XPDay – Reflections and Thoughts By Steve Freeman

Following on from the other reflections on XpDay, the things that struck me about this year were:

  • I’m actually quite surprised (and relieved) at how well it all came together. Chris and Nader’s confidence carried us through.
  • Having an unusual building makes a difference. We used to have a tradition of finding interesting places which we let slip recently. Although the facilities (internet) weren’t as good, the space made up for it. Mary Ward House turns out to have a very appropriate foundation and history and the upstairs rooms are very nice.
  • I’m hopeful we’ve found the right experience filter. We’ve had problems before with unhappy attendees who were essentially looking for training. As Kent Beck told us the first year, XP (or whatever approach is currently fashionable) is the draw, not fly-by personalities.
  • 100 is a good size. We should, however, make it clear to those who registered but didn’t show that they cost us and excluded others who wanted to come.
  • We just need to be better organised next year. Too much was left to a beyond-the-last-responsible-moment scramble which makes it difficult for session proposers and organisers. I’m hoping that we can build on this year’s experience.
  • Perhaps we should consider a voluntary charge, as Citcon London did this year, to cover our losses.
  • A loosely coupled programme is so much better than the usual alternatives.
  • Perhaps we should include some hot nibbles in the lunches, although the sandwiches were decent.

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