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The Agile Alliance takes a Break to Teach and Learn at Agile2007

by Deborah Hartmann Preuss on Aug 14, 2007 |
In addition to our daily and weekly cycles of development and our larger cycles of releases and projects, there is an industry cycle which ends and starts again with the Agile Alliance's annual conference. Agile2007 started yesterday in Washington DC, with over 1100 participants and 300 peer-teaching sessions, many of them interactive and hands-on. This week will see a massive exchange of lessons-learned by the teams represented, and the launch of new products and services.

As noted in this week's InfoQ article, without time to reflect and learn, Agility stagnates and becomes just another "cargo cult" phenomenon. Agilists are keenly aware of the need to learn, and the excitement was palpable yesterday at the start of the Agile2007 conference. In fact, it started the evening before with an entirely impromptu event, where those who arrived early took over the huge hotel lobby and turned it into an informal cocktail party that went on until midnight!

This year, in parallel to the formal conference, space has been set aside for a self-organizing conference, the Conference-within-a-Conference or CWAC, which starts today, Tuesday at the far end of the lower level of the conference. At the CWAC, anyone is welcome to create their own sessions, offer free coaching to others, or just hang out! The CWAC wiki lists what's happening - so check in from time to time, it will continue to change.

Within the CWAC there's another exciting event going on - an XP lab where participants are invited to join the team using XP practices to write real software for a real client. InfoQ will be tracking this project, looking at it from the point of view of the "customer" or "product owner", Segundo Velasquez, creator of Mano a Mano Medical Resources. This charity based on the simple premise medical inventory that would otherwise be wasted should be routed to places where it can literally mean the difference between life and death. The team will build software to help the public contribute to the work of this charity, which works among the poor in Bolivia.

Attendance at this conference automatically earns each person one year's membership in the Agile Alliance. And so, all are eligible to attend tonight's business meeting of the Members of the Agile Alliance.

The conference sold out very early, leaving many disappointed. However, InfoQ is a conference sponsor and will be bringing you video from the conference throughout the coming year!

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