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Naresh Jain's Random Thoughts on Software Development and Adventure Sports
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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.


* 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/


* 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


* 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


* 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.

** 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/

Agile Coach Camp Bengaluru 2012 – Sep 7th is the Last Day to Register

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Agile Coach Camp is an Unconference for Agile Coaches, Scrum Masters, Agile Trainers, Leaders, Change Agents and Mentors.

We are pleased to invite you

The art of coaching teams toward excellence and productivity is tricky business. We often don’t have direct control over groups but have responsibilities to motivate team members who don’t report to us. Too often, as coaches, we work in isolation from other expert coaches in the field. This is our opportunity to share stories and practices and to wrestle with the direction in which this discipline is going, or should go.

Growing a Community of Practice

Agile Coach Camp is about creating a network of practitioners who are striving to push the limits in guiding software development teams, while staying true to the values and principles at the core of the Agile movement. We’ve invited practitioners who, like you, are passionate about their work, active in the field and willing to share what they’ve learned. It’s a great chance to form relationships that can last a lifetime (and act as a lifeline).

Do you have a technique or practice worth sharing with your peers? Or an idea you’d like to test out with some leaders in the community? Are you facing challenges and want to get some perspective from other practitioners, or hear how they do things? If you feel you would benefit from connecting with 80-100 like-minded peers to talk, draw, argue and explore ideas, then this unconference is for you.

Spread the Word

Twitter Hashtag: #accin
LinkedIn Event: http://linkd.in/My2BJ1

Why I don’t believe in Organizing Large Scale Conference?

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

Over the last 7 years, with the help of various passionate folks, I’ve organized 50+ conferences. (Agile India Conferences, Simple Design and Testing Conference, Agile Coach Camp and CodeChef TechTalks to name a few.)

Most of these conferences were small to medium scale conferences in the range of  50 to 375 delegates.

Why we never organized larger conferences? Was it because we were not capable of organizing them? Or was there something stopping us from doing so?

Personally I prefer organizing small scale conference over large scale conference for the following reasons:

  • In my experience the quality of interaction and experience speakers & participants have is inversely proportional to the size of the conference.
  • Cost to run the conference exponentially increases with size. As the size increases:
    • we need a bigger venue, which does impose a significant cost.
    • overall logistics becomes lot more complex. Need extra planning and coordination. Again increasing cost and making the overall plan less adaptive.
    • the participant price has to be increased – which means, most participants won’t be able to self fund their registration. They’ll depend on their companies to sponsor them. This leads to many people who actually do get sponsored by their companies are the ones less inclined to learn at the conference. Which again impacts the overall quality experience of others participants.
    • we become more dependent on the sponsors. The more we are dependent on sponsors, more their demands. Inevitably leading to compromising the conference. Sometimes sponsors want speaker slots (esp. keynotes) for sponsorship. Also they further complicate the logistics.
  • Are less inclusive from smaller companies and individual’s point of view. Cost is one aspect, but also because there would be a larger number of participants from big companies, the interactions at the conference take a very different dynamics.
  • Right from the beginning, large conference have a fear of not attracting enough delegate and sponsors. To mitigate that risk, most large conference programs are filled with Big names. Who mostly present the same old topics which have been beaten to death over a decade. We like it or not, the overall program tends to be more focused on basics (least common denominator) and seems to attract mostly beginners who are willing to pay that kind of money. Innovative and disruptive ideas are mostly neglected. Because they would really be disruptive for the audience.
  • Because of the previous point, the real practitioners, doing really meaningful work, tend to shy away from such conferences. Again leading to poorer quality conference.
  • Marketing and Branding effort: Large conferences need huge effort and funds to market and brand themselves. Smaller conferences are mostly marketing and branded through word of mouth and these days with social media.
  • The effort and time it takes to organize one large, centrally located conference, in that much time, we could easily organizer 3-4 smaller, more local conferences. Smaller conferences surely reduce the costs for participants. Smaller conferences encourages more of a distributed, sustainable, local community.

I could spend rest of my sunday afternoon thinking about this and I’m sure I’ll come up with 10 more points against large conference. Having said that, large conference do have some clear advantages that smaller conference cannot achieve. the splash, the penetration, cross pollination, etc. etc.

However I think its clear, at least to me, why I prefer smaller conference.

It cool to have thought thru the issues and to have the points flushed out. But to avoid dogmatism, its always important to reevaluate your points every few years. Which is one of the reasons, I decided to help organize Agile India 2012 Conference.

Agile Coach Camp India: Request for Invitation

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Agile Coach Camp 2010

Dates: April 17th and 18th 2010
Venue: The International Centre,
Goa University Road,
Dona Paula Post office, Goa- 403 004

Format: Open Space

Who Should Attend? Today, in India, I believe we have many Agile coaches (internal and external, more internal coaches). If you are helping to bring Agile/Lean/Light-Weight thinking into your company, you are playing the Agile coach role (you like it or not). You could be in the leadership role doing this or you could have taken the ownership and facilitating/influencing your team. While doing so, we all need a lot of help, advice and reassurance of our strategies. This is what you can expect at this conference.

Agenda: Each day we start at 9:00 AM and end at 5:30 PM.

Each Day:

  • Lightning Talks (1 hr)
  • Opening the Space (30 mins)
  • Creating the agenda (30 mins)
  • Break-out sessions (5 hrs)
  • Closing the Space / Retrospective (30 mins)
  • Social Outing (optional)


  • We plan to hire the main hall for 2 days. Each day cost is roughly about 10,000 Rs. For 2 days it would be about 20,000 Rs.
  • Lunch + Tea/Cofee Breaks would cost 200 Rs per person.
  • Venue has good A/C accommodation. Its Rs 1500 per day for single room and Rs 1800 for double room.

(Please note that this is a special discount rate for Goa University.)

I’m expecting about 25 people to show up.

So basically each individual will be spending about:

  • 3000 Rs for the room
  • 400 Rs for food
  • max 1000 Rs for the hall
  • Evening outing: up to the individual

(if we find a sponsor, then the cost of the hall and food will be absorbed by the sponsor.)

Prep Work: Answers to the following questions will facilitate the following:

  • help us come more prepared for the Coach Camp
  • get a sense of the quality of the participants
  • start some knowledge sharing amongst the group
  • set certain context and potential topics for further discussion at the Coach Camp

We’ll confirm your participation on successful completion & submission of this form. The sooner you submit the form, the sooner we can confirm your participation.

*Dead line to submit the form: 22nd March 2010.

Planning Agile Coach Camp India

Monday, March 1st, 2010

At the Agile India 2010 conference, there was a lot of interest for agile coaching in India.

Today, in India, I believe we have many Agile coaches (internal and external, more internal coaches). If you are helping bring Agile/Lean/Light-Weight thinking into your company, you are playing the Agile coach role (you like it or not). You could be in the leadership role doing this or you could have taken the ownership and facilitating/influencing your team. While doing so, we all need a lot of help, advice and reassurance of our strategies. To facilitate this, help people network and to push the boundaries of Agile, in 2008, Deb and I created the first Agile Coach Camp in US.

In the past I’ve considered doing something similar in India, but always felt we’ve not reached the point yet. Now (esp. after the agile india 2010 conference), I feel we might be at this point.

So if you are interested in participating in a 2 day invitation only, all open-space based conference, over a weekend in March/April, inform me by filling out the following form:

Also please vote for which city you would like to have the conference in:

online surveys

And what dates work best for you?

customer survey

Process OVER People

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

At the last Agile Coach Camp I gave a lightening talk on “Process OVER People”. In this talk I requested all the coaches present at the conference to really think about their advice to companies. Are we trying to put a process boundary and become Process police? Is this coaching? A lot of coaches I meet, recommend “First do it by the Book, then deviate”. What does “First Do it by the Book” mean? I appreciate the book and I think there is a wealth of knowledge out there. But we should remember the book was written with some context in mind and at some point in time. One cannot blindly take what is in the book and try to apply it. That really feels like “Process OVER People” to me. You need to take your team into account. You need to consider what you are trying to build and most importantly you need to prioritize what needs to be fixed on your team or in your organization before trying to go and “Do it by the Book”.

Over the last couple of years I really feel Agile is gone into a mass-production mode and we’ve stopped innovating. Every company wants to be Agile. This has lead to a huge demand for Agile Coaches. And because of this you find all kind of people claiming to be Agile coaches. What surprises me is a lot of these folks have themselves never really worked on an Agile project. Forget Agile project, a lot them don’t really have a successful project delivery story to share. How can one preach something and do something else (or do nothing)? My belief is that one needs to lead by example and not my blabbering crap.

I asked the participants at the conference to tell me what new tricks, techniques, tips, practices, etc they have learnt in the last one or two. Very few people (may be 2 out of 50) had something to share. Are we getting so busy mass producing what onces worked that we have forgot to go back into the trenches and try new things? My fear is that if we continue this way, Agile will soon be the next CMM (at least the bad implementations of it, which is most common).

If you are interested in some background about where I’m coming from, you can read my position paper for the Agile Coach Camp.

Agile Coach Camp – The Show Must Go On!

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

Happy Organizers

Wow! What a great conference. The first Agile Coach Camp is now officially over. We had over 70 participants. The diversity of the participants was really amazing. Check out the Diversity Stats here.

Opening of the Open Space

Its a great sense of accomplishment and is always refreshing to organizer a conference where the participants go back very satisfied. I feel all those sleepless nights are worth it. Big thanks to all the sponsors and volunteers who made it possible. And a big big thanks to Deborah Hartmann, co-organizer of the conference. Without her, I don’t think I would have been able to put together such a wonderful conference. Thanks Deb, I learnt a lot from you.

Conference Highlights:

So, if you would like to organize Agile Coach Camp in your area, please get in touch with me or Deb and we’ll be more than happy to help you do so.

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