Diversity and Codes of Conduct are both topics that are regularly discussed within the conference organising blogosphere and to a lesser extent within community groups. We've tried a few things to encourage more diversity both within our meetup attendees and the speakers but we're definitely not claiming any victories yet. It's a work in progress. At different times of the year and with all the organising done in spare time, it's not always easy to find any speakers for our gatherings. Trying to be selective enough to create any kind of diversity balance is currently only an ambition.
It's an ambition we will keep pursuing but the least we could do to demonstrate our desire for change is to sign up to the recently published Diversity Charter. You can read all the details and sign up yourself on the Diversity Charter website and hopefully lots of people will and should.
Reading the Diversity Charter also prompted the admission that Agile Yorkshire still had no code of conduct and for that fix was in order. An evening of internet research turns of lots of useful resources for conference organisers though a fewer aimed specifically at community groups.
Here's a small collection of excellent resources on the subject:
In the end the Agile Yorkshire Code of Conduct for now is based on the Geek Feminism Wiki: Conference Anti-harassment Policy and ConfCodeOfConduct.com.
Comments or feedback welcome?
The concepts of creating business value and the speed at which that happens within an organisation is what the agile movement has been focused on since its inception. This idea still isn't universally understood though and Allan Kelly brings his slant on the subject here.
Servant leadership is a topic that is often mentioned within the agile community but explored in depth less often. It is possibly not as well understood for this reason. Mike Burrows drills into the topic, points out some background resources and applies some analysis.
TDD is a difficult topic to explain to none engineers but can be a lot more effective if other do appreciate it value. Kev McCabe uses Lego to help explain TDD in this workshop that can be adapted to involve almost anyone.
Making promises you can keep is the nirvana that many IT mangers are looking for. Clarke Ching is a popular conference speaker and author of a couple of books on the subject. He talks here about this topic and explains what may help.
Communicating to broader stakeholders what an engineering team is doing and needs to do is tricky. The subject matter is often abstract and is far from gripping. Tim Chisholm brings his NHS team day performance to Agile Yorkshire to demonstrate their work on the evolving deployment pipeline of one of the biggest websites in the UK.
Resistance to change is part of the human condition and overcoming this resistance is part of changing the way delivery teams work together. A large part of the prevailing certified methods are about tackling this problem in a variety of ways. How successful these methods are depends on many things and not least the starting conditions and senior leadership support. Without this kind of safety net creativity is called for and Tony Heap talks here about his experiences with a less head on approach to influencing things.
So much wisdom and learning can emerge from listen to the experience of others. Chris Roberts, the organiser of Agile Sheffield, delivers an experience report based on his work with Home Office Digital and their transition towards a more agile delivery process.
Standing up and sharing though public speaking is the life blood of Agile Yorkshire's monthly meetup and many of it's speakers travel to Leeds from all around the country. However a few years ago we decided to try to find more speakers from within our community and celebrate their experience, knowledge and diversity with an annual Lightning Talks Competition. This started with a modest four speakers but has now grown to fill the available two hours with nine speaking slots. For 2015 entries were again oversubscribed and while this is unfortunate it's a recognition of it's popularity and success. We open up the event space to get as many people in as possible, we buy mince pies and find a "significant prize" to award to the favourite on the night. This year Steve Trapps was voted by the attendees a worthy winner. Watch them all to judge for yourself.
During Jessica Drakett's PhD research she worked with several members of the Agile Yorkshire community, for Agile Yorkshire 2015 contribution to Ada Lovelace Day she came back to talk about her work and share some of her thoughts and findings.
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