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Online Registratrions open for all 3 Agile India Conferences

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Register for the three existing conferences coming up in India:

1. Agile Goa 2013 – Our 6th Annual Conference in Goa
We’ve a superb speaker lineup. Check out the program
Limited seats available, register today at: http://booking.agilefaqs.com/agile-goa-2013

2. Agile Kerala 2013 – FIRST ever Agile and Lean Conference in Kerala. Check out our Planned Program
Take advantage of the Early-Bird pricing, register today at: http://booking.agilefaqs.com/agile-kerala-2013

3. Agile India 2014 – Asia’s Premier and Largest conference on Agile and Lean Methods. Get an opportunity to meet Martin Fowler, Dave Thomas, Dave Snowden, Ash Maurya and many other thought leaders…

We launched the online registration on Sep 2nd at 10:00 AM. In a matter of 40 mins, the entire Super Early Bird Registration Slab of 100 tickets was completely SOLD OUT. This is the best response we’ve got in the last 9 years of organizing these conferences.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to grab a conference ticket at these special, limited-time, attractive prices – http://booking.agilefaqs.com/agile-india-2014

Agile India: 4 New Exciting Conferences Coming Up…

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Agile Software Community of India is happy to announce 4 new exciting conferences.

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* Agile Coach Camp is an unconference for Agile Coaches, Scrum Masters, Agile Trainers, Leaders, Change Agents and Mentors. (Last coach camp in June was completely sold out 2 weeks in advance. Since we had a waiting list of 43 coaches, we’ve organized another coach camp in July. Last few seats left – register today – http://booking.agilefaqs.com/accb13/

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* Agile Goa 2013 conference is our 6th Agile Conference in Goa. It will be held at Taleigao Community Centre, Panaji.
Interested in presenting at the conference? Submit your speaker proposals before July 31st. More details: http://agileindia.org/agilegoa2013/proposals
We are also looking for program reviewers, if interested find details at http://agileindia.org/agilegoa2013/proposals

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* Agile Kerala 2013 conference is the FIRST ever Agile and Lean Software Development Conference in Kerala. It will be held at Park Centre, Technopark Campus, Trivandrum.
Interested in presenting at the conference? Submit your speaker proposals before August 31st. More details: http://agileindia.org/agilekerala2013/proposals
We are also looking for program reviewers, if interested find details at http://agileindia.org/agilekerala2013/proposals

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* Agile India 2014 conference is Asia’s largest & premier international conference on Agile and Lean Software Development methods. Unlike previous years, next year, each day has a specific theme. Also each day is a stand-alone event and participants can register for 1 or more days. We’ll limit the participants to max 500 on each day to ensure higher collaboration.
Based on consistent feedback, in 2014, we’ll focus on have more practitioners sharing their Case Studies and Experience Report.

Themes:
** Day 1 – Scaling Agile Adoption
** Day 2 – Offshore/Distributed Agile
** Day 3 – Agile Lifecycle
** Day 4 – Beyond Agile

Currently we are forming the program team. You can apply before June 30th to be a reviewer.

Conference overview presentation: slideshare or PDF

Stay tuned for more…

Agile Coach Camp Bangalore 2013

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Agile Coach Camp Bangalore

What: Unconference for Agile Coaches, Scrum Masters, Agile Trainers, Leaders, Change Agents and Mentors.
When: 7th-8th June 2013
WhereHotel Ramada, Bangalore
Theme: True Essence of Coaching

Role of a Coach?
Many of us have embraced an agile coach’s role, but do we really understand what coaching is all about? How coaching is different from mentoring?
To help us learn about the true essence of coaching, during this Coach Camp, we’ve dedicated one full day to work with Judy van Zon, who is

Other Popular Topics for Day 1
  • Agile Estimation Techniques
  • Part-time vs. Full-time Coaching
  • Getting team buy-in
  • Enterprise Agility
  • Coaching == Leading by Example
  • Agile Fixed-bid Projects
  • TDD on Large, Legacy Code
  • Agile Adoption Patterns
  • Code Quality Metric
  • Performance Evaluation in Agile
  • Product Discovery & Story Mapping
  • Agile and Audits- Oxymoron?
  • Slicing User Stories
  • Agile Portfolio Management

Register online at http://booking.agilefaqs.com/accb13/

Add Attendees Info Later: Agile India 2013 Registration System New Feature

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

In my experience, people/companies would like to register for the conference early-on, to take advantage of the early-bird discounts. However they might not be sure who (which employee) will be available and can attend the conference. So most end up waiting till the end to book their seats.

This feels broken! It’s not good for the participants nor for the conference organizers.

To avoid this problem, we’ve introduced a new feature in the Agile India 2013 Registration System, which lets you register for the conference by just specifying the number of seats. You can defer adding the exact attendees’ details till 1 month before the conference.

Add Attendees Info Later

Also you can always edit the attendees info, up-till 1 month before the conference.

(We need 1 month’s lead time to get the conference t-shirts, badges and other logistics in place.)

Agile India 2012 Conference Feedback

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Things that the participants liked/worked well:

Speakers

  • Diversity among the speakers was fantastic. (148 expert practitioners from 18 Countries)
  • Speakers from various parts of the world made the conference very rich and most of them were hands on people. discussions were very productive.
  • Good mix of presenters – experienced vs. practicing, Indian vs. International, etc.
  • Speakers mix (national and international both). Great variety of speakers
  • Great agile spirit presented in Naresh’ welcome speak :-)
  • None of the talks were marketing oriented.
  • Majority of the time, folks with Hands-on experience (and not academicians) were speaking
  • More participation from Agile practitioners than Agile Sellers
  • Calibre of local Bangalore speakers was excellent. I had no idea we had such high-quality speakers in India
  • High quality and moving key note session from Freeset.
  • Good setup for the review of speakers and the fact that speakers were chosen months before the conference started. It could have been better, but it was a good experience for me.
  • Mix of people from start ups and great organizations(This helps us understand the people with core knowledge and also the people who define the trend).
  • Good to interact with quality speakers from all over the world
  • Large number of non-Indian / non-US speakers that speaks about the diversity of Agile implementations.
  • Most of the speakers were fantastic. Frankly best technical conference I have attended in Bangalore.
  • International quality speakers (people invited from around the world)

Program/Content

  • The proper amalgamation of workshop, practice talk, introductory talk and expert talk
  • Variety of experienced topics and amount to practitioner topics where people shared real experience rather than how it should have been textbook gyaan.
  • It covered most of the Agile aspects & most of the sessions were interesting.
  • Spoiled for choice. Had a difficult time choosing which session to attend.
  • Workshops were very effective and engaging
  • No frills – No ceremonial processes such as introduction, session chair, summery etc.
  • Lightning talks gave a forum where young speakers could also get a chance to talk
  • Research Presentations and experience reports were very good
  • Conference consisting of Various tracks (Leadership, Experience..).
  • Great to hear the individual experiences(Experience report)
  • Three streams going in parallel (introductory, practicing & expert)
  • Mix of various topics from leadership to programming practices.
  • Having workshops where people could “feel” the topic and learn quickly

Audience

  • Participants across multiple cultures, countries, companies.. (750 participants from 21 countries working for 230 odd companies..wow!)
  • Quality of Audience (attracted the right mix of people – hard-core techies, managers, company owners, etc)
  • Opportunity to see what is happening outside India not having to travel outside India.
  • Lots of smart people. I was learning constantly, whether I was in a session or networking outside.
  • The volume of discussions, it’s a choice within a choice. A must have going forward.
  • Excellent selection of tracks and organization by stages
  • Excellent networking opportunities
  • Almost all the attendees were very collaborative
  • I was blown away by the passion of the organizers and participants
  • Looking at the crowd, I could not believe this was being held for the first time
  • Wide spectrum of participants brought good cultural mix
  • Excellent and very knowledgeable and participative attendees who added value to the talks
  • The crowd – amazing global audience
  • Opportunity to meet & interact with people from different organizations
  • Good Q&A
  • The speakers to delegate ratio was fantastic.

Logistics

  • Personal attention given to take care of every need of the speakers by the organizers from the beginning was something I’ve never seen in any other conferences and logistics were up to standard.
  • Great turnout – the conference is eventually known by the enthusiasm and feedback from its attendees, even more than the lineup of speakers.
  • And off-course the enthusiasm of volunteers and the punctuality was superb
  • Organizing the whole program, guess no single Talk/Session was changed, cancelled or rescheduled.
  • Attention to details – best organized conference attended so far
  • Excellent Event Management
  • Keep up the good location!! That means a lot for a conference:-)
  • Good event handling, lot’s of information everywhere. Nice location (although a little pricy for non-speakers).
  • Good website with lots of relevant information (especially the program). Good use of social media (blogs, twitter) before the conference.
  • Meticulous arrangements. Began and ended on the dot for most part.
  • Detailed Schedule Was provided to each participants, so that they could clearly schedule their time !!
  • Several tracks –so we had the chance to opt out of Non interesting sessions.
  • Thank you! I really enjoyed be part of the conference. I really appreciate: Good speakers, Friendly people around and Tasty food
  • Information flow – right from pre conference mails, to the finish. Hence, there was no confusion.
  • Simplicity of it all – the participants, the organizers, the content.
  • Choice of venue – centrally located, easy to access, spaces that were created within…be it the coffee shop, boardroom, open space etc
  • By and large, the whole event management was extremely smooth. I didn’t come across any major issues.
  • Three days was actually a good length of the conference. Agile 2011 at Salt Lake City felt long, but this was the right size. My personal opinion is to retain the format.
  • Organization – Right from the submissions till the agile program guide sent a day ahead
  • Time management – On dot start and ending of sessions.
  • Timeliness – All sessions were held as per the schedule
  • Display of Topic Info on each conference room entrance.
  • Greatly appreciate all the hard-work and passion of organizers
  • Collaboration with the vendors. The booth space could use improvement, but the ability to talk in-depth with them was helpful.

What could be improved:

Speakers

  • The star speakers with big names and titles did not offer much – they were regurgitating old stuff; whereas I found the young practitioners had more to say….
  • Time Management from some Speakers were not proper. Most of the time, because of shortage of time, the crux of the session was expedited or never discussed.
  • Some of the sessions had very open ended discussions & workshops which could be more informative & address some agile related issues.
  • Better panel discussion ( they got the right members but the discussion was not good enough)
  • Workshops conducted in the limited time were very superficial, they should be made more effective in the available time or dropped
  • There were 3-4 talks which I attended where the speaker had to rush through the slides as the initial slides took more time than anticipated.
  • Couple of speakers did not have appropriate presentation skills
  • Quality of some sessions (some sessions were particularly under-prepared, even though the topic itself could deserve more attention; pay attention to speaker quality)
  • The way some workshops were conducted. Some speakers just presented what the audience came up with suggestions without correcting those suggestions. There were totally wrong suggestions came from audience but speakers never corrected them. The bad thing about this is that rest of the audience accepted those suggestions as correct.
  • Some of the stage producers should not disturb the presenter while they are doing the presentation(this doesn’t mean that they cant share there ideas)
  • Expert speakers should talk in the beginning and in the end to hold the crowd.

Program/Content

  • Too many streams…it was very difficult to choose what to select.
  • Problem of Plenty ! It was not possible to attend all the interesting talks.
  • Too many good sessions in same slots..I could not be everywhere :-)
  • Number of tracks – every track was interesting and it was really hard to choose one for a specific slot
  • 7 tracks was not a good thing. At least not when the 7 tracks had kind of the same audience. If a conference has a track for .NET, one for Java, one for managers and one for testers it’s a different story.
  • Reduce number of parallel tracks
  • We had 6-7 parallel sessions. This made the choice of picking up the most relevant sessions a bit difficult for attendees. We need to re-look at how many sessions we should have in future conferences
  • Too many tracks; to be precise 7 tracks running at the same time. Ideally 4 would have been a good number.
  • 2 days of conference would be plenty – but perhaps 1 day extra for workshops/certifications?
  • Experience sharing sessions were boring
  • Scheduling interesting talks in the same time(although i agree about the value proposition)
  • Session duration should not be more that 45-60mins
  • Scheduling – Not having time to get between sessions
  • Some sessions could have more content & concrete experiences related to retro, planning, review etc
  • Would love to have more keynote sessions
  • Speakers and hence the contents should go several reviews. There were few sessions that were totally cumbersome.
  • Not much take-aways. Most of us are agile practitioners,so it did not help much when a few speakers just explained stuffs on Agile. Some best approaches with real-life results/some kind of workshops should be better. Research approach was good, but yet, it was more explaining again on Agile. Everyone knows a successful agile implementation needs Self-organized teams. These things should have been reviewed before are taken up in conference agenda.
  • Too many introductory talks, we would expect a large number of people already practicing agile and lean so we could cut down on that and focus on extended research on improvement and experiences with both.
  • The open space wasn’t well utilized
  • Lightning talks should have been more prominent
  • Some of the Sessions were repetitive (Ex: Track 7 – Using Lean practice in Agile Fixed Bid Project, Implementation of Lean Concepts….. An Industrial Case Study, they was just the same)
  • Not many hands-on development workshops, more talks.
  • Back to back sessions resulted in a few presenters getting less time ( a major problem for half hour sessions)
  • Selection of papers needs improvement. Some presentations were not engaging enough.
  • Lot of repetition. May be this is good for new comers. But someone like me who has been attending AgileIndia meets, found the same story being repeated for the past 6+ years
  • Coaches Corner and Open Space were a good idea, but were a little too free form which prevented consistent benefit from the forums

Audience

  • Maybe this is trivial. Maybe the Veg food was more to balance out the expenses uniformly. But i heard someone remark on only veggie food…people perceptions.
  • Audience was too noisy sometimes in most the sessions. (Specially when it comes to a workshop), I was wondering whether they understood the difference between a ‘discussion’ and ‘just talking’. This made me bit difficult to get the maximum of some workshops.
  • Maybe trim down the numbers to 600, so that sessions are not so crowded
  • Some folks from sponsor stall where quite reluctant to talk to people who might not look like their potential customers.
  • Movement of attendees from one room to another (shopping around syndrome!) – Were the speakers not doing good? or were the participants restless? Don’t know.
  • Some rooms are fully packed and found it difficult to follow what was happening

Logistics

  • Every other room than Coronet was almost always overflowing (can we view this as tremendous success for the conference??)
  • Some sessions we had to stand and couldn’t participate as much as we would like to have.
  • A small thing was the bad internet connection on the Wi-Fi. But as you said, it was arranged in the last minute. Perhaps it should have been a focus area early on.
  • Venue had multiple floors that just made things confusing
  • Bigger conference rooms
  • There were no chairs sometime and had to stand throughout the session. Seating arrangement could have been more dynamic seeing attendees.
  • It would be good to keep the conference on weekdays, leaving weekends for family time
  • The tea coupons were not even asked for. Probably, we can save printing those
  • 3 days was bit long…..
  • First day registration (tag at one place, kit bag in another place far away…) could be improved
  • Room sizes (one of the room I was speaking ‘Utsav’ was very small. People were standing for most past)
  • Some rooms ware small to accommodate the people due to the popularity of the topic (e.g. Utsav room)
  • Share presentations from the talks sooner after the talk completes
  • Conference Material in the form of url/cd will be good to have
  • Not enough breakout sessions in between the presentations to interact with other speakers or attendees
  • 5-10 mins break between sessions would help the transition.
  • Distribution of tasks for organizing – some people were overloaded with most of the efforts
  • Book stall did not have too many books on Agile. Moreover it was not there on Day 2 and Day 3
  • No time between the sessions (it can be 5 mins at-least, had to literally run)
  • I was looking for notepad, could have given with the bag
  • There was no proper common meeting space between the talks. One room was far away from the rest of the rooms forcing people to choose between the two places
  • Registration process was not at efficient, why should I register, then collect conference bag somewhere else? Then I also had to get schedule separately. It should all be in one place. First impressions last :-)
  • I had no idea where or who the stage producers or organizers, lack of visibility
  • Found that many a sessions had a lot of people (beyond the capacity of the room), I know its quite difficult to control that, but something that we can try to improve upon.
  • More Parallelization during registration of participants
  • Some people had to stand, some interesting sessions were given smaller rooms.
  • The seating arrangements was different in different rooms – will have preferred the table with 10 seats layout across all rooms to foster better interactivity between the attendees
  • Lack of immediate feedback forms for the attendees to assess whether they got value from the session they attended
  • The signage at the conference needs to be improved and in place prior to attendees arriving.
  • I want black, strong, coffee and tea without milk.
  • Internet connectivity. Wi-Fi worked well Friday PM, Saturday AM, and again Sunday PM, but I couldn’t use it most of the remaining time.

Based on this feedback, we’ve made the following improvements to Agile India 2013.

Introducing Price Alert Notification for Agile India 2013 Registration System

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

Are you worried that the Agile India 2013 & GuruPLoP Conference passes will be sold out before you can act? Don’t waste your time daily polling out site, instead set up your custom price alert notification.

How does this feature work?

  • Simply select which conference and workshops you are interested in attending
  • Decide at what point (number of passes left) you want to get notified
  • Provide an email address on which you would like to receive the notification

Price Alert

That’s it. You are done! Rest in peace and we’ll notify you when we are running short of passes in the current registration slab.

Coming Up: Twitter notifications.

How to Seek more information about a Company?

Friday, October 19th, 2012

In my previous post titled: What Software Company should I join in India? I put together a laundry list of questions I might be interested to learn about a company before I decide to apply for a job or not.

Multiple people asked me, how does one go about finding this info. Following is a high-level approach I would take:

  1. Seek as much info as possible
    1. Start off by reviewing the company’s website. Study it in detail. Make notes of things that interest you. Write down specific questions where you would like to learn more.
    2. Most companies have a News or Press section. Look at the link in there, it will help you understand what others(media) thinks of the company.
    3. Most companies have a Career or Jobs section. Review it to understand what technology the company works on. What kind of people they are looking out for. (Most good companies are always looking out for good people, even if its not listed under their jobs’ section.)
    4. Search for the Company’s Name online and see what other information you get about the company. Is this inline with what you already know about the company?
    5. Search for the Founder’s Name online. See what the internet has to say about them. Also search for videos or slides from any public talks or interviews. Generally if you Google for their name, you should get all these details.
  2. Establish a communication channel
    1. Most companies or Founders have a blog. Read thru all their blogs. Try and leave a comment or two on their blog.
    2. Most companies or Founders have a Twitter or Facebook account, where they actively share their updates. Follow them. Most of them even respond to your questions or tweets.
  3. Connect
    1. See if anyone from the company (ideally the founders) are presenting at the conference or local user group or hosting a webinar. Try to attend at least a couple of these events. Usually these events are free. This might be your opportunity to meet them in person & ask them specific questions.
    2. Search for the company’s profile on TechCrunch (CrunchBase) and LinkedIn. From here you should be able to review the profiles of all their employees.
    3. Try and find someone in your network who is connected with anyone from this company. Try and talk to the employees to get some of your questions answered.
    4. In your network, also try to find someone who has recently been thru the company’s interview process. (Whether they were hired or not, be ready for some biased opinion.) Ask them about their experience.
  4. Experience
    1. Most companies I know are open to visitors. Drop in and spend some time at the company. Seeing is believing!
    2. If you are more keen to join as a developer, see if the company runs/hosts any open source project. Participate/contribute to that project.

What Software Company should I join in India?

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

If you are a fresher (just graduated) looking to begin your Software profession or if you are already working as a Software Professional, looking for a change. The top question on your mind might be:

What Company should I join? Which company will be good for my career? And what role should I pick from a long-term perspective?

I get quite a few of these requests from people looking for help to decide/pick a company. They believe, I can advice them on this hard problem. Let me tell you up-front, there is no ready-made solution. A lot depends on your background/context and your aspirations.

The company you pick plays an important role, but I think your attitude, your passion, your aspirations play a much bigger role. 

For ex: If you come from a financially weak background, your family depends on your monthly income, you don’t really have the time to experiment or take chances and in the long-run you would be happy working at a good position in a large, stable company, then you have many options in India. You can pick any large product or service company and you would do just fine.

However, if you come from a financially strong background, your family is happy to give you some slack to figure out what you want to do, you are the person who has big aspirations, you might want to build your own product company (because most suck!) then working for a large product/service company will destroy your soul. Unfortunately, there are not many options for you in India. The options are growing, but its like finding needles in a haystack.

Here are few things you might want to keep in mind:

  • Does this company have a real vision. A vision worth fulfilling?
  • Will you be working closing with the founder/s of the company, who have this real vision that stikes a chord with you? (If you don’t get a high listening/thinking about the vision, find another company. Don’t waste your precious time. Life is too short for non-sense.)
  • What does the company value? And more importantly, do they walk-the-talk or is it just lip-service? And do these company values suit your personality? Is it aligned with your believes?
  • Is this is a small company of extremely talented (read as capable) & passionate people?
  • Does this company have the potential?
  • Is the company flexible and open? (I know some companies, who have their employee policies on their website.)
  • Do they care about their employees? Are they open to letting you try out different things before you’ve to decide which career path you want to choose for now?
  • Does the company have a very strict hiring process? Generally this ensures your co-workers will be at least as smart (if not more) than you. Ideally I like to be the worst band-member of the band. This way, I’m constantly challenged and I keep learning.
  • Will this company push you outside your comfort zone and let you grow?
  • What is the work-culture of the company? (You want a creative design-studio kind of an environment, not a factory setup.)
  • Will you be collaborating and interacting (read as learning) with different teams. You don’t want to be pigeon-hole into a spot (role) and restricted to that specific task.

Don’t shy away from slogging. (Of course you need to see if its worth slogging and its done for valid reasons.) I meet many people with 10 years of experience, but they have 1 year repeated 10 times. Don’t make that mistake.

Finally the litmus test is:

Does this company excite you enough, that you would be willing to work for free?

If this makes sense, then the next step is to find more information about the company so you can answer these questions. Read my next blog: How to Seek more information about a Company?

Agile India 2013 and GuruPLoP Conference Registration System is LIVE!

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

I’m delighted to announce that the registration system for Agile India 2013 and GuruPLoP Conference is LIVE!

Register Now for Agile India 2013 Conference

Now you can register for 3 Conferences (Management Agility Conference, Technical Agility Conference & GuruPLoP) and 14 Workshops at http://booking.agilefaqs.com

This is your opportunity to participate in Asia’s Premier Agile, Lean & Patterns Conference @ #AgileIndia2013.

SPONSOR

Sponsorship details: http://agile2013.in/sponsors/. Also check out our Sponsors Portfolio (pdf).

SPREAD THE WORD!

Blog: http://blog.agile2013.in/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/agileindia
Twitter: #AgileIndia2013 & #GuruPLoP

Pushing the Envelope in the Indian Health Care Industry

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Everyday we hear horror stories about how the Indian Health Care industry is rotting. Silently behind these horror stories, there is a slow, but steady transformation/revolution taking place. People on the ground, with a real vision to change things are taking control. I’m really hoping tis growing social entrepreneurship takes over.

Let’s see why I sound so excited:

In the last 36 years, Arvind Eye Care has performed over 4 million eye surgeries in India. With their unique cross-subsidiary model, the poor in India are able to perform these operations and prevent their eye sight.

Jaipur Foot is another brilliant example.

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting Myshkin Ingawale. Myshkin’s company Biosense Technologies has developed an affordable, portable, device to diagnose and monitor anemia non-invasively.

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