Agile Testing Days wrapped up one week ago today.  As I am sitting here in my living room, typing away on my trusty laptop.  How can I summarize what happened over the course of the week?

There were many conversations – many very good conversations.  Chris George, Markus Gaertner, Lisa Crispin, Huib Schoots, Gitte Ottosen, Matt Heusser, Eddy Bruin, Seb Rose, Carlos Ble,  Ajay Balamurugadas, J. B. Rainsberger, Lars Sjödahl, Janet Gregory, George Thomas, Sara Rainsberger, Mary Gorman, Matt Heusser – and the list goes on.

There were a couple of themes that were driven home to me – One: the need for open, clear communication;  Two: Trust.

Without one, the other won’t happen.  There needs to be a level of trust between the participants in a project, or, anything – for communication, real communication to happen.  Without that, nothing else seems to work or matter.

The images I have in my mind of Potsdam are of an eclectic city, a variety of building styles.  Friendly people with an interest in others.  The feeling I have is a city with an active, vibrant community. 

There are other things from the conference itself.

The Lean Coffee sessions were excellent ways to start each day.  The energy and interest of the participants helped me get engaged and get ready for the day.  The Lean Beer on Monday was a fun way to wrap the formal sessions and blend into the more relaxed evening entertainment.

Part of me was a little disappointed in the energy – as one might expect, some of the people at Lean Beer were generally more interested in the beer than in the conversation and exchange of ideas.  Still, I thought it was a fun, relaxing exercise.  

Games night – what a fun event.  After the sponsor’s reception, “Agile Games” with pizza, beer, learning, ideas and getting to meet people.  I’m not sure how many take-aways people ended the evening with, but most people seemed to find it relaxing as well. 

Thursday, the “Lean Cocktail” event – frankly, I was a little concerned.  What I really enjoyed about it was the chance for people who did not quite want the week to end to get together for another “meet and greet” type event.  This was a good exercise run by Matt Heusser in getting people to share their personal take-aways – the “thing I want to try at the office on Monday.”  We also went around sharing about testing books and resources and ideas.

The cool thing – at many conferences, those whose flights head out the day after the conference end often wander about looking rather lost.  This gave a fair number a chance to hang with others, make plans for the evening, dinner and decompress together. 

That was pretty cool.  I liked the idea.  Oh, and the outing we had for dinner grew from 9 to 23.  Which lead to way more conversation over dinner then drinks after – until we headed out to our respective destinations the next morning.

Thank you Diaz-Hilterscheid for organizing an extremely good learning event.