Sunday, July 02, 2017

AOS Agile Open Space 2017 Segovia

Disclaimer: I am experimenting with different formats to create presentations, blog post, and other documents, mixing sketch noting and using index cards... I will appreciate your feedback.

The past 23,24th of June I was at the Agile Open Space at Segovia (AOS)... This is my sixth consecutive year going to the AOS (you can see almost all of my past experiences at I like this unconference because is a great excuse to see friends and enjoy great conversations with other "agilistas".

The Agile community in Spain organizes two events, the CAS that is a regular conference and the AOS that is an Open Space. The AOS instead or being the classic conference with a clear separation between speakers and attendees, is more like a meeting of community members... something like a community of practice of the members of Agile Spain.

As the community evolves, the AOS evolves also and reflect this change. Over the years I've been seeing how the community is shifting from a community of software developers to a community focused on organizational change and agile outside the software products.

I have come to the conclusion that in order to not feel frustration I should not go to AOS as a software developer. :)

I will write a blog post about this change and the relation between software development, agile and craftsmanship.

The Sessions

Sessions I attended or participated:
  • Parallel Changes: I facilitate this session. The idea was to explain why is important to be capable of making huge changes in software using a sequence of multiple small changes with low risk. The first 10min I explained why this is a good idea and showed some samples. The rest of the session was working in groups and presenting other examples or related problems/challenges to solve. I will create a specific blog post for this.
  • Cómo combatir el efecto Pokemon: Interesting session about a usual problem about having a lot of tasks that can be only done by some people of the team. A classical problem is for UX/design tasks or with some low level debugging stuff or DB optimization. Lot of people at that session had this problem, for all the tasks they had… :( The reason is simple, they allow working each member of the team individually and don't rotate… they allow rambos, heroes, and other kinds of “good developers” that can’t work in teams…. (I mean BAD developers). If we think that developing is a team effort, there is an easy solution to avoid this problem: XP, multidisciplinary teams, pairing, mob programming, share ownership… Is easy, hire people to work in teams and help them to work as a team.
  • Facilitación gráfica / Visual thinking: A good session about how to express drawing and how to take notes… This was an introductory talk and have three parts, an ice breaking dynamic, some tips to draw the most common shapes (faces, titles, people, etc) and a final dynamic to collaboratively make a visual dictionary with difficult words as transparency, value, and so on… very abstract words that are difficult to represent. This was interesting because each one tries to express these words drawing so you can take some of the ideas…. I am trying to improve my visual thinking and sketch noting skills so this session helps me in that path….
  • Disciplina positiva y Agile Kids: I was especially interested in this session.. because for me is so natural the agile mindset and continuous improvement that is easy to think that is also useful for personal life and kids education. I attended to this presentation with my wife to take notes for future family steps… The session was a presentation of the experience of two parents following the advice from the book: Agile Kids ( niños agiles )
  • Slow: The session of this session was about how we can use some techniques from the Slow movement to improve our day-to-day capacity and life. We experience some exercises, lot of them related with mindfulness.
  • Autoexigencia de los equipos: ( The format of this session was a Fishbowl. The topics were, should we expect that the team has self-demand / self-discipline? why? how? and the individual? The conversation was very interesting and has some good insights about motivation, learning and hiring the right people…

Final conclusions and Notes

The sessions are important but for me the best of this AOS at Segovia was:

  • I went to Segovia with my family... my wife and my daughter... :)  this was great and have an important effect regarding our internal organization as a family... We even are testing using a kanban board.
  • A lot of my coworkers come and enjoyed the power of the self-organization and the agile mindset... I am quite sure that this will have a strong effect on the culture of our company. (this is part of my plan to conquer the world) :)
  • I enjoyed a lot talking with old friends, reinforcing relations and even creating new ones... Not bad for an introvert software developer.


I have special thanks to the organization, Delia Estebaranz, Javier Garcia Garrido from agiletorrezno for making this conference a pleasure for going with the family. Having the opportunity of enjoying the conference as a family was GREAT.

Lot of thanks for the volunteers.

Also thanks to the sponsors of the conference for making it possible: Deiser, USTGlobal, Jerónimo Palacios, Thinking With You, Ticketea, Agilar, Biko2, Flywire, Look Forward Consulting, Runroom, Kairos, Colegio Profesional de Ingenieros en Informática de Castilla y León, Segovia Activa, Kleer...

Other interesting blog posts about this AOS edition:

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