I was very excited to attend my first Scrum Gathering in Seattle. I wore two hats: Marketing Communications Manager for SolutionsIQ, the platinum sponsor of the event, and Official Tweeter (if there is such a title) for the Scrum Alliance. Bryan Stallings, my colleague at SolutionsIQ, was the conference chair for this fun and educational conference. It was a great experience!
From the moment I entered the Grand Hyatt in downtown Seattle on the first day, long before the opening keynote, there was Agile in the air – people were happy to be there and they quickly began introducing themselves to one another and talking about their backgrounds. As more participants arrived, the buzz increased dramatically and everyone was really looking forward to the beginning of the day’s events.
Once the Gathering was underway, I was more and more impressed with everyone’s willingness to participate, learn, share stories about how they implement Scrum at their companies (or not), and help each other solve problems – it was very inspiring! I attended all three keynotes and as many sessions on Day 1and Day 2 as I could, tweeting about the presentations and about the very engaging Un- Conference Open Space meetups on Day 3.
There was a special Twitter hashtag for the Gathering, #sgsea, and the Twitter-savvy attendees were constantly commenting and sharing their thoughts, which I followed with great interest. The tweets ranged from sharing speakers’ quotes to whether they agreed/disagreed with the speakers to comments about what they liked/disliked about the conference. By a wide margin, the #sgsea Tweeters were very happy they attended, and I saw nothing but praise for how the conference was executed (lineup of speakers, food, and lots of time between sessions to talk to one another, among other things).
I could easily write a long article about the fantastic Open Space on Day 3 – it was amazing to see how passionate everyone was about creating sessions around Agile/Scrum topics and how eager participants were to listen, share information, and delve more deeply into the situations they encounter on a daily basis. There had been some trepidation before the day began – during the first two days of the Gathering, I overheard quite a few people discussing the upcoming Open Space sessions: “What are they?” “Sounds weird, there are no scheduled sessions, what’s that all about?” “I don’t think I’ll get anything out of it, but I’ll go anyway to see what happens.” As it turns out, there were raves about the Open Space on Twitter, with countless tweets indicating that it was the best day of the conference.
All in all, Scrum Gathering Seattle was a huge success, both as a conference and as a topic of Twitter conversation. I lost count of the number of Gathering-related tweets – there was a seemingly endless stream. The unanimous verdict was that the Gathering was the best conference participants had ever attended. Be sure to follow the Scrum Alliance on Twitter to learn about all upcoming events!