Saturday, January 26, 2013

Unutopian Energy

Yesterday there was the Stoos Connect, a kind of conference broadcasted from the Internet showing that we can have a better and more human world. There were speakers like Niels Pflaeging, Daniel Pink or Jurgen Appelo. Some cities organised local events to watch the streaming together, and Barcelona was one of them.

I wasn't there, I was with Joserra Diaz in the PMA, so I cannot complain.

On Saturday, today, there was an Open Space in Barcelona, organised by the Unutopia community, and I was able to attend for a few hours. It's been strange because I did not have the context: I missed yesterday's presentations and this morning keynote and activities, but I wanted to join. I was curious.

I've met a lot of friends that I've met in events of Agile Spain and Barcelona, and a few new faces. I've been in two sessions, one about education models and another about Unutopia next steps. I've met

A lot of good intentions. A lot of energy. A lot of smart people.  Maybe I haven't seen specific actions. So, what.

Just the energy from my friends. Their willingness. Their hope. Their rage. People spending their family time away from home to make a better world is enough to me.
That only thing makes this world a little better.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Agile-Spain Google Hangout

Yesterday (15th of January 2013) we had our first Google Hangout with the Agile Spain community. It was just an experiment, in order to check if we can take advantage of that technology, and it was a great success.

Agile Spain is a very active an healthy community, that has sub-communities in a lot of regions and cities. We have two big events every year, Agile Open Space (AOS) and Conference Agile Spain (CAS), and it allows that a lot of people with interest in Agile, from different parts of the country (and the world) gather together twice a year. So, the community works.

Marc Florit suggested in the Agile Spain list that we could use Google Hangout, based on the experience that some of us are having with xALEc. So, Jaume Jornet, took the proposal and organised the event with Google Hangout On Air.

We decided to try the Fishbowl format, because Hangout allows maximum 10 people in the room. As long as the event was "On Air", it was also broadcasted in YouTube. We agreed that maximum 9 people would be in the room, having always an empty chair. If anybody watching the event in YouTube was willing to contribute, he could join the Hangout and somebody would disconnect to leave a chair available.

The Fishbowl worked like a charm. Maybe 15 or 20 people joined the conversation (I didn't counted them) and a lot of people watched the event live and some others the recorded video afterwards.

The content of the session was initially thought as just an experiment. I explained the xALEc experience and suggested some uses of the Hangouts. Luckily, Xavi Gost suggested to talk about our recent agile experiences and that gave real content to the event.

I could see people from all around Spain, even from Peru. Some of them aren't as lucky as I am and don't have a local community. I'm sure that this opportunity will make our dear community even stronger.

That's not all. Today Carlos Iglesias suggested a new Hangout, to talk about Agile Contracts, and his suggestion immediately got answer on the list. In few hours the event was organised and at 13:00 the Hangout took place. I could not attend, but I've watched the recorded session. Amazing.

This community rocks.

You can have a look at the first Agile Spain Google Hangout on Youtube.
You can read comments in spanish in Antonio Martinez's blog.

Friday, January 4, 2013

2012 on the rear-view mirror

I've been reviewing last year, to learn things for the future and improve it in all the ways I can and I have a few lessons learned.

You can always change 
This year I switched from Linux to Mac as my personal OS. I'm not particularly happy, but it's been an experience, and it's good to challenge yourself from time to time. 
I changed my job, left my friends at Omatech (cooool company!) and joined Thomson-Reuters
I started taking English lessons and I joined a Postgraduate in Agile Methods. Back to school!
I learned Scala programming language.
I've learnt about the Core Protocols.
I've learnt about the power of LEGO.
I've started blogging and tweeting mainly in English.
I've ceased blogging about all the books I read.

The more I invest in Agile, the happier I am
This year I've joined a lot of activities from the Agile-Barcelona Community (my second family now). They run at least one event every week! But I also joined a Gamestorming meetup and events on NoSQL, Scala and whatever.
I organized a couple of events with Agile Barcelona and co-facilitated the Global Day of Code Retreat.
I've volunteered two translating projects, but I couldn't keep up.
I've read 13 books, only one was fiction, and only two were non-English.

The broader my horizon is, the better
I've got in touch with people outside my company, and it has allowed me to know a lot about how other companies (and minds) work apart of mine. 
I've met awesome people from Agile-Spain who have a lot to share and who have a lot in common to me.
I've met people from Agile-Lean Europe Earth, from France, Belgium, Romania, Finland, Italy, Portugal, South-Africa, Netherlands, Germany, Canada, ...
Every week I have a conversation with some of these guys (the xALEc), and it's a great experience.

All the time I invest in Agile, or personal development, is taken from somewhere else
This is a negative. During my Chrismas break I've come aware of the time I'm not devoting to my kids and wife. It's not an issue yet, but I'll have to find the balance.

Your body has to be able to follow your mind
Another negative. I have a physical problem that comes back from time to time (my slipped disc), and I know I have to do a lot of exercise to avoid complications. Everybody should do exercise, but I must do it in order to have an ordinary life. Sometimes a forget priorities.

Personal feedback is hard to receive
This year, for the first time, the team had a session of retrospective where all of us provided personal feedback to everyone. I heard things about me that surprised me, but I'll have to address them:

Sometimes I'm dogmatic and closed to other's ideas. I have to be more patient. I have to be aware of the tone and language I use (sometimes too strong). I have a lack of Vital Agility.

That abridged feedback I received is going to be my focus on the following weeks.

I don't have any other "new year resolution". Just, change the world.

I'm very grateful to my wife, for supporting me. And to all the people who wants to share their knowledge and experience. Thank you all.