I’d been hearing great things about the International Conference for Software Craft and Testing for years. Last year, I narrowly missed it. This past weekend, I finally made it to the 8th SoCraTes. “Craft” isn’t exactly my thing, but the people who congregate around it are often exactly my people.

Before arriving, I’d only experienced Open Space at Agile Coach Camps, or as a portion of a regular conference. I was excited to see what might happen when programmers get a hold of the idea.

Dragan driving, Daniel navigating

What happened was, two dials on this conference were turned way up:

  1. Inclusion
  2. Geek joy

They had been turned up with intention by the organizers and facilitator. And they stayed up because of a positive feedback loop: mostly geek joy amplified by people feeling included, but also inclusion amplified by people feeling joyful.

I convened three sessions:

And enjoyed many others. Someone expressed appreciation for my being an international bumblebee, cross-pollinating ideas from far away. Next month, back in the States, I’ll complete the international-Open-Space-bumblebee round trip at the 10th anniversary Agile Coach Camp in Ann Arbor.