After Agile Turkey Summit

After almost a year of hard work, the day has come for the largest agile event of the region, Agile Turkey Summit 2018 on 25th October. It’s the nature of volunteering work, you have to spend your own time which you’ve stolen from your beloved ones. However when you see smiling and satisfied faces at the end of the day, you understand it’s worth of every minute you spent on making this happen.

OK, let’s start with some facts. Agile Turkey Summit 2018, 6th version and is held 6 times in a row, attracted over 1000 people from 15+ different countries. This is the first time we have reached 1000 participants in the history of the event. We already know that the conference is the biggest agile event in Turkey and near region, but one of our speakers Mirko Kleiner stated that it’s the biggest of its kind in Europe that made us very proud! We had 33 speakers and workshop facilitators in 18 sessions and 7+ free/paid workshops. We had 14 sponsors including Atlassian, Scrum.org and some local companies like iyzico, ACM etc. and 30+ supporting organizations.

As almost all of you know, one of the important aspects of Agile mindset is teamwork. This is the achievement of Agile Turkey team. Once again we would like you to take this chance to cheer for each team member.

What we have done better this year

Each year we are doing our best to improve your experience that you can get from a conference. So here is list of the things that we did better this year:

  • The first and the most important thing is that we are trying new ideas to create an unforgettable event for you. Innovation is the key pillar of our conference. And this year’s event was a kind of Agile carnival, full of new experiences and energy.
  • We provided better experience during registration process. First time in Agile Turkey Summit history we didn’t have any significant queue in the rush hours of the morning.
  • Mobile application we have used this year created lots of energy among participants. They find the opportunity to create their own event agenda, give instant feedback about sessions and event, get in touch with each other and join discussions. They even posted vacancies in job boards. We also created a new way of interaction between sponsors and participants with instant push notifications.
  • Workshops worked well. Participants asked us to re-organize some of the workshops during the conference. We were not able to answer this request but this was very motivating for us. We will be working on workshop improvements for the next year.

What we have failed this year

We believe in transparency, even radical transparency. So here it is:

  • We failed on time management. Due to heavy traffic jam on the day of conference, some of the participants were late. So as organisation team, we decided to start the program 15 minutes late of the original plan. The action for next year is to start the program at 09:30 sharp!
  • We failed to make Speakers corner and Coaches Recipe work. Actually our speakers were at the designated area, but participants were not there because of us. We did not provide enough information and guidance for how the Speakers’ Corner and Coaches Recipe will work. The action for next year is to clearly state the flow of these events both before and during the summit day.
  • The plan of main track sessions and workshops were overlapping, creating a lot of opportunities and complexity at the same time. We forgot “Limiting WIP” principle for a while :). This made it hard for participants to select which session to attend. The action for next year is to spread the workshops through whole week. Yes, you heard it correctly! We will work on it to make it possible.

What we have different from last year

This is not different; it’s a kind of tradition for Agile Turkey Summit having a celebrity. This year we had Kaan Sekban who is one of the popular comedians as closing keynote speaker, that makes people smile at the end of an informative day.

We organized two workshops before and after the summit. We had No Estimates Workshop of Vasco Duarte with 18 people.

We had Visual Thinking Skills Workshop of Stuart Young with 13 people. This was a unique experience without any electronic slides.

We had an opening video that made some of our team members go sensual. If you would like to watch it again, here you go:

During the conference, Stuart Young illustrated some of the sessions, that was the first of its kind in a conference in Turkey. He has drawn two Turkish sessions by listening simultaneous translation which is a different experience.

We know what to do at our spare time as well as conducting world-class conference :). After the conference we had a speakers dinner at one of the best restaurants of Istanbul. Shame on us, we have no photos from the dinner but believe us we had dinner :).

The day after the conference, we had our breakfast on a cool boat during our trip through Bosphorus.

In the afternoon, we had a city tour and visited some of must see places like Topkapi Palace.

Thank you…

We would like to say “Thank you so much!” to…

Yemeksepeti for your support from Yemeksepeti Park during the event :)

Our speakers and workshop facilitators, who made the event valuable for participants,

And their kind words about our events and team. We only showed them Turkish hospitality :).

Our sponsors Atlassian, iyzico, ACM, Scrum.org, All4Agile, Türkiye Finans, Agile Mentor Academy, Scotty, Amerikan Hastanesi, Mobven, İkas, Herschel and Optimist. It will be very hard, if you were not with us. Your presence means a lot.

Last but not least, our biggest appreciation goes to you, Agilists who participated in Agile Turkey Summit. It is not possible to make such an amazing event without you. We are very glad that you were with us. You can be 100% sure that your feedback will be considered! Hope to see you next year.

Mark your calendars: 24th October 2019

P.S: Talin, Elçin, Samir and Müge, we call them as “Events Team” from UGroup Events. They are now a part of Agile Turkey team. Thank you guys for your gorgeous effort for organizing such a big event.