Thursday, 15 August 2019

Agile2019 Wrap Up

So here we are again.. years between posts. Every so often I plan to write more and then procrastinate.. procrastinate.. procrastinate while I try to find the perfect words. I think that is why Lynne Cazaly's message of Ish speaks to me so much.

There were so many ways I thought of putting this post together.. appreciations, highlights, reflection on the week that was, the journey from Agile2018 to Agile2019, and so on. None of them felt exactly right on their own, so here's a bit of all of them together.

"Welcome to your conference..." I heard this sentiment, or some variation of it, fairly often Saturday and Sunday leading up to the conference officially starting and it never sat quite right with me. After reflecting on it, I figured out why. This wasn't MY conference. I played a part in putting it together, sure. So did hundreds of other people - the program team, track chairs, reviewers, volunteers, event planners, speakers, and so on. There were pieces of my personality sprinkled throughout the event in places like the keynotes and experimental tracks, but that doesn't make it mine. This conference is OUR conference.. all of ours.

Which leads me into the thank yous.

The Program Team - Emma Armstrong, Brandon Carlson, and Dana Pylayeva: You three made this past year so much fun. We had some adventures together, ate wayy too many skillet brownies, and put together a pretty fantastic program. Sharing this experience with you was an honour and a privilege.

Sam Laing - Your suggestion for the Self Care track was exactly the right fit for the conference. You made it a welcoming and warm space for people to be open, vulnerable, and reflective.

Chris Edwards, Evan Leybourn & Zach Bonaker - My BACon pals. You were there throughout the year, listening, supporting, doing whatever needed to be done, and helping me stay sane through this, even if things did get a bit teary a couple of times. There are to be no more "I love you mans" over breakfast.

Chris Li - Every time I saw you, you just opened up and pulled me in to the biggest bear hugs. Those opportunities to pause, breathe, and recharge were amazing. Thank you for sharing your energy with me.

Tricia Broderick - None of this happens without you. Thank you for pushing me, believing in me, and just reminding me that I got this.  I'm eternally grateful for you and your friendship.

Bernie Maloney - My main partner in Tiny Tamsen Adventures. Thank you for giving of yourself and your time in making the week great for everyone around you. It was an absolute pleasure to spend more time with you this year.

Tiny Tamsen's Agile2019 Goals
Many thanks to everyone else who took Tiny Tamsen on adventures throughout the week and shared their photos. It was your efforts that let us share the conference with our friend at home.

Which transitions nicely into highlights for the week...

Tiny Tamsen was obviously a highlight on her own, but the highlight for me was when it all started. Sunday afternoon I had a quick video chat with Tamsen Mitchell to let her know about Tiny Tamsen and what was coming during the week. Tiny Tamsen's adventures were a highlight not just for me, but so many others.

Brandon's 3 goals for the conference while pointing to Emma, Dana, and I - keep her happy, keep her happy, and keep her happy.

Do not pet this cat.
I left the room after Michele Sliger's lightning talk about cats with my face hurting from laughing so much. The joy of that quick 5 minute session carried on to the end of the conference and beyond.

We laughed, cried, and cheered in Tricia's stalwarts session. Chris Li provided excellent facilitation and energy to the room as well.

The pre-conference run with Emma Armstrong was the best way for us to kickstart the event. The time we spent together running and walking the canal was the perfect calm before the storm.

All of the visits to the Crab Cake Cafe and the amazing company. Thanks for joining me there: Seb, Dana, Emma, Chris, and Evan.

My Agile2019 yearbook, the amazing and hilarious gift from the track chairs.

#WheelFun with Doc List, Linda Rising, and Chris Edwards was a lovely way to spend Thursday evening. Thank you Linda for playing along by taking a picture of Doc taking a picture of Chris taking a picture of me taking a picture of Tiny Tamsen.

Being up on the stage in front of everyone was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. Opening the conference was amazing, but nothing compared to seeing Jessica walk out with that big bunch of balloons at the end of the conference. That moment was immediately one-upped when I got to share the stage with and pass the role of conference chair on to Emma. In that moment it was just her and I and all we've been through together.

Thinking back to the Track Chair retrospective in 2015 (also in DC) and introducing my new friend Emma to the group, neither of us ever thought we'd share a moment together like we did Friday morning. I love you my friend and you will do an amazing job with Agile2020.

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