Last week me and Anna-Liisa had a great opportunity travel to Cologne for the XP2017 (https://www.xp2017.org/index.php) conference. Not only was it nice to enjoy the first rays of real summer sunshine in central Europe, but the conference itself was a very empowering experience as well.
The 18th International Conference on Agile Software Development (as the name actually plays out) was one of the premier events of the year in joining the forces of software industry and academia. Right from the first morning’s keynote on the importance of collaboration, for us it was easy to feel like home given our background in the Finnish Need4Speed program. In conferences this is not always the case however, but XP makes an exception. For example, this conference series boasts on how most of the talks and presentations are by practitioners rather than academics. And somehow the tone of the presentations was a bit more inspiring than in a more traditional research conference..
The topics of the presentations balanced between technical and methodological stuff, ranging from branching model evaluations to describing experiences with “mob programming” and from continuous business validation metrics to workshops of working with cultural differences. Such viewpoints to software engineering fit our research topics like a glove, and so both me and Anna-Liisa were happy to give presentations of our own as well. Mine was about selecting an appropriate tool for collecting user-interaction data, and Anna-Liisa discussed how software processes can be improved by visualizing data for example from issue management systems. Even though our presentations were quite strictly about our research papers we were able to attract a nice number of interested people to hear our talks. And Anna-Liisa even held an additional session on the following day for a group of real enthusiasts!
The conference dinner was served on a river boat that cruised along the river Rheine. Nice views of the world-famous cathedral, networking with new acquaintances and an industry-academia dance-off were some of the most fun items on the menu, and I’m sure they’re fun to go back to later on as well.
All in all, the whole trip was a great way to start the summer. So happy and sunny summer, folks!
Btw. The conference proceedings (https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-57633-6) are open-access! So you can check out our publications without any hassle, and of course all other’s work as well 🙂