In the future, when I think about good organization, I will automatically think of the XP2010 conference in Trondheim. This was an extremely well-organized conference. But of course, good organization alone is not enough to make a great conference. You also need great speakers, a good program, great people and great social happenings. XP2010 had it all….
I arrived Tuesday morning, not quite awake after way too little sleep the night before. My first session of the day was Chris Matts’ “Introduction to Feature Injection” workshop. No need to worry about falling asleep, this was a great session that never got to be boring!
In the afternoon I attended Ola Ellnestam and Daniel Brolund’s Large scale refactorings using the mikado method. Another great presentation with a nice learning outcome.
In the evening we attended the official Conference Reception followed by a visit to the local Micro Breweri (Mikrobryggeriet) for a taste of their various beers. With my lightning talk coming up the next day though I left the party before 11 pm.
So after a night of getting to little sleep (wonder why?) I decided to skip the mornings keynote by Scott Page. Clearly a mistake, I heard it was a great one (luckily it was taped, so I will get a chance to see it anyway). I then decided to follow the “Software design” track headlining Michael Feathers who gave a really good talk about the fact that some of the important software design principles has “disappeared” after the introduction of Agile. It was a good talk, but unfortunately I missed out on an even better talk, namely Cory Foy’s “Growing and Fostering Software craftmanship” talk. Luckily for us, it was caught on camera, you can see here. If you only have time to see one talk from the conference, this should be it.
After yet another great lunch it was time for my lightning talk on Kanban. I was last of the group of 5 to talk, first up: Mary Poppendieck. I’ll be honest: To talk in the same track as Mrs Poppendieck is of course a privelige, but it is also a bit scary. Mary obviously attracts a lot of people to her talks, and because of this I suddenly found myself in the largest room. Even though I was a bit nervous, I think the talk went ok. I was pleased with the content of my talk and I got to say what I wanted to say (but there is obviously room for improvement). The talk is available on the xp2010 web site. You can also watch the slides at the preseria website.
After my talk I jumped across sessions, most notable of the talks I attended in the afternoon was about test automation at Google. Their automatic test strategy is quite impressive.
In the evening we attended a most excellent party in “Studentersamfundet with a great jazz keynote by Bjørn Alterhaug and John Pål Inderberg, dark heavy metal from Keep of Kalessin and a local band playing cover tunes. Being at a party at “Samfundet” brought back old memories from when I was at student at NTNU, and I had a really enjoyable evening nearly 11 years after my last visit.
The party probably went on a tad to long. Half asleep, half awake I managed to drag myself down to David Andersons keynote. Glad I did, it was a really good keynote. In between the keynote and the next session I managed to grab myself some food from the excellent breakfast buffet. With renewed energy I went to the “Refactoring session”, to see my soon-to-be colleague Karianne Berg talk about why you should improve your existing code instead of doing total re-writes. A great lightning talk with a clear message, presented in an entertaining manner. Later on, in the Testing: New approaches session, Jonas Follesø also held a great lightning talk about how generation of characterization tests can help refactor legacy code.
My last session of the day was My Agile Suitcase session. A great session which also marked the end of the conference for me. I was heading back to Oslo later that evening.
I will remember the XP2010 conference as an excellent conference. It was very well organized, had a great program, great parties and last but not least: a lot of great people attending.