Amazing drawing of my talk from Stephen. Look how awesome it looks. It even mentions my technical problems ^^

This year will be special. I am slowly warming up as a speaker. It was my dream from the past and one of my personal aspirations. It is difficult to start speaking in not your native language. Breaking psychological barrier is not easy. Each talk is new experience and speaking gets easier. Tension, stress level and confidence, each talk brings improvement. I finally found ‘my way’ for training and preparations.

This year, I was on NDC Oslo (blog post) now SwanseaCon, soon Woman In Technology (London) and CodeMotion (Milan) (more on my speaking page). Lot of talks! There is something special about giving talks, sharing knowledge and seeing all these people keen to learn and hear what you have to say.

SwanseaCon was Brilliant. Full of interesting people focused on Agile. You can say a lot of negative things about Agile community: that it has lost its vibe, that is has become money sucking monster with its consultant ecosystem. SwanseaCon ? I didn’t see that. All I saw was passionate people discussing, sharing thoughts and ideas. I was a bit afraid that someone like me, pragmatic person, will feel like in ‘den of lions’, surrounded by all those crazy - dogmatic Agile people. It wasn’t like that at all.

Unfortunately, I missed the first day. Got back from holiday and went straight to Swansea. I Was too tired and I had to train before my presentation.

2nd Day I attended couple of talks.

User-Story Point estimation a new approach

by Fred Heath

I am not a fan of story-estimation. Currently in team we have none. Fred has shown an interesting idea of predicting estimation based on context. It is an extension to popular planning poker. It adds a system of calculating external and internal factors that could affect estimation. Things like, team familiarity with domain / technology, complexity of the problem / platform and more. I felt this process was a bit too complicated. It was really difficult to convince myself that it is worth the investment. Maybe my project is different and I don’t feel it. Like I said, estimation is not that important for us (right now). One nice takeaway from this presentation - To make the conversations better in Planning Poker. Create a ‘guideline’ with things that might affect estimation. A list that will nicely drive the conversation.

Software Craftsmanship vs Lean Product

by Alastair Smith and Elizabeth Ayer

It wasn’t a normal presentation but a discussion between two camps. Lean and Craftsmanship. It was very interesting and both of the speakers raised good points and navigated discussion into many interesting areas. I never new that Lean feels that Software Craftsmanship movement might bee too technology focused and forgets about business / product.

An Insider’s View Of Agile In The Public Sector

by Nick Tune

A great talk and nice overview on how UK Government is approaching software development. To my surprise it looked ‘sane’. You can check gov.uk site. I really love it. Easy to navigate, helpful, design is ‘unobtrusive’. I do remember that Pawel Sawicz was sending me links with real time status of the British election through output when Brexit vote was ongoing, pretty amazing. Polish Government hey! Check it out and learn please. You can do better.

My talk The Heroes of program - 10x developer myth

by Michal Franc

Swansea Presentation

I spoke about fallacy of 10x developer myth and why we should ignore it and focus on growing teams. Collaboration is the king and it is a more optimal strategy to focus on building team instead of attracting and maintaining ‘super-heroes’. You can find a nice summary of my talk on Leading.fi blog post

Technical Issues

For the first time as a speaker, I had such a big delay due to Technical Issues. Probably around 10min. I improvised and tried my best. It was probably ok, tweets were sympathetic.

So what went wrong ? I always prepare and have backup Laptop. Multiple backups of presentation and yet … I wasted 10 min of everyone’s time.

1st - problem - adapter

I had no adapter ( preparation failure ) so had to borrow one. Sadly this one wasn’t working with my awesome mac.

2nd - problem - adapter

Viv Richards one of the organisers really quickly found a replacement for adapter. Which also was having issues. This time different, as my mac was responding somehow.

3nd - problem - mac died

Yep my mac died when trying to make use of adapter. Somehow it got itself into state of IOS ‘Blue screen of death’ which looks like this.

apple bsod

4th - problem - mac hasn’t recovered properly

After turning off and on again ( thank you IT crowd for teaching me the best solution to all the problems ) mac started, adapter worked, but keyboard was not ‘responding’. Left / Right arrows were not working properly and I couldn’t slide slides with my clicker. Fortunately quick hax and change in hot-key mappings solved the problem and I could finally present.

Lessons learned:

  • improvise, do presentation without slides
  • make audience informed about what is happening
  • prepare!!
  • don’t panic and if shits hit the fan go for you backup machine instead of trying to fix the original one!

Even with those problems I think talk went really nice. Based on the blog post summarising my talk i do know that all I wanted to share was heard :)

Talk reception:

Overall:

  • Venue was great
  • organization was great
  • talks were interesting with no marketing ‘bullshit’ ( something i hate on conferences )
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