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Unsafe: finding agility through confusion and vulnerability

Keynote - Tobias Mayer
Tuesday, 12.07.2016

-> Dropbox-Link to the MP3 recording

From its humble and passionate beginnings—software developers claiming autonomy—the Agile movement has blossomed and grown. Or has it? It's got bigger, certainly, but bigger doesn't necessarily indicate healthy development. Cancers grow too. They don't blossom though. They destroy. Balloons grow too, inflated with hot air. Keep blowing and they'll burst. I'm tensing, waiting for the inevitable bang.

Agile has become process, frameworks, UpperCaseNameMethodologies and yet another silver bullet. It is now the consultants' Agile, where executive buy-in and corporate appeasement are the goal. And in this new order where, pray, are the developers? Back at the bottom of the heap, struggling to be heard, against the noise of brand-name tool vendors, an avalanche of buzzwords and executive cries of "get on board!"

All of this loses the spirit of the original idea. Too often executives and consultants wring and twist Agile to comply with the existing status quo, promising a cutting edge future while grimly clinging to old ideas, playing safe. But Agile is not safe. It is unexplored, dangerous territory. It confronts us, challenges us. To be able to venture into this unknown landscape we need to drop our guard, and leave our tools behind. They won't work here. 

This talk offers a different approach to agility, one that values confusion over certainty, and vulnerability over bluster. If successful, you'll leave the talk knowing less than you did when you came in.