Open Agile Cluj 2012 – Our Fabulous Volunteers
Since a couple of Open Agile editions we had the idea to ask volunteers to help us with some parts of the conference. It seems that for the Cluj edition we had this idea well-baked in our heads. Alexandra and I took the responsibility to ask who would want to be a volunteer and then to explain our concepts and how the conference would be.
We decided to have a remote call with all the volunteers, a couple of weeks before the conference. It seemed like a very useful ideas as it was also underlined by our volunteers retrospective, made after the conference. We explained during the call what were the areas where we would like help and each volunteer chose at least one responsibility. This was a kind of kick-of of the conference.
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Open Agile Cluj 2012
The Cluj edition of Open Agile was special for more reasons: it was the first Open Agile in Cluj, for the first time we engaged volunteers who were fabulous, the first touch with Open Space for most of the attendees at the conference.
At this edition we had invited Andrea Provaglio to have the opening keynote, but because his flight was cancelled in the last minute he could not arrive. In return, he made a short ten minute overview about his presentation on Skype.
And because of this happening we had to convince Jurgen De Smet to give another talk, since he was already present at the venue after the Management 3.0 course he had taught. He was crazy enough to create a new talk in less than an hour. After we told him about our idea of him replacing Andrea, in a couple of minutes post-its started to fill-up the coffee table in the lounge of the venue. His idea was a bit alien to the Agile world, this giving it even more value: Financial Improvement. You can find his video here and his slides here.
We then stole the idea from this year’s ALE Conference: all the speakers of the day will have a Talk Show where they will say briefly what they will talk about in their presentations. Since everyone found it really useful during ALE, we thought, why not use it for Open Agile too. So thank you ALE 2012 organizers for inventing this concept!
One of the highlights of the talk show was Erik Talboom dragging Jurgen De Smet on the stage and slapping him hard, just because Jurgen was sloppy with his Agile Transformation. You can see this outrageous event here.
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AgileWorks Remote Open Space
The idea of having a Remote Open space is simple: take 30 minutes to discuss subjects of interest to you with a group of experienced people in that area of interest. You can find the description of the idea here.
I want to try doing a couple of Remote Open Space sessions to see if we will have enough attendees to start something that is interesting, useful, and easy to organize. You just need ideas, a computer with at least a microphone and 30 minutes of your time. I saw that the Romanian AgileWorks communities are not that well connected with each other. In all the communities interesting things are happening, but they do not share their experiences with each other. So the main purpose of the AgileWorks Remote Open Space is to connect online the AgileWorks communities in Bucharest, Timisoara, Cluj, Iasi, Sibiu, and Tirgu Mures.
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Code and Beer
I wanted for a long time to organize a gathering of programmers where anyone can come and go whenever they please. One year ago I read about the “Code & Coffee” and the “Code & Beer” events that happen in the world, but I was more familiar with the ones in USA and UK. Because I do not drink coffee, and because it’s reaaaally hard to meet-up with someone living in Bucharest at 7:00 AM, I decided to try the “Code and Beer” experience.
The first thing I did was to ask Sandro Mancuso, the amazing force behind the London Software Craftsmanship Community, to help me a bit to organize the first Code & Beer. He gave me some good advices: give a quick intro about the group and future events, start with quick introductions during which people say what they want to do (pet project, kata, just have a drink and decide later), ask if any one wants to give lightning talks, encourage people to pair, enjoy the evening.
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Balkan Coderetreat in Sofia
A couple of months ago I contacted Stefan Kanev to ask him if I could attend a coderetreat in Sofia. My main concern was not to bother all the attendees to speak English just because of me. What happened was that instead of attending a coderetreat I ended up facilitating a coderetreat in Sofia, and a rather special one.
Then I started chatting with Stefan and we ended up with the concept of Balkan Coderetreat. We want to create a type of event that will be organized in different countries in the Balkans. Why? Because there are not enough events for programmers around here. And one more reason: people from different countries and cultures would meet and share their knowledge and ideas. This idea is in the spirit of the ALE Network which I support as much as I can by being a bumble-bee, cross-pollinating ideas in the local European communities of Software Development. I would like to see this event happening in one of the Balkan countries each 2-3 months, organized each time by someone else. This would be in the spirit of a community of professionals that care about what they do and about sharing and learning, cross-language, cross-cultural and cross-border. I intend to support this event being organized again in a different country sometime in January.
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TDD as if you meant it Turku, Finland
Because of my plane connection from Bucharest to Turku which was not so great, the trip lasts around 12 hours all in all, I needed to stay from Friday to Tuesday next week in Turku. So why not trying to organize an event shorter than the coderetreat, for two hours in the evening like I did a lot of times in Bucharest. Aki was really receptive to my idea and in a matter of hours he found a host, and announced the event to the local community.
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Coderetreat Turku, Finland
On 20 November Aki Salmi gave me the the opportunity to meet a wonderful group of passionate programmers in Turku, Finland. My friend and dynamic facilitator Erik Talboom was supposed to be there with us, but he could not make it this time. So I was on my own to facilitate a coderetreat in a country and a city I have never seen before.
The first surprise of the morning: almost everyone was at the venue at 8:45 when I arrived. “They must be eager to code”, I said to myself. But we waited a bit to make sure that everyone will arrive in time for the intro. And I took the time to enjoy the unusual cubical separators of the venue: hay stacks 🙂
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