Agile Alliance: 2015 Highlights

Added to The Alliance

Agile Alliance Board of Directors
This photo of the 2015 Agile Alliance board of directors and 2016 directors-elect was taken at a face-to-face meeting in Portland, Oregon (USA) in September, 2015. Top from left - Juan Banda (Bolivia), Paul Hammond (England), Shane Hastie (Secretary, New Zealand), Stephanie Davis (USA), Dr. Rebecca Parsons (Chair, USA), Phil Brock (Managing Director, USA). Seated from left - Pat Reed (USA), Declan Whelan (Canada), Linda Cook (Treasurer, USA), Ola Ellnestam (Sweden), Victor Hugo Germano (Brazil), Samuel Crescencio (Brazil).

Although it may seem a little early to be reflecting on 2015, it seems appropriate to look at Agile Alliance events and accomplishments for the year. When our board of directors met in January in Bellevue, Washington, we set a few objectives around some experiments we wanted to run and changes we wanted to make. I am happy to say that we achieved our major goals. Here is a recap of our activities:

First, Pam Dyer joined us in January as our chief of marketing. She’s been doing a fantastic job of getting out more information about Agile Alliance and our events. She has also been working closely with our managing director, Phil Brock; our product owner, Kent McDonald; and the team at 352, Inc. to completely revamp our website. We have a wealth of great content, but it is currently very difficult to find — the new website will change all that. The redesigned site will launch in early December, and we’d love your feedback when it goes live. The build has been a significant undertaking, but we’re convinced it is worth it.

Another experiment we wanted to try was to see how we could better address the needs of the technical community. We also wanted to experiment with virtual events, and thus the idea for our OnAgile Virtual Conference was born. Driven by Board members Declan Whelan and Stephanie Davis, the event showcased content about emerging technical trends and how Agile practitioners can leverage them for success. The conference was very well-received and we achieved our attendance goals, so we will be producing another event next October.

To further address the technical community’s thirst for knowledge, we are in the planning stages for the Agile Alliance Technical Conference (AATC), to be held April 7-9 in Raleigh, North Carolina. A program committee is currently working on the speaker lineup. Please check the page regularly to see additional presenters as they are added incrementally. Registration will open in December, and we’ll announce this in an upcoming edition of our newsletter. We hope to see you there!

Our main event this year, the Agile2015 conference in Washington D.C., sold out for the second time in our history. The feedback has been excellent so far. The strong and increasing demand for the conference is gratifying. We are concerned, however, about losing the relative intimacy of a smaller event, so we are planning to keep Agile2016 capped at approximately 2,500 attendees. We’ll be watching the impact of our new events on attendance at Agile2016 and see if any changes might be necessary in our plans.

Finally, we continued our partnership with Agile Alliance Brazil. They recently concluded another successful conference, Agile Brazil 2015, and are in the process of planning for next year’s event. We’ve also begun discussions with a group in New Zealand to form a partnership there with an eye toward extending our reach in the area. Stay tuned for more details!

This year has been an exciting one for Agile Alliance, and we’re looking forward to another active year in 2016. Please let us know if there are experiments you think we should be running to better serve our members and the broader Agile community.


Dr. Rebecca Parsons, Chair, Agile Alliance Board of Directors

Dr. Rebecca Parsons is ThoughtWorks’ Chief Technology Officer. She has more years of application development experience than she cares to admit, in industries ranging from telecommunications to emergent Internet services. She has extensive experience in leading the creation of large-scale distributed object applications and the integration of disparate systems.

Before joining ThoughtWorks, she worked as an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Central Florida, where she taught courses in compilers, program optimization, distributed computation, programming languages, theory of computation, machine learning and computational biology. She also worked as Director’s Post Doctoral Fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory researching issues in parallel and distributed computation, genetic algorithms, computational biology and non-linear dynamical systems.

Rebecca received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Economics from Bradley University, a Masters of Science in Computer Science from Rice University, and her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rice University. She was elected to the Agile Alliance Board of Directors in 2011 and became board chair in 2013.


About the Author

Dr. Rebecca Parsons is ThoughtWorks’ Chief Technology Officer. She has more years of application development experience than she cares to admit, in industries ranging from telecommunications to emergent internet services. She has extensive experience leading in the creation of large-scale distributed object applications and the integration of disparate systems. Before coming to ThoughtWorks she worked as an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Central Florida where she taught courses in compilers, program optimization, distributed computation, programming languages, theory of computation, machine learning and computational biology. She also worked as Director’s Post Doctoral Fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory researching issues in parallel and distributed computation, genetic algorithms, computational biology and non-linear dynamical systems. Rebecca received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Economics from Bradley University, a Masters of Science in Computer Science from Rice University and her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rice University.


This is an Agile Alliance community blog post. Opinions represented are personal and belong solely to the author. They do not represent opinion or policy of Agile Alliance.