Agile Conference Pakistan 2015
Yeah, you read the title right. It was a conference held in Islamabad – the capital of Pakistan on November 14th and it was the second edition. I feel really sorry that I missed the first one but am very happy that I became part this time and they have me forever now. It was a very well-orchestrated event which was attended by about 150 Professionals and representatives from the Academia. Below is a brief summary of the sessions and I do plan to right in detail about some of these topics.
The keynote speech was delivered by my friend and mentor Ather Imran on “Agile Culture”. Having worked in Software Industry for so long and currently being CEO of Sybrid who offers a variety of IT services, Ather was well aware of what an organizational culture is. He explained Agile transformation using the golden circle of Why, How and What. The pick of the talk was when he talked about Schneider culture model and suggested to evaluate your organization to see which culture they belong. Agile cultures are heavy on Collaboration and Cultivation, have some interest in Commitment and don’t like the Control one. Ather then also talked at length that after assessing your organizational culture, how you can mold it to Agile culture and what you need to do to achieve that.
Adeel Ali who is based in Texas, US and has his setup in Bahawalpur, Pakistan named ClickChain, talked about “Technical Excellence” in light of one of the Agile Principles. Being an Agile Excellence Coach, Adeel knew exactly why most of the Agile projects fail and he emphasized the need on improve coding quality and training the developers to accomplish that. He quoted that if you apply SCRUM as a management practice but you still have a messy code base, it will take you nowhere as issues will remain the same.
Next up was Suhail Iqbal who has done all the certifications in the world on Project Management and has a deep understanding of different processes and techniques. Suhail introduced the Lean principles with examples from Construction Industry and it’s similarities and differences with Agile. He also talked about how the Agile concepts are being applied to non-conventional sectors (by which he meant non-IT as Agile originated in the Software world). He also introduced LeAgile which is an effort to combine the both worlds.
The last session before the lunch was by me which was an introduction to Agile Testing. After establishing the fact that changes happen too often now a days, I suggested that having more tests is the only way that you can make changes at a high pace. I introduced the Agile Testing Quadrants, the concept of Three Amigs and emphasized that “Testing is role where every team member tests”. I also touched upon Automaton Pyramid and the importance of having a heavy base on Unit Tests.
After a delicious lunch which was actually an excuse to socialize and meet so many like-minded people, the session restarted with a talk on Emotional Intelligence by Mohsin Lodhi. Mohsin is a leadership trainer with experience much more than the average age of the audience that was attending the session. He in his trademark style explained the importance of Emotional Intelligence and how according to modern researches it is proven that EQ plays more role in the success than in the IQ. Mohsin introduced some personality prototypes and audience most liked Tina the Time bomb who’d explode any time. He then talked about how Self Awareness is the key to Social Awareness and Relationship Management and how can we achieve that. Mastering these will help a lot on Agile world where you have to work in teams and do a lot of communication and collaboration.
Barkan Saeed who is CEO of Vizteck and was one of the brains behind this conference took over the stage with a panel discussion on challenges of Agile adaption in Pakistan. Owais Anjum who is CEO of eMumba was representing OPEN Islamabad was joined with Kashif Mueen of Zigron and Nauman Faridi to talk about variety of topics including the challenge of Self-Organizing teams given that the general belief is that native culture is against that notion. The panel also highlighted the current boom in IT and how organizations in Pakistan can benefit from it.
As I mentioned that I do plan to write more about the above topics and maybe will start with a detailed post on my talk. Stay tuned and also keep an eye on Conference page for official coverage of event with photos and videos.
The success of the conference was largely due to the tireless efforts of the organizing committee with Naveed Ramzan being a notable mention. I am convinced that more success will follow.
Do register yourself with PADS (Pakistan Agile Development Society) so that you get in touch for any future events. Thanks and bye for now.