Well, that does it for this years KaizenConf. I can honestly say that I had a great time, I met some great people (nice to put faces to twitter handles) and shared some great stories. What is great is that when I setout to make it to this openspace conference I had a ton of questions. I walk away from the event with a lot of answers, a lot of gained knowledge and not surprisingly more questions.
It may seem odd that I have more questions in the end then in the beginning, but that is a sign of learning. I now know more and this additional knowledge has lead to more questions.
I have posted the wrap-up comments for the 2 sessions where I was the convener (2 of my topics/sessions that I suggested were selected) and you can get them here
The output of all of the sessions are being documented in a Wiki, and you can find it here.
Final thoughts on the conference
Wow, am I exhausted.....! I have been to my share of technology conferences, but I can say I am more exhausted after this one than any other. The reason for this was the amount of engagement and thinking that needed to take place. At most tech conferences you sit back and listen to someone present (or hopefully teach) on a given topic. Not till the end does the audience have a chance to interact.
With this there were no planned sessions (in terms of having PPT slides or code ready) and no one person 'lead' any of the sessions. Each of the sessions were run by the group and went into the direction the group directed (aka as an open space should). During each of these sessions you forced to get involved or you were passed over. because of this involvement you learn a ton, but become exhausted.
I will take a little exhaustion for the amount of knowledge gained over the past few days. :)
I have to say one of the highlights of the weekend was dinner on Friday. A few of us just decided to head back to the hotel bar for dinner and brew. About 30 minutes after we sat down Mary and Tom Poppendieck sat down with us. They are 2 of the nicest, sincere and down to earth people you can meet. Even with all their knowledge and experience we (the entire table) were able to have an open and engaging conversation about lean and continuous learning.
Final thoughts in regards to the name/context change from Alt.Net to KaizenConf
Back when the conference was announce Scott Bellware took a ton of heat for changing the name of the conference from the Alt.Net conference to the Kaizen Conference. Many people in the community really did not see any reason for changing the name and thought that it was done for various self serving reasons.
Having been to the conference, I know understand what his goal/intent was with the conference. This weekends openspaces was NOT about technology. I say that with 100% sincerity. Sure there were topics out there on Rhino, IoC and MassTransit, but that was simply one track out of 5. The majority of the sessions were around how we can help bring change to our organizations and more towards the idea of continuous learning.
Till next time,
11-02-2008 6:53 PM