I spent Thursday and Friday last week at XP Day 2008. The conference changed its format from last year. Rather than being a conference aimed at people wanting to do Agile Development it focused on people who do Agile development. This meant the sessions changed rather than being introductory or “how to” material they became Open Space discussions. Instead of being lecturers session leaders were facilitators.
Very few sessions were arranged in advance but one that was was Designing the Agile Company led by Giovanni Asproni and myself. This session used a dialogue sheet technique to promote discussion.
XP Day also had space for Lightening Talks. These were unscheduled talks lasting no more than 5 minutes - so very focused. I briefly outlined the Requirements Trap - or rather the Alignment Trap which I blogged about last year. This short talk got a lot of interest and a lot of people asked for the references so here they are:
• Original Alignment Trap article in the MIT Sloan Management Review
• An abridged version from the Bain Consulting website
• My blog entry on the Alignment Trap and Agile software development
I enjoyed XP Day a lot and learned a bunch of stuff - mainly by having to think about it. Yet I found the conference lacking because I found myself speaking to the same people; I already known most of these people, I read their blogs, I talk to them at XTC and a bump into them at other conferences. One of the nice things about Oredev last month was new faces. I guess you can’t have everything.