Skip to main content

Orlando Scrum Gathering Recap via Twitter

Mike Cottmeyer Chief Executive Officer
Reading: Orlando Scrum Gathering Recap via Twitter

Man… what a crazy week and half. January, February, and most of March were pretty laid back. The last few days though have gone totally nuts. Last Sunday I left for the Scrum Gathering in Orlando. Great conference but stuff really piled up while I was away. I got back with lots of urgent things needing attention. I did my best to manage it down in the two days I had before heading off into the woods for Scout camping this weekend. Phew!

It’s now Sunday afternoon… I’m back in town… and sitting comfortably in one of my favorite coffee shops. I am very happy to be warm and dry and that my wife has cheerfully agreed to give me some time to go off and think agile thoughts. After wrestling around for a bit trying to decide how to best spend these next few hours… I’ve decided to talk a little about the Scrum Gathering… while it still counts as recent history.

This was my first Scrum Gathering and I want to say that I really… really… enjoyed the event. Most of the big name speakers did their thing on Day One. That included guys like Mike Cohn, Alistair Cockburn, Ken Schwaber, and Jeff Sutherland. Jim Coplien had never really been on my radar before last week but he is now. Very interesting fellow.

Day two was all Open Space. If you have never been to an Open Space conference… you have to give it a try. My first Open Space was the Agile Coaches Camp in Ann Arbor, MI last year. I thought the format seemed like a potential train wreck, but by the time it was over, I was hooked. I left that first Open Space with great insights from real practitioners and a handful of great new friends I am still in touch with. Day Two of the Scrum Gathering did not disappoint at all. I gravitated mostly to the talks on scaling agile and product ownership… surprising, huh?

I would have suggested a Product Owner talk myself but Lowell Lindstrom beat me to the punch.

Day three was mostly concurrent sessions led by a group of practitioners from around the globe. I bounced in and out of many of the sessions but was feeling particularly distracted that day. I really wanted to spend more time talking to people…. just like in the Open Spaces, most of the really good talks happen over beer at the end of the day. Speaking of which…

I got to meet and spend time with several of my favorite bloggers… Mike Vizdos… Tobias Mayer… and Mishkin Berteig just to name a few. Hung out quite a bit with Michele Sliger, Stacia Broderick, Sanjiv Augustine, Dave Prior, and Jesse Fewell from the Agile PMI Virtual Community. I spent one entire evening talking to Alistair Cockburn and the next night talking with Lowell Lindstrom. I had no idea Lowell was one ‘declined invite’ away from being an original signatory on the Agile Manifesto. Pretty cool.

I really enjoyed all the Twitter traffic going on during the talks. I found the commentary totally awesome and it was cool to keep up with all the sessions going on at once. I am *SURE* there is *SOME* value in being totally present for the talk I am actually in, but I would still like to figure out how to be in more than one place at one time… so this helped. If you want the full set of Tweets from the conference, go to and lookup #scrumgathering.

I personally posted questions and cool quotes from the speakers while I listened to their talks. Here are a few that I thought were particularly interesting:

Quitting and being done are different things. I think this one came from Jeff Sutherland… it could have been Jim Coplien.

Patientkeeper spends months doing analysis and prototypes. This was from Jeff Sutherland and was interesting to me because we tend to think in agile that the ideas just appear or emerge from the ether.

Coplien is directly contradicting Martin and the emergent architecture paradigm. Need more discussion around this. This was an observation from me. I had not been clued into the whole Bob Martin/Jim Coplien debate on architecture. I tend not to believe in emergent architecture in complex organizations. I liked Coplien’s point of view.

PMI CEO says to the Scrum community… quit your whining and get on with it. It is time to get onboard, huh? I personally thing we both have some things to learn from each other.

I am getting the sense that there are elements of Scrum that Schwaber and Sutherland fundamentally disagree on. Another conversation I was apparently not fully clued in on.

Anyone else staying up too late this week and not getting enough sleep? Okay that was me again.

Requirements grooming is collaborative. Schedule requirements workshops throughout the sprint – Paraphrase from Roman Pichler talk

Perfection is not a state it’s a process – Jim Coplien

Hunt for the people that want it now – Alistair Cockburn. I liked this one because we had talked about a similar topic a few evenings before. Agile is a mirror. Sometimes it will tell you that the wrong people are on the bus.

What is your vision for a transformed world? I think that one came from Schwaber. Why are we doing agile anyway?

Don’t accommodate that pain in your butt, fix it. This is a paraphrase from Ron Jefferies. When agile shows you a problem, don’t change agile to deal with it. Fix the damn problem. Profanity mine.

No good idea can be judged by the number of people that get it – Ron Jeffries. I have never been afraid to disagree with everyone… and that doesn’t always mean I am wrong ;-)

You can’t teach courage, you can teach action in the face of danger – Ron Jeffries. Awesome!

My only regret was that I did not get down to H2O early enough to play a game of Werewolf. I got to sit in on the tail end of one… but afterward people wanted to go to bed. Go figure. Next time Vizdos… next time.

Next Scrum Gathering Agile Architecture Talk

Comments (2)

  1. Dave Nicolette

    Sounds like it was a great experience. Thanks for posting your observations throughout the conference.

    I notice you wrote, “I tend not to believe in emergent architecture in complex organizations.” Would you mind elaborating on what you mean?

    The reason I ask is that in the many discussions and debates about agile methods and architecture, people just assume everyone knows whether they are talking about enterprise architecture or solution architecture. Often, when you scratch below the surface of an argument on this topic, you find one person was thinking of enterprise architecture and the other was thinking of solution architecture. Which of these do you think doesn’t lend itself to an emergent approach, and why?

  2. Mike Cottmeyer

    Hey… not ignoring your comment… just slammed this week. I have some notes from Coplien’s talk and plan to do a post. I will answer your question in that post. Thanks for the comment as always!


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *