If you’ve been to an Agile Alliance conference, you may have noticed a crew of people wearing deep purple shirts scurrying about with great purpose and camaraderie. These are the intrepid volunteers for the agile conferences colloquially known as Purple Shirts. When I inquired about the origin of this casual “uniform,” I found a bit of a mystery... It seems the happenstance of the first staff T-shirt color selection became a perennial favorite. Purple is here to stay!
Some of my favorite volunteers, known to sport color-coordinated tutus and deely boppers, are Becky and Sarah. Over the years, Becky and I have repeatedly compared shades of purple and admired each other’s purple garb, so I suppose it was fate that I’m on staff for the conference this year. In that capacity, I reached out to them for a peek behind the scenes. Here’s what I learned:
How did you get involved with Agile Alliance?
Sarah: I've been going to the conference since 2007 and volunteering since 2012.
Becky: I got involved with Agile Alliance through volunteering for the conference 5 years ago. It was my first exposure to both Agile Alliance and the Agile conference.
When did you first started volunteering? Is there a specific way to get started?
Sarah: I started in 2012 when it was in Texas. I got on the waitlist like most people (emailing firstname.lastname@example.org) My name came up and I was really excited to get the opportunity to serve. Its addicting!
Becky: I first started volunteering my very first year at the conference in Orlando 5 years ago. I have never attended the conference not adorned in purple! 😊
What kinds of things do "purple shirts" do?
Sarah and Becky: Purple shirts start with swag bag packing Sunday (all 2500 of them!), pass out the bags during registration, guide people, answer questions, help the sessions run smoothly and generally do whatever is needed to make sure the conference is a safe, fun environment for everyone! And we mean it!
What are you looking forward to most at Agile2017?
Sarah: Seeing the team come together again and gel. We have 30 returning and 36 new volunteers that come from 5 continents 13 countries and 22 states in the US. It's the best example of a team going from Forming to high Performing in a matter of days!
Becky: I look forward to showtime - the pace of organized purple chaos as our machine proves dynamic teams work! I am one of the retiring purple shirts so I plan to enjoy every moment!
Hear more from Sarah & Becky about volunteering with the Agile Alliance on DrunkenPM Radio!
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.