open sharing–and what Agile is all about–collaborating on ways of continuously improving the ways we all get working software out the door. Greg Neighbors and I pulled together a team of volunteers who rolled up their sleeves and grabbed whatever tasks they saw needed doing–truly the Red Hat way.  All of the speakers and all of the hallway conversations were fantastic at spreading the concepts of Agile craft.  I was completely blown away by the level of conversations and the enthusiasm everyone had during the breaks.

A special thanks everyone who volunteered

Thank you, Hope Lynch, for organizing (and paying for)  the coffee and morning breakfast.

Andrew Stephenson, thank you so much for juggling the AV work and getting the sessions of the one track recorded.  You made us look exceptionally professional.

George Kendley, thank you for ushering folks into the Red Hat Annex and handling the lunch setup. 
Vaughn Worthington–thank you for helping with the setup and jumping in wherever you saw that help was needed–from speaker set up to serving the wine–and for sticking around to clean up to the very end
Rob Munilla–Thank you so much for setting up sign in and getting all of our guests in the door and off to the right place
Nikki Jacobs–Thank you for keeping the sign process orderly and quick, and thank you for staying all the way to the end to help cleanup as well
Patrick Avoke–You did a great job ensuring that our speakers were able to get set up and do their thing. 
Raymond Maisonet–Thank you fo guiding people from the Red Hat Lobby down to the Annex and for generally keeping things flowing wherever you saw that help was needed.  and thanks for all the help with the beer.
Giovanni Sanchez, thanks for the pleasant surprise of taking pictures–and even getting yourself in one of them.

Greg Neighbors–Dude.  You nailed it!  I’m looking forward to planning many more of these events with you.


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