The Agile 2009 conference last week in Chicago was a blast. I met so many interesting people, the attempt to keep track of names and faces is likely to have blown out some of my neurons.
And being recognized by people whom I had never met before in real life was the craziest experience. Apparently, the face on my blog and my avatars, combined with a seemingly unique configuration of my hair, was enough for people to call out to me and start shaking hands. That was quite cool.
My own presentation (What Else Can Agile Learn From Complexity?), which was my very first talk in the USA, went better than I had dared to hope. The turnout was at least 40 people, which was 30 more than expected, considering the competition in the other rooms. The average score of the evaluations for my talk was 4.5 (out of 5), and I noticed other speakers referencing my materials in at least three other presentations, which was quite flattering. (Be prepared to see me stand a little bit taller next time you see me!)
The presentations I attended myself all ranged from interesting to excellent. This was perhaps due to my preferred selection approach of choosing interesting people over topics. I'm afraid I didn't have time to write any reviews, but I trust that plenty of other people have already been doing that.
By far the best part of such a conference is talking and hanging out with like-minded people and celebrities, and making new friends. For making last week a memorable event for me, I particularly wish to thank the following people: Scott Duncan (for inviting me for dinner the first night), Abby Fichter (I owe you a dollar), Ellen Gottesdiener (the second one to hug me), Lisa Crispin (for great advice on publishing books), George Dinwiddie (for eating with me twice!), Mike Cohn (for only reading my blog, and no others), Corey Haines (who was everywhere), Elisabeth Hendrickson (thanks for lending me the pointer), Esther Derby and Johanna Rothman (for dinner and wonderful non-geek conversations), Philippe Kruchten (for breakfast), Yves Hanoulle (for lunch), Christopher Avery (for some great and free advice), David Anderson and Joseph Pelrine (for making themselves available), and plenty of others like Mark Levison, Lasse Koskela, Mark Mansour and Martin Olesen, for simply hanging around with me.
On top of everything, Chicago was the best-looking city I have seen in a very long time. I took some pictures before and after the conference. You can find them here.
See you all next year in Nashville, or earlier if possible!
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