I am back from XP2015

It has been an intense May and among the several nice things happened to me I had the chance to attend XP2015, in Helsinki, to talk about LiquidO, the open governance model shaped within Cocoon Projects.

The XP conference series is among the top conferences worldwide about agile methods and lean thinking. What do I bring back home from this event? Mainly two impressions.

Split community

The first one is about the paths agile methods have followed along the years. I wrote “paths”, plural, because I see more than one.

On one hand I see people involved in a grassroots movement made of user groups, code katas and code retreats but also made of non-coding communities of practice: agile coach camps, agile UX events, lean management gatherings and so on.

On the other hand I see an academic world trying to formalise the whole agile body of knowledge, still looking for the ultimate metric, for the one-size-fits-all step-by-step handbook or for the finally business-agnostic way to analyse the dynamics of a team leading you to a guaranteed success.

While talking with an academic who had just presented his paper about refactoring automated analysis tools, he asked me: “what do you mean with ‘code kata’?”. I don’t have an exact idea of what it is right or wrong, but the impression here is that we have a split community: those who are learning to surf by surfing and those who are trying to learn surfing by describing the whole physic model of a wave with a surfer on top.

How many papers about surfing can you write before becoming able to surf?

Sorry. Agile processes are not formal. But do read Kent’s book, mines, and Jim Shore’s.

— Ron Jeffries, June 2010 [1]

One community

The second and best impression I bring home with me is the one about the community I am in. Actually, the community I am the centre of.

This is not to say I am any important, indeed this is to say I love my network of contacts, made of people who listen from and explain to me. Year by year this network grows stronger and larger – which are not the same attribute – generating opportunities and providing crucial validity checks.

It was amazing to meet good old friends, to meet new ones and consider the chance for new collaborations across geographical and cultural borders. From India to USA, from Finland to Italy, we are all trying to uncover better ways to deliver value with one final aim: happiness.

For taking part of this endeavour I feel grateful to each one of you. Thanks!

[1] Source, my first comment [ITA] and a comment about my comment.