Agile Roots: Day 1

As a person who runs a conference and community events in Utah, I have to first give a hand to the organizers of Agile Roots.  They have done an amazing job with the venue, schedule, organization, marketing and all of the other difficult things required to make a great conference.  A big thumbs up from me!

I have never attended Agile Roots before, nor have I been a big part of the Agile community, but I have to say that spending time listening and learning has been very intriguing and I can see the definite value of using agile methods.

The morning keynote was pretty awesome, sharing how to collaborate and improving processes by letting others, including customers be involved.

Also, the afternoon keynote was incredible, Diana Larsen is a really bright and eloquent speaker who can really get you excited.  It seemed to me that she was really interested in solving some serious deficits with Agile methods.

I attended a great session on user experience design (UxD) and branding.  One where we branded a flavor of popcorn.  We had a cinnamon popcorn and branded ours with Jessica Rabbit driving a candy red convertible Volkswagen Rabbit to a Speakeasy in Toon Town.  The presenters really drove home the concept about branding and making sure it all made sense.  Very well done.

But I won’t say it was a perfect day of presentations….

The first half hour of the first presentation of the day (after the keynote) started out interesting and promising.  I really enjoyed the idea of playing Dracula vs Humans and the idea that the oppressor (management) actually felt relieved when they became oppressed.  I also enjoyed the idea that the oppressed (employees) were generally nervous about becoming the oppressor.    It’s an interesting concept to understand and valuable lesson learned.

The next hour of the workshop however, was confusing and frustrating because it didn’t make sense at all.  Why would making a sculpture of what you feel during certain work situations and then resolving them by making short simple movements in rhythm solve anything?  I just didn’t get it.  I’m sure there was value to some, but not to me.

Lightning Talks and the Food Rocked!

At the end of the day, we spend a bit of time doing lightning talks.  I really enjoyed the Su-Ha-Ri talk, the Architecture Haiku, Pigeon Sign Language (though I couldn’t keep up) and several others as well.  That was one of the best hours spent at Agile Roots.

As for the food, you cannot go wrong with Pat’s Barbecue!  One of the best choices the conference team could have made for a dinner.  Everything was excellent and I enjoyed a very nice conversation with a fellow from Version One.  He was from Atlanta and had never been to Utah before.  As usual, he thought it was very beautiful, and we spent a bunch of time talking about the need for a coach to help get Agile started in a large company like

Agile Roots Day 1: Success!!!