Having been back home for a week, I have spent a week being asked "How was Agile 2013? What were your key takeaways?" and answering "I haven't digested it all yet. I need to order my thoughts." In an attempt to avoid further embarrassment, I decided to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and order my thoughts in the best way I know, by writing them down. And having gone to all the trouble of writing them down, I figured I may as well share my thoughts with the blogsphere...
Agile 2013 was my first time at an Agile 20xx conference and I wasn't sure what to expect. Having arrived Saturday afternoon and caught up on some much-needed sleep, I was excited to catch up with friends from Colorado on Sunday afternoon. After meeting Jean Tabaka at registration, I spent what must have been almost two hours in the main lobby of the conference centre being introduced to what felt like the who's who of Agile by Jean. In fact, have now seen how many people Jean knows in the Agile community, I was beginning to think it might be fun to invent a new game called "Six Degrees of Jean Tabaka". It has a nice ring to it don't you think?
After picking up our swag (cool t-shirt!), it was time to weave our way through the maze that is the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center to find somewhere for a quiet drink before the Ice Breaker event. On our way through the maze, Jean got stopped by Lyssa Adkins and Michael Spayd as we passed each other in one of the corridors. Lyssa says to Jean, "I have just published a blog by Em Campbell-Pretty..." and Jean points to me. It was such a strange serendipitous moment and a great way to kick off my Agile 2013 experience. (Lyssa featured "Leading Through Vulnerability" on her Women in Agile blog in July).
The Welcome Reception (i.e. drinks!) helped me reconnect with my Agile Data Warehousing buddies Ken Collier and Lynn Winterboer. I also introduced myself to fellow Aussies Matthew Hodgson (whom I recognised from his Scrum Australia presentation) and Mia Horrigan. The evening was topped off by a lovely dinner with Jean, Anders Ivarsson, Joakim Sunden and Jaana Nyfjord, The conference hadn't even really started and already I felt the investment had been worthwhile!