Sunday, September 23, 2018

Agile Greece Summit 2018 - Speaking, Sketchnoting, Conversing and Exploring

The 4th Agile Greece Summit is over! Glad I was a part of it. I spoke, I sketchnoted, I had great conversations with a lot of awesome people and I explored the city of Athens. It was awesome.


Maaret Pyhäjärvi gave me a great opportunity by recommending me as speaker at Agile Greece Summit 2018. The organizers were intrigued to hear my talk "A Tester Exploring Developer Land", so this talk it was - and the audience obviously liked it. I received lots of feedback and people told me they got new ideas what to try in their teams - awesome! Following Maaret's recommendation, the organizers asked me to give my mob session "Learning to Learn in a Mob" in addition to the talk and I'm glad I agreed to do it. The workshop attracted a lot of people, way more than expected. We had to close it early, allowing more people to observe the mob than planned. Fortunately, we could still make it a safe space for everyone to learn.


All the feedback I received on my sketchnoting experiment last week at TestBash Germany 2018 really encouraged me to give this technique another try. Reflecting on my time balance, when I spent my time on what, I had also experienced a positive outcome. Therefore I decided to sketchnote the talks of this conference as well, enabling me now to provide you the most complete overview of the talks I attended that I can provide. Reviewing my notes and comparing them with the #agrs2018 live tweets of others attending the same sessions, it's clear that I got some things wrong and missed some other parts. Still, these notes are as honest as they can be, showing what message I received and which thoughts stuck long enough so that I could commit them to paper.
By the way, if you fancy another write-up on the conference and the keynotes, check out Marcus' great post Reflections after Agile Greece.

Back to sketchnoting. Once again, I received lots of positive feedback on sharing my notes. Constantine reached out and asked whether I would rewrite the notes in a digital form like a mind map and share them. This made me think. My original intention behind trying sketchnoting was to get rid of the duplicated effort of scribbling down notes and then having to transfer them into digital notes. The idea was that if I write notes in a good enough manner already during the conference and digitalize them by photographing and tweeting them, I will save the follow-up time at home, which is my free time I'd like to spend on other things. So far this experiment worked out for me; though I already realized that this format does take its time as well. The benefit of sketchnoting, however, is that I can share those notes with the world, giving others an impression what the talk was about, sharing knowledge and also getting feedback on what I understood incorrectly. Therefore trying sketchnoting was worth it so far and only time will prove if it does on the long run.

Conversing & Exploring

The people were wonderful. Organizers and volunteers were really supportive and made a great conference happen. Attendees were interested and actively socialized. The other speakers delivered insightful content. Like at all conferences, I especially enjoyed all the great conversations I had. The following people I'd like to thank in specific.
  • Marcus Hammarberg: Thank you for sharing your insights about mob programming, collaboration and learning. I really enjoyed our dinner before the conference, and just love the movement you started of paying dinner forward.
  • Anka Miedzianka: Thank you for sharing your experiences as speaker with me, I could so much relate to them! I really enjoyed our dinner conversations and already look forward to meeting you the next time.
  • Linda Rising: What can I say? You are wonderful and it was an honor and pleasure to meet you! Thank you for our deep dinner conversations and especially for listening. And even more, thank you for reminding everyone to do so.
  • Alison Coward: Thank you for our great taxi conversation how to increase flow in teams. Would love to hear what you think about the mob approach once you dived deeper, especially when it comes to your work with teams!
  • Gwen Diagram: Thank you so much for spending the day after conference with me, exploring Athens by foot, discovering so many interesting places, hugely different quarters and amazing views together while sharing so many life lessons! It was wonderful and I'm already looking forward what we might explore and find next together.
I'm heading home inspired, with more ideas in my head and more people in my heart. Thank you all.

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