Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Scrum Gathering… Day 1
It was a very good day and I’ve been twittering under @pmiittelecom for most of it and will do so on Tuesday as well.
Some of my favorite moments from today…
Jim Coplien and Jeff Sutherland presenting “Not your Grandfather's Architecture: How MVC has evolved into the Agile world”. I walked in a few minutes late… just in time to hear Coplien say that any member of any scrum team should be able to explain the architecture on demand at any time. He said, if you can’t your team is sub-optimal. I think any time you can go to a conference where, within 15 seconds of walking into your first talk, someone has challenged the way you manage your work and look at the world, it is a very good thing.
Throughout the morning, there were a number of us twittering about the presentations. This led to a sub-conversation that rode underneath the actual presentations being given. Later, in the halls, we got to talking about whether or not it was rude for us to be typing in session, while people were talking. The general consensus was that it is. But, what if someone is twittering about your presentation? It is, basically promoting you – and giving you free PR. The consensus here, was that if the speaker didn’t know whether or not you were answering email or twittering, then they would perceive it as rude and that is why it is not a good thing (which none of us stopped doing all day). So, I’m wondering if it matters that the driver of good behavior, in this case, may not be the desire to be present and focus on the speaker and engage in their presentation, but simply to not appear rude to them.
Last year, I came to the Scrum Gathering as a kind of emissary on behalf of the IT&T SIG. I wanted to see if we could build a bridge between the IT&T SIG and the Scrum Community. Today, Greg Balestrero, the CEO of PMI gave the lunchtime keynote presentation. He did a very good job of engaging the crowd and conveying the message that PMI is an evolving organization that is interested in learning how to work with the Scrum Alliance. The response was very largely positive. People seemed generally hungry for things to move forward. The best part of his talk was the end where he paraphrased a conversation he and Ken Schwaber had held the night before. The basic message they wanted to jointly get across today was to tell everyone in both camps to “stop whining” and that they “have permission to move forward”. From my perspective, this is a very, very good thing.
One thing I saw today, that is something I’ve never seen at a PMI conference, was when one of the CST’s left lunch early because he was so worked up about what he’d been running through in his mind that he needed to leave the lunch to go put it down. It is very energizing to be around folks who are genuinely turned on by what they do.

The only drag so far was that Michele Sliger and Gabrielle Benefield both spoke at the same time I did. I would have like to have seen both of them present.
I’ll be posting more tomorrow and will be shooting some video interviews as well.

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