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The best agile and lean development conferences of 2019

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John P. Mello Jr., Freelance writer

You can't achieve great management and agility by reading a tutorial. You need to hear stories of how others did it and network with experienced practitioners. Conferences are one of the best opportunities to hear those stories, find those people, and turn their advice into real-world practices.

Here is our shortlist of the most popular agile and lean software development conferences of 2019. We've listed them all, although not all dates, locations, and pricing were available at publication time, especially for events taking place later in the year.

In those cases, we provided historical information about the event to give you an idea of what to expect, and what you'll get out of attending. But keep checking back. We'll update this guide as more information becomes available.

Testing in the Agile Era: Top Tools and Processes

February

 

TISQA Conference 2019

Twitter: @TISQA_RTP
Web: tisqa.org
Date: February 27-28
Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
Cost: Conference, $99; workshops, $125 to $249

A small conference with some big names, the one-day TISQA Conference also includes workshops held the day before. It's located in a rapidly growing region of North Carolina for STEM companies, centered on Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Research Triangle Park.

Workshops cover topics such as mobile testing, testing automation, agile testing, and continuous performance testing. Session topics include risked-based testing, next-generation testing technologies, performance engineering in a DevOps world, and how to build a security assurance test plan.

Who should attend: Agile practitioners, software developers, software test and QA professionals, software development managers, and QA/test managers

Agile Open Northwest

Twitter: @aonw / #aonw2019
Web: agileopennorthwest.org/
Date: February 6-8
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Cost: $295

This event, sponsored by a coalition of practitioners and advocates intent on advancing agile, fittingly organizes its approach to sessions using open-space self-organizing principles and technology (OST). Anyone with expertise in a topic related to the conference theme can propose relevant sessions. This is so that everyone has a chance not only to learn but also to contribute. Attendees can expect to grow their knowledge of lean and agile principles.

Who should attend: Experienced, collaborative, and committed agile practitioners and learners, including developers, testers, and business people

Agile Open San Diego 2019

Twitter: @AgileOpenCalif
Web: agileopencalifornia.com/san_diego.html
Date: February 7-8
Location: San Diego, California, USA
CostUp to $225

Like Agile Open Northwest, this conference is sponsored by a coalition of practitioners and advocates intent on advancing agile. It, too, organizes its sessions using open-space, self-organizing principles and technology so that everyone has a chance not only to learn but also to contribute.

 

Attendees can participate in sessions run by seasoned professionals or host a session of their own.

 

Who should attend: Experienced, collaborative, and committed agile practitioners and learners, including developers, testers, and business people

 

DeveloperWeek

Twitter: @DeveloperWeek
Web: developerweek.com
Date: February 20-24
Location: Oakland, California, USA
Cost: $295 to $1,345 (time-sensitive discounts available)

DeveloperWeek is a series of conferences held in the United States for developers and technology managers. In addition to the Oakland forum, an event will be held June 17-19 in New York City. An event was held in Austin, Texas, in November 2018, but that has yet to be scheduled for 2019. The Oakland version has more than 100 talks, with speakers from the biggest companies in tech. Some of the events are DevExec World, a get-together for developer managers and executives, and a BlockChain Dev conference to discuss the latest developments in blockchain and Ethereum technologies.

 

Who should attend: Developers, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists

March

Agile India 2019

Twitter: @agileindia / #AgileIndia2019 
Web: confengine.com/agile-india-2019
Date: March 17-23
Location:  Bengaluru 
Cost: Conference, Rs. 9,500 to Rs. 36,000; workshops Rs. 7,000 to Rs. 65,000

Agile India bills itself as Asia's largest conference on leading edge software development methods. It's hosted by the Agile Alliance and organized by the Agile Software Community of India. The forum includes an agile coach camp and workshops before the start of the event and more workshops after it's finished. Each day focuses on a theme, including agile mindset day, business agility day, design innovation day, and continuous delivery and DevOps day.

Who should attend: Developers, agile practitioners, consultants, software engineers, thought leaders, DevOps team members and leaders, line-of-business managers, project managers, business analysts, programmers, testers, Q&A practitioners, UX designers.

[ Conference: ADM Summit 2019: Optimize Your Deployment Pipeline ]

April

Agilia Conference / Agile Management Congress

Twitter: @agiliaconf / #agilia18
Web: agilemanagementcongress.com/
Date (2018): April
Location (2018): Olomouc, Czech Republic
Cost (2018): €490, conference only

The Agile Management Congress is a subtrack of the Agilia Conference that showcases improving business performance with agile, studying the topic through a number of different lenses: culture, software development, agile contracting, innovation, and more. At the forum, managers can engage in intensive learning through a series of practical mini-workshops, case studies, and peer group sessions.

Topics covered in the conference include agile performance management, inspirational managerial techniques, cultural issues and how to manage them, alternative financial instruments for control and forecasting, and HR aspects of agility.

The info on the conference's website is from last year, but there is a note dated December 20 that says organizers are working on a redesign of all Agilia conferences and will update interested parties as new information becomes available. 

Who should attend: Managers (technical, finance, HR, operations, etc.), owners of companies, and board members interested in agile methodologies

Atlassian Summit

Twitter: @Atlassian / #atlassiansummit
Web: atlassian.com/company/events/summit
Date: April 9-11
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Cost: Conference, $950 to $1,250; conference and training, $1,500 to $2,000; summit and Developer Day, $1,025 to $1,500 (time-sensitive discounts available); Developer Day, $250

Members of the Atlassian community can get expert tips and become Atlassian-certified at this conference. The forum has nine tracks targeting agile, people, the future of teamwork, the use of Atlassian by non-tech teams, DevOps, planning, service and support, scaling Atlassian, administering the Atlassian stack, and personal work productivity tools.

 

For the first time, there will be a Developer Day at the conference, where Atlassian developers will have an opportunity to share their knowledge on advanced topics, such as scaling, security, and performance. The event wraps up with a bash and hackathon.

 

Who should attend: Members of the Atlassian user and partner community

 

Agile-Lean Ireland

Twitter: @AgileLeanIrl / #ALI2019
Web: agileleanireland.org/
Date: April 23-26
Location: Dublin, Ireland
CostConference, €295; workshops, €795 to €1,500

This community-led conference mixes open-space sessions with traditional conference workshops, presentations, and lightning talks. Authors and practitioners of agile and lean methodologies are prevalent at this event, including Barry O'Reilly, co-author of Lean Enterprise: How High Performance Organizations Innovate at Scale, and Mary Poppendieck, who has written four books on lean and agile topics, including The Lean Mindset: Ask the Right Questions.

Who should attend: Agile/lean coaches, Scrum masters, product owners, leaders, and developers

deliver: Agile 2019

Twitter: @agilealliance / #deliveragile2019
Web: agilealliance.org/deliveragile-2019
Date: April 29-May 1
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Cost: Conference, Agile Alliance members, $1,295; non-members, $1,395; group rate, $1,195

Uniting engineering and architectural topics under the umbrella of agile thinking forms the core of this conference. It's a forum targeted at the multiple disciplines involved in agile ecosystems. Whether you're looking to support your agile practices with improved collaboration skills or with better user experiences, its sessions will provide guidance from real teams who have been there.

Who should attend: Developers, system administrators, QA professionals, UX designers, infrastructure engineers, data scientists, cloud specialists, and DevOps and other agile discipline practitioners

May

Lean Kanban North America

Twitter: @leankanbanNA / #LKNA18
Web: lkna19.leankanban.com/#lkna
Date: May 13-15
Location: Alexandria, Virginia, USA
Cost: $1,699 to $2,099 (time-sensitive and government discounts available)

Attendees of Lean Kanban can connect with coaches and practitioners who use Kanban and lean methodologies. Interactive workshops and sessions offer insight into enterprise scaling, the Kanban maturity model, upstream Kanban, forecasting, product management, visualization, and much more.

 

Who should attend: New and seasoned Kanban practitioners, coaches, trainers, consultants, and thought leaders

Global Scrum Gathering

Twitter: @ScrumAlliance
Web: events.scrumalliance.org/austin-2019
Date: May 20-22
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Cost: $1,355 to $1,795 (time-sensitive discounts available)

This event touts an innovative and actionable experience for Scrum practitioners. Talks cover a mix of introductory and advanced topics, and speakers will focus on how to amplify the benefits of Scrum across all industries, with an emphasis on growth through shared knowledge.

There will also be presentations on Scrum in hard places—heavily regulated industries or environments where lives are at stake, places where documentation and unending approvals are "king"—and Scrum in weird places—places outside software, such as HR, education, and event planning. A sister conference has been scheduled for Vienna, Austria.

Who should attend: Scrum and agile practitioners, agile enthusiasts, and business leaders and managers

Mile High Agile

Twitter: @agiledenver / #milehighagile
Web: milehighagile.org
Date: May 29-30
Location: Denver, Colorado, USA
Cost$475 to $550

Agile Denver, the city's nonprofit community for agile and lean methods, sponsors this conference, which has sold out in each of the last seven years, with 900 attendees. The forum aims to elevate the state of agile practices, educating a wide audience, from novices to gurus and from technical professionals to business executives.

Who should attend: Agile practitioners, technical professionals, team leaders, managers, executives, and organizational change leaders

Agile and Beyond

Twitter: @AgileAndBeyond#AAB19
Web: agileandbeyond.com/2019/
Date: May 30-31
Location: Detroit, Michigan, USA
Cost: $379 to $399

The all-volunteer Agile and Beyond conference will feature about 100 breakout and workshop sessions over the course of two days, focusing on agile principles and practices. It will also cover topics that organizers say will help make people and companies "awesome." The conference supports both novices and experts.

Who should attend: Designers, developers, and executives interested in lean and agile

June

Agile + DevOps West

Twitter: @TechWell
Web: bscwest.techwell.com/program/interests/software-quality-testing
Date: June 2-7
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Cost: Training and conference packages range from $1,595 to $4,695 (time-sensitive discounts available)

Agile + DevOps West offers a full menu of conference services, including talks from recognized subject-matter experts and training and certification classes the day before the official conference begins. There's also an expo for discovering the latest solutions for testing, and half- and full-day tutorials on various subjects. The conference runs in parallel with Agile Dev West and DevOps West.

Who should attend: Software managers, developers, testers, and QA practitioners

DevOps Enterprise Summit (DOES) London

Twitter: @DOES_EUR / #DOES19
Web: events.itrevolution.com/eur/
Date: June 25-27
Location: London, UK
Cost: Blind bird, €850, plus VAT; other pricing to be announced later. Organizers said "blind bird" pricing is "for those who know they’re ready to attend even before we’ve announced any programming. This is the best price!"

DOES is more than just a conference about technical and architectural DevOps practices. The event also covers the methods needed to lead widespread change efforts in large organizations. The goal is to give leaders the tools and practices they need to develop and deploy software faster. Attendees can expect to see speakers from many large companies and also engage in ad hoc discussions within a great community and learning environment. The US show will be held in the fall.

 

Who should attend: Leaders of large, complex organizations implementing DevOps or agile principles and practices; developers; IT operations specialists; CxOs; software architects; and systems and network admins

August

Agile2018

Twitter: @AgileAlliance / #Agile2018
Web: agilealliance.org/agile2019
Date: August 5-9
Location: Washington, DC, USA
CostAgile Alliance members, $1,749-$2,099; non-members: $2,499 (time-sensitive, academic, and group discounts available)

2019 will mark the 18th year that Agile Alliance has hosted this international conference. Being the world's foremost agile event, the conference sells out quickly, so early reservations are a must. The conference features the most distinguished speakers in the field of agile software development and includes over 200 sessions.

 

Who should attend: Software project managers, product owners, developers, testers, and basically anyone with a significant interest in agile practices

October

ASAS

Twitter: @Avisi_ASAS
Web: asas.nl/
Date (2018): October
Location (2018): Arnhem, Netherlands
Cost (2018): Symposium, €250; workshop, €400; both, €550

This conference emphasizes helping companies improve software development with new patterns, best practices, and agile principles, in order to deliver the right solutions for their users. Organizers are promising a new concept for the 2019 conference.

Who should attend: Technical leads, software architects, business analysts, and engineering directors

 

Agile Cambridge

Twitter: @acconf / #agilecam
Web: agilecambridge.net
Date: October 2-4
Location: Cambridge, UK
Cost (2018): £588

Agile Cambridge is described by its organizers as "a practical, hands-on agile software development conference" with a goal of letting participants interact with and learn from each other and from industry leaders. The event is focused on agile and lean experience sharing and learning by doing.

 

Who should attend: Agile practitioners looking for a small conference focused on hands-on training and learning

 

DevOps Enterprise Summit (DOES) Las Vegas

Twitter: @DOES_USA / #DOES19
Web: events.itrevolution.com/us
Date: October 28-30
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Cost (2018): $1,400 to $1,975 (time-sensitive discounts available)

DOES is more than just a conference about technical and architectural DevOps practices. The event also covers the methods needed to lead widespread change efforts in large organizations. The goal is to give leaders the tools and practices they need to develop and deploy software faster. Attendees can expect to see speakers from many large companies and also engage in ad hoc discussions within a great community and learning environment.

 

​​​​​​Who should attend: Leaders of large, complex organizations implementing DevOps or agile principles and practices; developers; IT operations specialists; CxOs; software architects; and systems and network admins

November

Agile + DevOps East

Twitter: @TechWell / #AgileDevOpsCon
Web: agiledevopseast.techwell.com
Date: November 3-8
Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
Cost (2018): Tutorial and conference packages, $1,795 to $3,995

Formerly called Better Software East, this TechWell conference is focused on software quality professionals. But compared to the STAR conferences, it covers a broader range of topics across the entire software development lifecycle. Topics include digital transformation, project management, planning, metrics, career and professional development, requirements and user stories, software quality and testing, architecture and design, and development and testing frameworks.

Who should attend: Software and test managers, IT directors, QA managers and analysts, test practitioners and engineers, development managers, developers, and CTOs

That concludes our list. For a more dense list of Agile Alliance-related workshops and events, check out the Agile Alliance event calendar, too.

Review the options and make your choices soon: Prices may vary based on how early you register. Also, remember that hotel and travel costs are generally separate from conference pricing.

What are your favorite conferences and why? Post your comments below, and let us know if there are any other events or conferences we missed.

[ Webinar: Journey to Enterprise-Scale DevOps: Engineer Quality and Security Into Everything? ]