Yesterday was Day Two, concluding the very first Agile Conference in Africa, an event that was organised in a short space of time (2 months) by a team of just five people - hats off to the event organisers and sponsors. Indeed it was quite a significant milestone, a stake firmly grounded that Agile in Africa is growing.
The second day was filled to the brim by an impressive lineup of speakers, a bit over ambitious in my humble opinion, since sometimes the audience needs more time with the keynote speakers (1 hour isn't enough), and on starting late and not keeping to time, something that could be improved for the next conference. Having said that, the day was awesome, personally, I took away a different kind of appreciation for the companies in Africa, bold enough to push Agile adoption, the openness and willingness to experiment and being OK with failure...
The talks that really resonated well with me included Martin Fowler's keynote, Ana Forrsman's review of JSE's agile experiences, Derrydean Dadzie's first time mistakes clash of Corporate/Start-up culture & Aslam Khan's sharing of personal challenges of teams operating Beyond Apartheid & Democracy (so relevant today, but people walk on eggshells around this. I myself have observed, even today, the subtle office racial nuances at play even in 2013...). I also appreciated Ivar Jacobson's first-time presentation introducing the SEMAT kernel, although I really had background knowledge of this concept from earlier this year - I think most people left that talk wondering more about the wider implications of SEMAT kernel and effects of "formalising" a way of working or thinking when it comes to producing software...
I have briefly summarized my take-away and notes here:
- Software Design in the 21st Century - Martin Fowler
- Agile and SEMAT - Perfect Partners - Ivar Jacobson
- To be Agile or Not to be Agile - JSE Corporate Perspective - Ana Forssman
- Doing Agile in a brutally waterfall enterprise environment - Derrydean Dadzie
- Enterprise Agile Adoption with Parental Guidance - Riaan du Toit
- Beyond Apartheid & Democracy - Aslam Khan
- Beyond hype and dogma: How South African teams increased their value - Martin Cronje
- Measuring Throughput - Danie Roux
- Software Development Revolution in Africa - Ernest Mnkandla
- Questions and Answer Forum