Agile Conferences – Is there a future for them?

Having participated in the Agile Conference scene for the past 5 years, it’s remarkable how things have changed. Last week I went along to the QCon show in London and to be honest was left feeling quite let down. It seems to me that there is a real void of fresh ideas, challenging speak and volatile discussions.  

Maybe a re-factored and faster version of Waterfall is the current acceptable norm, compared to the available hardcore Agile element out there. Friends of mine have said that they will be avoiding the whole conference scene, as there’s only so many ways you can talk about planning boards and story cards without it being repetitive and most of this was probably presented 5yrs ago.

Has Agile reached its peak in terms fresh ideas, or have the conference folk run out of ideas ? Well, I don’t believe it is merely a lack of  ideas……’s the level of interest, attendance, participation of the large corporate. (You can probably guess who.) These big flag waving companies come along and take the ideas from the smaller individual companies and simply generalise the ideas as processes and standards – All of a sudden we have Corporate Agile! 

I’ve taken the baton and have given myself the mission of pushing and pulling the right people into presenting at the Agile Business Conference in October 2009. Should the powers that be at these shows support the corporate invasion,  then I may well organise a conference for Agile people myself and continue with those that care…….. 

Come on, let’s hear your thoughts.

2 Responses to “Agile Conferences – Is there a future for them?”

  1. Chris Pitts says:

    I think you’re right. The conferences I have been to over the past two years seem to have simply rehashed what went before – not always a bad thing, I certainly learned new tricks – but devaluing the whole conference scene as you say.

    IMO Doing is the new Talking. We now have plenty of people out there able to talk the talk fluently, but can they walk the walk? Just how many projects are truly successful and productive? Personally I would like to see more published detailed case studies to identify what works, what does not, and open, honest discussions as to why.

  2. I would certainly like to see those speakers at agile conferences speaking outside of the theories and to push forward agile. Coming from a test background, I am still surprised at the amount of key speakers that play down the importance of test practices within agile. Only being able to describe testing in a very theoretical form, i.e. automated unit testing. This, to me, identifies that many of these speakers are far too detached from the realities of agile practices. Most being consultants selling projects rather than actually experiencing what is actually happening on the front line.

    Agile testing is a blossoming engineering practice, and needs support from speakers at these conferences.

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