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Agile Cafe at XP2012

The Agile Cafe at XP2012

Waiting for a workshop or tutorial to begin? Have a little time on your hands? The Agile Cafe is the place to hang out. Create your own conversaton on an agile topic around a table or join a group that is already under way. Come and go as you please. Bring your own beverage.

In recent years, various groups have used the phrase "Agile Cafe" to describe gatherings of various kinds. Although it's similar to (some) other events, our Agile Cafe has an origin and structure all it's own.

How It Started

In 2007, due to a number of factors, it was not possible to hold an Open Space at the XP conference. Our first Open Space had been a big success the previous year and not being able to repeat it was a great disappointment. We wanted to hold some sort of self-organizing event at the conference hotel but the only space available was the terrace, on which people sat to talk and drink coffee.

Somebody suggested we hold an "Agile Cafe!" At first, it was only a name we liked, reminiscent of the "World Cafe" which was fairly popular at the time. So we asked ourselves "If there were something called an Agile Cafe, how would it work?" and ended up with the format described below.

Subsequent XP conferences all had an Open Space as a component, so we have not revived the Agile Cafe before this. However, we thought that people attending XP2012 on Monday or Friday might like to have some minimally structured sessions besides the scheduled workshops and tutorials. Consequently, we're bringing back Agile Cafe this year.

How It Works

Agile Cafe will take place in the restaurant area. Initially, we'll designate a set of tables but that set can be expanded if necessary. On each table, you will find a set of notice cards and a marker. In addition to showing that this table is part of the Agile Cafe, the card is used to indicate the topic being discussed.

If you want to start a new table, write the topic on one of the cards and place it so it's easily visible. As time passes, you may find that you have moved out of the original area of discussion. In that case, just fill in a new card. Leave the old one face down on the table - we plan to collect them and tally some of the areas of discussion.

If you simply want to join in an existing discussion, it's even easier. Just sit down!