The Scrum Gatherings continue to grow in terms of attendance and programs. Over 150 people attended the Spring 2007 Scrum Gathering in Portland, Oregon in May. As with all Gatherings, the conference included a CSM certification course as well as more advanced courses and an open space event. Participants chose the conference mix that best suited their needs, from only attending the CSM course to attending all five days.
More than fifty people participated in the CSM course, led by Ken Schwaber. These individuals received their ScrumMaster certification from the co-founder of Scrum himself. The expert-led courses didn’t stop there. Jean Tabaka led a popular course called Facilitation for ScrumMasters. Mike Cohn and Bill Wake’s Advanced Topics in Scrum was also well attended. Other courses included Esther Derby’s Working with Distributed Teams and Crossing Cultures, Diana Larsen’s Influencing Change, and Ken Schwaber’s half-day Scaling Scrum. Variety and expertise were the common factors in all of the course offerings.
“The Spring Scrum Gathering not only provided opportunities for improving my skills as a facilitator—a key function of a ScrumMaster, but it also was a great forum for comparing experiences, similar and unique, with other ScrumMasters.” —Craig Whittle, CSM, Sharp Laboratories of America
Two days of basic and advanced Scrum courses designed to keep even the expert CSM challenged were followed by the two-day Open Space Event. Focusing on organizational challenges, Open Space gave attendees a forum in which to explore common impediments to Scrum implementation and ways to handle them. The agenda was set by the attendees themselves at the start of the event, so participants got to discuss topics that interested them, rather than subjects conference planners chose for them. This kind of collaborative decision making is at the heart of Scrum, so it makes sense that it is also at the heart of the Scrum Gathering.
“This was my first Scrum Gathering and I have to say it was the best conference I have ever attended. I loved the Open Space event, and was very intrigued with how it was organized. Having 100+ people set the agenda for 2 days and doing that in about 20 minutes time was quite impressive! I learned so much from the other participants, and it was great to get feedback and so many great ideas from others who are using Scrum.” —Patricia Rotman Siemens