If you attended Agile Australia 2016, you may have been assisted by a student volunteer who attended the Conference as part of ‘Activate Agile’. Activate Agile is Agile Australia’s special event for students. Run on the first day of the Conference, Activate is free for secondary and tertiary students (and their teachers) and provides an introduction to Agile and a taste of what it’s like to work in Australia’s top tech companies. We caught up with a couple of this year’s volunteers to find out about their Agile experience!
What did you learn?
MINDY: All of the conference sessions were packed with really awesome stuff and sharing. The way the speakers articulate hands-on Agile practices, makes you feel that it is relevant to your daily work. Some key highlights of the sessions ranged from mindset change (Peter Halacsy on culture change) and leadership (Jeff Smith’s keynote and Dipesh Pala’s session), to ways of working (Tim Banner and David Joyce’s Vanguard Method session), Lean learning (Håkan Forss’s Kata Session), and Monte Carlo forecasts (Adrian Fittolani’s forecasting session).
ANDREW: Agile Australia really helped expose me to different areas that I otherwise wouldn’t have thought about. I walked away exposed to concepts in business, strategy, efficiency, code cleanliness, code safety, teamwork, game theory and even neuroscience. This has given me many interesting avenues to pursue further knowledge in.
What was Activate Agile like?
MINDY: Activate Agile starts by giving you an overview of Agile methodology and then allowed you to dive into the lives of real-world practitioners on how it could be utilised on a daily basis. It is a beneficial event especially for those who are beginners in Agile. This session provides an overview of the reason we need Agile, mindset and practices of Agile, daily life of the Agile practitioner in different roles, and examples of how Agile methodology is used in the form of Kanban.
ANDREW: My experience was fantastic. As a student, Activate Agile gave me perspective on what I’m learning, and why I am learning it. I also got exposed to businesses and what working in a professional team may be like. I really enjoyed the wealth of talks, but I also really liked the opportunity it gave me to speak to people with similar interests to me.
What would you say to other students?
MINDY: In this fast ever-changing world, especially with disruptive technologies such as Big Data and Internet of Things, Agile methodology provides a fundamental idea on how to allow the team adapt and react quickly to such changes in the organisation.
ANDREW: Agile Australia helps expose you to areas of workplace culture, design, engineering, leadership, psychology, enterprise business and many other areas required in the workplace. I feel a good general understanding of the various areas involved helps your studies, providing relevance to what you’re learning. But it also helps educate you in the areas that university isn’t teaching you. This sets you up well to speak to potential employers and get your first job or internship.