Monday the 9th of juni, also known as “Eerste Pinksterdag” was for the author not about visiting churches, but about the first day of QCon New York (https://qconnewyork.com/). This conference takes five days of which the first two consist of tutorials and handson sessions. Wednesday will kickoff with a general keynote followed by eight parallel sessions during the day up to friday. All the sessions are divided over different tracks such as Java Innovations, Taming mobile, The Hyperinteractive client and more non-technical tracks such as Continuous Delivery, Lean Product Design, and Creating Culture. This is also the reason QCon appeals to the author; there is more to software engineering than the all the shiny and new frameworks available and this conference seems to address the entire span of software engineering. But this will be something to validate during the week….
Learn Kanban Essentials in a New York Minute
Being in a more process related role at my current clients I chose to dive deeper into Kanban over a number of other very interesting more technical oriented sessions. With about 18 other attendees the session started with a short introduction of the organiser, Dragos Dumitriu, and the Lean basic concepts.
Then the speaker ensured he was applying the famous “eat your own dogfood” and facilitated a workshop in which the attendees could all determine the agenda for the day. Considering he had speaking materials to fill a couple of weeks, this was a smart and Lean move that enabled him and the attendees to FOCUS on adding value and limiting waste during the day. Besides, it was a fun way to learn to know the other attendees and the challenges they faced.
Main topic of interest to the (advanced practitioners) group I was in: how to motivate the use of Lean in a project or organisation that is basically Scrum or (if I might be so blunt) even worse, waterfall oriented? In my experience there are a lot of people who find the concepts of Lean appealing but don’t (know how to) apply them in their own work. Which they self believe there are good reasons for: “yeah of course that works for them, but that’s an entire different company, no at our place we can’t apply…”.
Considering there were a lot more basic questions, the organiser first addressed those. Think of the core principles, how to set up a Kanban board, metrics involved etc. Despite, I already know the basics and theory of Lean and Kanban, it was once more helpful to listen to, especially because Dragos clarified with numerous experiences. It was also really nice to see that the presenter often made a side note in which he also addressed questions like how to sell and change culture and thinking. The primary tip being: make sure the most important impediment is transparant to every stakeholder and they understand the consequences for their expertise. Wait for momentum (which can take a while especially if your rather impatient) and show that it can be different.
This will be all for know and more to follow about QCon NY 2014
During the day I made some photos which might give an idea about the topics we discussed, the vibe in the room and how I came up with the title for this blogpost: