Archive for the Public Speaking Category

Agile Mumbai 2010 – A Review

Posted in Agile, Public Speaking, Retrospectives on January 19, 2010 by vikramadhiman

It is difficult to review a conference objectively, if you are also a volunteer organizer. Also, most of the people who were other volunteers are people I meet daily too. I will try.

First of all, I must say that this was definitely the best Agile conference I have been to. It is right at the top in my list of best conferences as well. There was a strange fluidity to the way the program went – there was hardly a moment when nothing was happening – one talk followed by another followed by activity followed by discussion followed by more talks and so it continued for the 2 days. It was also one of those conferences where the things just kept getting better. The best part of the conference was the intimate and close [and refreshingly candid] Q&A session with the 4 Gordon Pask Award winners. The food was nice and the breaks were lively with people coming together in huddles and discussing their experiences. I am sure every attendee went back with new acquaintances. We had a hard time bringing everyone back for the talks and once a speaker had to actually go to the tea break venue to let people know that his talk was starting. “Discussions” – that was the key take away from this conference. Unlike previous conferences, where most of the audience fell mostly into two slots:  skeptical or zombie; here everyone was brimming with ideas, thoughts and opinions. Probably, years of implementing Agile have now given the community a voice and the voice a community.

My thoughts on the talks I attended:

  • Outside the Code: Using Agile Ideas to Drive Product Success by Jeff Patton: This was a good start to the conference. Jeff Patton started the conference by focusing on “Product Success” and doing things which can help discover, identity and lead to success. Some of these things are not even related to coding. I thought this really set the pattern.
  • Monkey See, Monkey Do by Naresh Jain & Sandeep Shetty: I thought this was the best talk of the conference. It came from the heart and I liked it how Naresh was being provocative and Sandeep tried to then temper it down a bit 🙂 I liked the provocative part of it – at presentation was WTF [way to fail I mean :D] but after about the first 30 minutes, everything started ringing a bell and then it was belling all over.
  • Adding Sanity to Your Agility: Doing What Works Over Doing What You are Told by David Hussman: David touched on several examples of how doing something that experts tell you, can be doomed. As he told story after story, you could see nodding heads in the audience – almost confirming what they have been waiting for someone to confirm. David also has a nice way to simplify what could be radical thoughts – to an extent, that you treat those as obvious and not radical.
  • Analysis Anti-Patterns by Tarang Baxi from Thoughtworks: Excellent. Each of the patterns came from experience and not from text book. They even challenged the audience to come up with names for some anti patterns [and there were gifts too]. I thought this was nice and the second best talk of the conference for me 🙂
  • Transcending Cultures, Timezones and Countries by Mahesh from Thoughtworks: Mahesh was patient and methodical. I thought he could have moved a bit faster, but it was a nice compilation nonetheless.
  • Using ToC and JIT to coach Agile Teams by Naresh Jain and J.B. Rainsberger: Sometimes college professorial, sometimes challenging and sometimes corporate workshop-like, this was one talk that had it all. I was a touch disappointed because it deserved more time. Maybe, next time they can do this over 2 consecutive sessions. However, what we saw was nice – practical to the core.
  • Stop It Or I will Bury You Alive In A Box by J.B. Rainsberger: This was another of the “shake you to the core” talk. I liked aspects of it, did not agree with others – but it was definitely the most energetic and lively talk of the conference.
  • Evolutionary Architecture and Design by Pradyumn Sharma: A simplistic and effective presentation for beginners. I thought there could be more depth, which I am sure would be added by the presenter for his next talk, based on Q&A round at the end of the talk.

I loved Programming with the Stars. It was fantastic. I thought all the teams were very brave and judges were honest and cool at the same time. Bengaluru promises to be even more fun 🙂 Unfortunately, I did not attend any of the product demos. I don’t think they are recorded either. The sponsors : Xebia, Thoughtworks and BNP Paribas, participated enthusiastically in the conference and it was good to see actual people from sponsors rather than just their boards. As already mentioned, the panel at the end was superb. Topics like “Do employees really care about Agile”, “What do you think about Director of Agile Software Development titles”, “Are story points scalable” and “Is TDD for everything” started great discussions.

P.S. One of the highlights of the conference was the talk by Captain Planet. It was short, compelling and insightful. I am switching off one monitor already, abstaining from plastic and trying to do my bit by walking as much as I can. Do your bit too!!!

Agile India 2010 – Mumbai [Jan 16-17] and Bengaluru [Jan 22-23]

Posted in Agile, Public Speaking on December 7, 2009 by vikramadhiman

Agile India, is organizing Agile India 2010 Conference in 2010.  It is the first two day conference from Agile India and would be held back to back [consecutive weekends] as below:

Mumbai, Jan 16-17 at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies

Bengaluru, Jan 22-23 at Symphony Services

You can find more information at the Agile India 2010 Conference Page [more information coming soon, but if you are interested to speak at the Conference then see here :]. The conference tentative schedule would be up soon.

Scrum Session Series : Introduction to Agile Software Development using Scrum by Vikrama Dhiman

Posted in Public Speaking, SCRUM, WiZiQ with tags , , , , on November 28, 2008 by vikramadhiman

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Live Free Online Public Training Session on Scrum Session Series : Introduction to Agile Software Development using Scrum by Vikrama Dhiman

Take away’s from this session:

  • Understand what is Agile Software Development
  • Origins of Scrum
  • What is Scrum?
  • Who is using Scrum
  • What can’t be solved by Scrum
  • A brief overview of Scrum Framework

Scrum Training at an Electronic Major’s Office in Bangalore

Posted in Course Assistance, Public Speaking with tags , , on November 14, 2008 by vikramadhiman

I will be conducting a 1-day Fundamentals of Scrum Overview at an Electronic Major’s office in Bangalore very soon. The topics I plan to cover are:

1. Introduction to Software Development Approaches and Goals
2. Overview of Scrum
3. Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, Burndown Chart
4. Chicken and Pigs
5. Product Owner, The Team and Scrum Master
6. Planning and Estimating
7. QA Activities

The problem while planning a course is that you plan for more than what can be covered. I will try and see if the experience of Training at Wipro, can be used. I still need to connect with them to find out their expectations. But I can’t wait to get to Bangalore again.

P.S. I might need a separate discussion on the Nokia Test, as this is an electronic major after all.

Common Myths about Agile Software Development

Posted in Agile, Collaboration, Public Speaking with tags , on October 27, 2008 by vikramadhiman

I talked about my presentation at Agile Chandigarh Inaugural Event. I presented on the topic “Common Myths about Agile Software Development.” This is a recurring topic, and many discussions you see on the Agile Groups, are basically centered around these myths. Hence, I thought its interesting to revisit these myths. I remember, I had a hard time deciding which of the myths should be featured and which excluded. We did a random sample survey and even over a period of time, these are still some of common myths you encounter. You can watch the presentation on “Common Myths about Agile Software Development” to read more.

If you would like to embed, share the presentation, please follow the links below:

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Scrum-India Yahoo Group

Posted in Course Assistance, Public Speaking with tags on March 12, 2008 by vikramadhiman
I moderate the Scrum-India Yahoo Group founded by Pete Deemer. If you would like to join the group, please go the group URL To sign up for the Scrum-India group without having to go through the full Yahoo! registration process, just click the button below that says “join this group”, and then on the web page that loads, look for a link at the bottom that says “join the mailing list instead”– click that and you would be subscribed.

The group will be a place to Meet other people using Scrum, at product companies and services companies, big and small. Primarily, the group would answer questions you would be hesitant to ask in bigger groups. Some of the topics that would be discussed in the group include:

  • Scrum and fixed-bid contracts,
  • Scrum and CMMi,
  • Reporting business metrics in Scrum,
  • Techniques for Agile planning and estimation,
  • Introduction to Scrum,
  • Product Backlog,
  • Product Owner,
  • IT Services and Scrum,
  • Advice on organizational change.

Biweekly posting of Scrum events throughout India would be posted as well.

Review : Agile Conference at NCR

Posted in Public Speaking with tags on March 8, 2008 by vikramadhiman
I started for the conference at NCR from Chandigarh at about 10 AM on 7th. I had hired a taxi and ASCI, was kind enough to sponsor the to and fro fare. We reached Delhi at around 4 PM and it took us one hour to reach Green Park and another 04 hours to reach Ansals Institute – the conference venue. The problem was as usual traffic. The new toll bridge does not seem to have worked. I sometimes wonder how life would have been without it, if its so difficult with it. Needless to say, Gurgaon at night is quite a sight but no greenery makes it a very dry city. I reached the campus and immediately slept.
Waking up early on 8th, I rearranged my presentation and slides and got ready and went to the venue. By the time, Pete was already speaking. I have listened to Pete many time and as usual he was in his elements. After Pete and some tea, I saw Naresh, president of ASCI, speaking for the first time. He is a good speaker. After that I attended Shreekanth from Sabre’s talk on Distributed Development. It was a decent talk as well. After that I attended two talks back to back : Jagdish Shri’s talk on CMMi and Agile as well as Deepak from Intelligrape’s talk on Metrics for Agile Projects. Both were brilliant. Finally, it was my turn and I was able to complete only half of the content I prepared [mental note: keep presentation short]. After my presentation, the open space was held where I went for “Is India suited for Agile”. Interesting comments were made for and against the motion. Not sure, if we concluded anything.
Overall, the conference was a good start, although not sure why it was on 5th floor when a ground floor venue would have allowed use of parks and open spaces. However, a great start.

Agile Conference NCR

Posted in Public Speaking with tags on February 12, 2008 by vikramadhiman
I will be presenting at Agile Conference – NCR. The topic I selected was “Agile Collaboration Schemas”. It would an interesting event. Currently, the presentation is being peer reviewed by Guido and Priyanshu from Xebia.
I will post the abstract submitted for the conference in my next post.