Insights gleaned from Toronto’s 9th Annual Agile Conference

Doc Norton opened the conference with a keynote session introducing the topic of Host Leadership and drawing parallels to this style of leadership. He used personal experience of hosting a Euchre party for his community with the intent of bringing everyone together, incorporating a nice mix of traditional and servant based leadership principles.

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Having recently written a blog post on Technical Debt – Technical Debt: It’s not just the code, I was particularly interested in Declan Whelan’s talk – ‘Moving from Technical Debt to Technical Health’.  I found Declan to be an engaging speaker, incorporating more than one tool (slides) to help share knowledge with the participants including the use of flipcharts and a novel dice game called Dice of Debt Game.  The game was quick and fun – its purpose was to give those non-technical folks in the room a more first-hand feel to the consequence of ignoring Technical Debt and the impact on the amount of value that can be delivered over time.  For those of us in the trenches, the game may have felt like too much of a trivialization of the challenges we regularly face. At its very core, I think that it was aligned to our struggle and was a great way to illustrate the importance of taking Technical Debt seriously.

I enjoyed catching up with like-minded strangers in a similar role. It was insightful discussing the successes that Intelliware has had and the common challenges that different organizations face. Big thanks to the host Toronto Agile Community (and their sponsors, Intelliware included) for pulling together such an engaging event together!

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