Arrived in Atlanta for Agile2016 a day early so that I could attend the Women in Agile workshop, which was coordinated by Natalie Warnet and was based on her research in how to increase the involvement of women in the Agile community. It was totally worth the extremely early flight this morning.
Before I get to the details of the workshop, I just have to say that I am so impressed with the scale of the Agile2016 event – it’s taking over two floors of the Hyatt Regency conference areas! All the volunteers have been hard at work to make sure that everyone has a great time. I’ll take me a few hours to go through the swag bag!
On to the workshop – Natalie did a great job opening the workshop with some context-setting of her research and to highlight the main findings of her work. For example, all seventeen authors of the Agile Manifesto were male.
Then, she turned it over to Cindy Morse, who is VP of Engineering Operations at Salesforce, for the keynote. Cindy shared the story of how she started with ExactTarget in sales, and after they were acquired by Salesforce in 2013, that she was part of the team that led the “integration” efforts for the acquisition. Then a male mentor reached out to her to run the Engineering Operations group.
It was such an inspirational story because she is one of the most humble and curious people I think I’ve met. She’s leading a team, that includes Engineering, and she has spent a total of one hour coding.
When I asked her about how she handles any issues with credibility, she replied that “it’s not her job to tell them how to do their jobs, but to make sure that they’re able to perform the best work.”
She then shared their approach to the Agile Adoption – they focused on Prioritization, Visibility, Predictability and Quality (Quality was a later add, and there’s a funny story around it).
Then we moved into two lean coffee sessions where we were able to discuss topics like writing and blogging, corporate support, overcoming adversity, networking, mentorship and sponsorship, event coordination and “allyship”/how can men be engaged and be part of the effort. I enjoyed meeting and discussing these topics with my tablemates.
At the end of the session, we decided that the entire group (above 100 of us), would join the Slack room – https://womeninagile.slack.com/
A couple of recommendations that came out of the discussions include:
- Training from the Back of the Room (link)
- The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time (link)
- The Agile School (link)
- Salesforce Agile Adoption Case Study (link)
To see posts on Twitter, please take a look at #womeninagile.
I closed the day with a drink at the workshop happy hour with some new found friends – Sally Elata, Kellie Morrell, Lonnie Weaver Johnson and Mandy Kluver.
Looking forward to tomorrow!
Some other photos from today:
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