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Agile Tour Circling All Corners Of The World

by Craig Smith on Nov 17, 2012 |

Agile Tour is a yearly non-profit conference series that is hosted in a variety of cities worldwide throughout the months of October to December with the aim of connecting the Agile community. Now in its fifth year, the tour is currently making its way around the globe and is supported by both the Agile Alliance and the Scrum Alliance.

The tour was started by Patrice Petit in 2008 with events being hosted in a small number of cities in France and Switzerland, but has now grown to more than 80 events across all corners of the world. According to the Agile World website, the main objectives of Agile Tour are:

  • Massively communicate about Agile: Our primary mission is to conduct a 'Mass Communication' about our development practices throughout the month of October. We want to communicate everywhere there is an audience in order to attract massive attention to our new professional approach.
  • Share our visions of Agile: Since Agile is constantly evolving, we want to be open to new horizons while also contributing our understanding, interpretation and ideas to the Agile community.
  • Growing locally: Encourage leadership in all regions of the world in the Agile area.
  • Support: Assist our colleagues and local businesses in their adoption of Agile.

A full list of host cities is available on the Agile Tour 2012 website, but there are events still upcoming for cities throughout Europe, Brazil, Canada, China, Africa and Australia.

The Australian event, Agile Tour Sydney, is occurring on November 23, 2012 and InfoQ caught up with two of the organizers, Jeremie Benazra and Rowan Bunning to find out some more about the event.

InfoQ: What is idea behind Agile Tour and how does it differ to other conferences?

Agile Tour is a series of Agile-related conference events throughout the world running over a period between October and December of each year since 2009. The global vision is to "communicate massively" with a sense of unity about Agile ideas. For us in Sydney, our vision is to create an event for practitioners, by practitioners with a high degree of participation and interaction. I expect that anyone who experienced our inaugural Sydney event last year will agree that it had the flavour of being self-organised by the community and inviting of candid discussion by everyone in the room - not just the person at the front of it. For me, the Agile Tour Sydney experience was typified by the opening and closing circles we had last year. We started the event with all 100 or so people standing in a circle introducing themselves. We ended the event also in a circle identifying a person whom we connected with during the conference before throwing a ball of string to that person to create a continuous physical graph of the human interconnections made through the two days!

InfoQ: Who is Agile Tour targeted at and what will they get out of the event?

Agile Tour is primarily targeted at Agile practitioners i.e. people who are actively working in an Agile environment who have a real desire to enhance it. Last year the event attracted a lot of people with moderate to high levels of Agile experience. Having said that, people who are fairly new to Agile approaches are also very welcome - just be ready to open up and join the discussion.

InfoQ: Does being a non-profit event present any challenges?

Yes, to some degree. None of the organisers are being paid for the many hours they put into organising the event and all are routinely making personal sacrifices to make Agile Tour Sydney happen. The organisers put in a tremendous amount of time and energy just for the satisfaction of helping the Agile community. Hopefully they get a little recognition and thanks from the people who benefit from the event.

InfoQ: You are organising the Sydney event, what are some of the highlights of this year’s event?

We have a great programme this year featuring many of Sydney's (and Australia's) most experienced Agile practitioners. Topics range through methods including Kanban, Lean, Design Thinking and Scrum. Material ranges from technical practices such as BDD and continuous delivery through to distributed Agile, dealing with resistance and organisational culture.

InfoQ: What motivation do you take away from organising an event such as this?

It is very affirming to experience the enthusiasm of the other organisers during the many months of discussions and organisational activities. It is also exciting to receive dozens of great submissions. It is even more energising on the day when dozens of people take the day off their usual work and turn up - all eager to network, contribute and discuss not only the topics in the programme but everything else Agile-related on their minds for an intensive day.

InfoQ: If people would like to attend the Sydney event, how do they find out more information?

See the Agile Tour Sydney website, but they had better be quick! Tickets for this year's event are very nearly sold out as I type this and may well be gone by the time you read this!

Details on how to register are available on the Agile Tour 2012 website for each city. Have you attended an Agile Tour event and, if so, what did you learn from the sessions?

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Nice work Agile Tour Sydney by Kulawat Wongsaroj

Here in Thailand, we finally put Bangkok on the map of Agile Tour for the first timethis year. The Agile Tour Bangkok 2012 was held on Dec-8 with around 150 participants of which 16 of them are speakers from US, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and Thailand. Picture of the event can be seen at goo.gl/LivzI :-)

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