Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thoughts after ALE2012

The second ALE (Agile Lean Europe) main event occurred in Barcelona the 29th-31st August 2012. At the beginning of the second day, an energising passion could be felt and those who were in Berlin last year, understood that the ALEnetwork magic is repeatable.

I would like to thank all the organisers for this gift and hope others will follow their example. A thousand tips, smiles, books, domains of knowledge to discover, etc. are now somewhere in my brain. Some of them will reemerge later, some are already digested. So here below are those currently on my mind.  

People in action
ALE participant engagement is probably the most astonishing differentiator with other events. During the full three days, at every moment, the attendees proposed, shared and enlightened workshops and sessions. All of them are passionate, with different levels of knowledge. Most of them have an activity related to the ALEnetwork, like organising an event for their local community, running online projects, translating stuff, etc. Many people attended the unconference during their holidays and paid with their own money.

Kids and Spouses
Kids keynote ale2012
Last year, I was happy, but surprised, that the families came to the unconference. This year, with the kids, walking around, watching the keynotes, playing and finally giving us energy the last day, I must agree their presence makes the event different. During Ariana’s brilliant workshop, her daughter ran onto the stage, shouting “mama”. Her mother took her in her arms without stopping her explanations. Nobody really minded, it was just part of the whole atmosphere.  

The Building and Barcelona
Being in one hotel with all the conference facilities is quite convenient, but an event needs its touch. The ALE2012 building, a former hospital, was beautiful and its magnificence inspired us. At night we were also continued sharing in the restaurants and bars of this great town. Barcelona makes you feel at home and our peacefulness was partly related to this.  

Program format Conferences in the morning, open spaces in the afternoon, was the format used for the three days and it is really efficient. I would have liked to have more time to talk face to face with one person, but this was not easy while enjoying most of the conferences and open space sessions.  

Learning curve On Tuesday, I attended the core protocols session with Michele and Jim McCarthy. Those knowing the power of the core protocols, should understand how participants like me, who were discovering these tools, felt.
Over the next days, ALE2012’s diversity of subjects and people offered me a refreshing and mind storming moment.
The Open Space Software Development was probably one of the most innovative places. The pressure and effectiveness in this room was high and I really appreciated the kick start it gave me. (Read Marc article here).
Themes around Lean Startup/Product Owner/UX were close to my current concerns and I really appreciated these sessions/discussions. The consensus about the role of product managers in the agile world, the principles and his skills, was a key point.

The conversation with my xALEc friends, the football match with the Madrid&Bacelona fans and all the meals with all these pleasant people were a real great start to my holidays in Barcelona.

Thanks everyone for your these pleasant days.

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