This week

Monday morning, in my regularly scheduled stupid-early cab to the airport, I reflected on where I’ve come from (besides being home, in bed, asleep, like a normal person) and where I’m going:

6 years ago today, I came back to software development. To relearn old tricks, uncover new ones, and enjoy. Headed to #agiledc to celebrate.

My celebration got off to a proper start when I didn’t miss James Grenning’s good-naturedly trenchant keynote, during which my still sleepy brain perked up at the mention of my colleague Erik Dietrich, in particular his How Developers Stop Learning: Rise of the Expert Beginner. For one thing, it induced a beperkifying spike of writerly ambition. Maybe, if I keep publishing something every week, I’ll eventually learn how to have written something worth being referred to by a respected keynoter. (Erik landed one of the guys who wrote the Agile Manifesto. Achievement unlocked.)

For another thing, hearing a familiar name put me in the right frame of mind to enjoy AgileDC in what is, for me, a whole new way of enjoying conferences. When I was an introverted outsider knocking on the door to this small, tight-knit community of human-loving, business-advancing Agilists, the primary way I felt I could extract value at conferences was to attend talks and workshops of interest. Now that I’m working in the field and getting to know some of the wonderfully generous and skilled folks in it, I spent most of my day in the “hallway track” I’d heard so much about. It was great. We conferred. I heard some terrific stories of personal growth interspersed with perfectly obnoxious jokes. And I saw some people I’d seen just last week.

Last week

Several of us June 2015 PSL participants schemed to hold a mini-reunion at the Toronto Agile Conference. Some were based in Toronto, and others got their talks accepted, so I accepted the need to get myself there from Detroit. I drove up Monday afternevening and joined a bunch of the already-fed speakers at a bar on a high floor overlooking downtown. (Toronto is for real. I want to visit again for real.) Almost everyone who was there I’d heard of, maybe Twinteracted with, but never met in person. I wasn’t a speaker; there was no need for them to have invited me along; and once again I found myself feeling, as I’ve been feeling so often lately, the generosity and inclusiveness of this community I’m getting to know.

Next year

Some of the folks I met in Toronto and D.C. have been invited to present at a new Agile Alliance Technical Conference being held in April 2016. What’s a little mind-boggling, considering what little I was doing a year ago, is that I’ve been invited too. And I’ll also be reviewing submissions for the Agile 2016 Leadership track.

Right now

There’s no way I can take in the pace of what’s happening for me and not see the pattern of generosity and inclusiveness. There’s no way I can not feel immense gratitude for all the people who’ve helped me find my new path and make my way along it.

I see it. I feel it. Thank you.