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The Agile20xx conference is the biggest agile conference in the world. There are about 2000 people, and 17 concurrent tracks for a full 5 days! Thats hectic!

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We have been lucky enough to speak at a few of them in the past. As an attendee you are totally spoilt for choice – every slot has 17 options for you and usually there are around 3 places you want to be at the same time 🙂 The topics are vast as well, everything from scrum to lean to children’s programming to games are covered. With all of this energy, excitement and learning comes exhaustion! Usually by the 3rd day we find ourselves skipping sessions and just relaxing. Letting everything just soak in.

Next year – Agile2014 – is in Orlando, Florida and I have been asked to be a track chair for the Learning Track. For me, this is amazing, and I am humbled to be given this opportunity.

I would like to encourage more South Africans to try and attend this awesome conference. Here is the catch – it is FRIGHTFULLY expensive! The flights are R18K alone, then there’s a visa(if you don’t have one), 5 nights in the conference hotel (at $200 per night) and of course the conference fee of around R12K. See what I mean? FRIGHTFULLY expensive.

So what can you do as a South African to get to this conference?

Submit a talk. You can submit up to 4 talks. Do this. Depending on the length of your talk you get free conference entrance (a saving of R12K) and some free nights in the hotel ($200 per night saving). That means you might just have to cover the flights…

Are you keen? Here are some tips:

  • Start preparing your talk NOW. The submission system opens on 22 November 2013 and you want to get your talk in as soon as possible.
  • Engage with the reviewers who leave you feedback. Update your submission, and send comments back to them. This shows them that you care and are passionate about making your talk amazing.
  • Submit up to 4 different talks to various tracks. Each track has their own reviewers and various things appeal to various people.
  • Post the link to your submission on twitter encouraging the public to leave feedback. If many people are interested in your talk then you have a better change of getting accepted. Post a link in the comments to this blog post and we will give you feedback!
  • Don’t try to do too much. Pick one topic and explore it fully.

I would love for South Africa to be represented by a few people – please join me!

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