Just Another F’ing Agile Conference

Mar 16, 2017  ·  Brenda Leeuwenberg

It’s a funny thing, the Agile world. Globally accepted as the right and logical way to do things most of the time, it is still pretty much in the ramping up phase in Aotearoa. Nomad8 started out in 2007 as a group of people who loved Agile and who wanted to share that love with people and organisations - and make a living from it.

Back in the day this was mostly about team coaching and a lot of time spent explaining what Agile was all about. But that has evolved and now Nomad8 works with organisations who want to bring Agile into everything they do - from tech through to marketing and management. We help to introduce change, and new thinking, and better work practices - all aligned in some way with Agile values but bringing together a slew of other excellent ideas, methods and practices that have been discovered or developed along the way.

Part of living, working and being on the forefront of technology and business best practice, is finding peers, new knowledge and expertise in the world around you. This is where conferences come in handy. There are many Agile conferences around the world, and a few in NZ and Australia. They are great, but we wanted a conference that looked at Agile in a bigger context, that explored approaches that were cutting edge and boundary-pushing, and that was generally about inspiration and ideas.

So we made our own. #JAFAC (Just Another F*&king Agile Conference) was born from the idea that we would create the conference we wanted to go to. We’d shoulder tap kickarse speakers who we wanted to hear from, and we’d create an opportunity for OpenSpace to share ideas and develop new concepts. We wanted to keep it small - as we’re not about organising conferences; it’s hard and we don’t have a lot of time. We wanted to make it affordable - #JAFAC is not about making money but about creating a good time.

#JAFAC ran for the first time in 2016 with 100 people attending. It was pretty awesome! We learned a lot, we didn’t stress too much and we heard from some wonderful people.

Roll around 2017 and we were brainstorming speaker ideas. We realised that there were a lot of women on our list and we thought ‘why not have all women speakers this year’?. So we have. We have 10 amazing local speakers (with a couple of Aussies) who are top of their game, who are leaders and coaches and innovators, and who we really want to hear from, and who are all women. We think that’s pretty cool.

So many conferences have one or two or no women speakers. So many times we’ve heard the organisers say they couldn’t find enough women to speak. We say ‘bollocks to that’. We had no trouble identifying our speakers and there’s easily more on the list.

This is not a conference just for women, it’s not presented on pink pages (personal pet peeve), it’s not a conference that excludes men. After all, we women have been attending male-dominated conferences for years. This is a conference about exploring Agile, about pushing the boundaries of where agile can be; in different industries, and across organisations.

#JAFAC is for creatives, for innovators, for Agile practitioners. It’s for people who are disruptors and do-ers, who solve meaty problems and think about the future. It’s for leaders and thinkers and curious minds.

It’s also selling fast - there are only 30 tickets left ($189 + GST). So if you are intrigued, sign up - it’s in Auckland on April 28-29. It’ll be awesome.

This post was first published on ITP Techblog on March 16, 2017.

Categories: JAFAC.