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Friday, April 20, 2012

AgileJkl - Birth of a Community

Who would have thought Jyväskylä would be the place to be in the 2010's? It seems there are a lot of interesting things going on around here right now. I guess the revitalization of the local scene started around a year ago as we began to arrange Geek Collision meetings. It's amazing how much good a few beers (or ginger ales) once per a few weeks can do. AgileJkl was one direct result of that. Furthermore we've had technical talks and that sort of fun.

In this post I'll go through some highlights of the event. It was doubly nerve-wracking for me as besides being an assistant we performed a field test on our QR related product. Overall the event was just great and the test went fine too. I couldn't have asked for more.

AgileJkl - What Is It?

Agora Lobby, courtesy of Daniel Schildt
AgileJkl brought together a wide range of people interested in agile development. It managed to attract somewhere between two and three hundred people. Not bad for a first time, eh?

The conference focused primarily on the business side of agile. As a technical person I might have appreciated more technical talks but perhaps we can get a track for that done next year. Nevertheless the talks were interesting and well executed.

Especially the last talk about customer development by Marko Taipale hit the spot. It's just these type of things I've been struggling with lately. Now I have a better idea on how to proceed.

I won't go into detail about the talks as there is some commentary on that already. Besides at times I was distracted by some development duties. We did some on-site development on our product. Talk about being agile and responding to the demand!

It is difficult to say for certain but I believe this event will go into history as the birth of agile community in Jyväskylä region. We already have a small developer oriented community here as mentioned earlier. It would benefit from infusion of more business oriented people, though. Perhaps this will lead into that direction. We'll see. - Some Thoughts on the Experiment

Scanning QR, courtesy of Daniel Schildt
We've been developing on and off starting from the beginning of March. We wrote the first prototype in two days or so and gave it a go at the Instanssi festival. The next trial was performed at Jyväskylä Design Week around a week later. This time we did a little pivot and gave the concept a go in a different kind of context.

I know this type of development goes against all the conventional theories. You are supposed to plan first, get some funding and then start doing the thing and hope it works out. We did literally the opposite. This is actually something Marko Taipale discussed about in his talk. It's better to test the water early than to hope the thing floats once its done entirely.

It was really exciting to see people using our service. Surprisingly many had genuine interest towards the system. This bodes well for future development.


It is extremely nice to see what people can achieve together if they put their mind into it. I know from experience that organizing events, no matter how big or small, always takes a lot of effort. Thank you for that and accepting our humble little service as a part of the show! I hope we can make the event even better next year.

I snatched the photos from the collection of Daniel Schildt. Thanks for the awesome photos Daniel!