XP Days Benelux 2021 testimonial

FOR YEARS, the XP Days have been a regular and very much anticipated event on my training calendar. This year, the organizers took up the pandemic challenge and organized an online version. I did participate in a few online conferences and had mixed experiences with them. After some initial doubts – did I want to spend an entire day stuck behind my screen again? – I decided to participate. The power of the XP Days has always been the community-driven approach, highly interactive sessions, and social aspects. I was curious to see how it would translate to the online world.

The day itself was a relatively straightforward event. Hardly without any social interactions – no group energizers, little small talk – we were introduced to the conference and sessions through the usual 30-second teasers. When choices were hard and often were, these introductions could be the final push towards a particular session host or two.

The five sessions I’ve participated in were a mix of active workshops and presentations. I always love the combination of theory and practice that you get from the former.

One exceptionally well-organized session was “Find your energy” by Per Bening. This session triggered me to buy and read the book inspired by (Hyperfocus) and listen more to my own body.

“Agile at scale” by Giovanni Asproni and Luca Minudel reminded me to amplify what works well in an organization.

The session “Ethics for Agile Coaching” by Frederik Vannieuwenhuyse and Shane Hastie brought awareness about agile coaching. As agile coaches, it’s okay to have a bias (towards agility) contrary to professional coaches who remain neutral. It is essential to “trim the tail” in your own value curve as a coach.

“When working harder does not solve the problem anymore” by Jan De Baere enforced my knowledge of lean, a.o. through the use of a cool traffic simulator.

And finally, “Switching from Scrum to Kanban? Forget it!” by Denis Salnikov had a slightly misleading title but did reiterate how Kanban/lean can bring benefits to Scrum.

Overall, I did miss social interactions and the fun parts during this online conference.

A nice gesture from the organization was the goody box. Next to some fair trade snacks and drinks (I loved that!), the box contained a book on remote collaboration.

Overall, it was a day well spent. I surely hope by the time the Mini XP Days are organized this year, we can have the pleasure of meeting face to face again.

Ferdinand Veldmans