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The best agile and lean development conferences of 2021

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Linda Rosencrance Freelance writer/editor
 

Postpone/reschedule, go virtual, or cancel outright—these were the options many conference organizers faced in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. And many of these organizers are still trying to figure out how to stage their 2021 events.

But whether organizers hold their agile and lean development conferences in person or online, you should still attend. You can connect with and learn from the best lean and agile practitioners in the field, form new relationships with your peers, and share your knowledge with other participants.

Here is TechBeacon's shortlist of the most popular agile and lean software development conferences for 2021. (And check out TechBeacon's other 2021 conference guides, which cover software engineering, cloud and IT operations, security and more).

February

OOP 2021

Twitter: @oop_conference, #oopmuc
Web: oop-konferenz.de/oop2021/english.html
Date: February 8-12
Location: Virtual
Cost: €595 to €695

OOP bills itself as the conference for software architecture. The motto of this year's event is "Back to the Future." Participants can experience the OOP with all its practice-oriented program content and interactive exchange in the comfort of their homes or home offices. Tracks include modern enterprise architecture, DevOps, testing and quality, and business agility.

Who should attend: Architects, analysts, software engineers, agile team members, agile coaches, Scrum masters, dev/IT managers, directors, program managers, and developers

DeveloperWeek

Twitter: @DeveloperWeek / #DEVWEEK2021
Web: developerweek.com
Date: February 17-19
Location: Virtual
Cost: $595 to $995 (time-sensitive discounts available)

Each year, DeveloperWeek welcomes over 8,000 developers, engineers, software architects, dev teams, managers, and executives from more than 70 countries to discover the latest in developer technologies, languages, platforms, and tools. DeveloperWeek 2021 includes a hackathon, a tech hiring expo, and a series of workshops, technical talks, and keynotes.

Who should attend: Developers, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists

Agile Open Northwest

Twitter: @aonw
Web: agileopennorthwest.org/
Date: February 22-24
Location: Virtual
Cost: $59 (plus Eventbrite fees)

Agile Open Northwest is an annual conference about agile practices and techniques. Using Open Space, participants create the conference they want to attend. Attendees are invited to come prepared to share their latest ideas, challenges, hopes, experiences, and experiments. The conference is limited to fewer than 250 participants.

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

LeanAgileUS

Twitter: @LeanAgileUS
Web: leanagileus.com
Date (2020): February 24-26
Location (2020): Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
Cost (2020): $299 to $699 (time-sensitive discounts available)

This three-track conference offers something for everyone interested in lean and agile practices. It has a blend of all flavors of agile, with speakers from around the globe and tracks that cover everything from introductory to advanced agile topics from a variety of perspectives.

Who should attend: Developers, project managers, product owners, Scrum masters, team leaders, managers, and executives

March

Agile Open San Diego

Twitter: @LeanAgileUS
Web: agileopencalifornia.com/san_diego.html
Date (2020): March 11-13
Location (2020): San Diego, California, USA
Cost (2020): $150 to $225

This conference is sponsored by a coalition of practitioners and advocates intent on advancing agile. It organizes its sessions using Open Space 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

Business Agility Conference Vienna (now global)

Twitter: @BizAgilityConf
Web: businessagility-vienna.com
Date (2020): March 22-26
Location: Virtual
Cost: TBD

Sponsored by the Business Agility Institute, this event focuses on company stories and deep dives that allow conference-goers to discuss what they're learning, share insights, and brainstorm with others in all things related to business agility.

Who should attend: Agile coaches, line managers, and HR professionals

DevOps Talk Conference

Twitter: @DevOpsTalks
Web: devops.talksplus.com/au/devops.html
Date: March 25-26
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Cost: A$878.90 to A$1,013.63

This conference brings together DevOps leaders, engineers, and architects who are implementing DevOps principles and practices in both startups and in leading enterprise companies. Attendees typically run technical and cultural DevOps complex transformation for large and medium organizations.

Who should attend: DevOps leaders, engineers, and architects

April

DevOpsCon London

Twitter: @devops_con / #DevOpsCon
Web: devopscon.io/london/devopscon-london-hybrid-edition/
Date: April 20-23
Location (hybrid): London, UK, and virtual
Cost: Varies

This is one in a series of conferences by Re-Think IT focusing on continuous delivery, microservices, containers, cloud, and lean business. Sessions cover topics such as CI/CD with GitHub actions, DevOps during COVID, and overcoming limitations in containerized applications. Workshops include exploring Go for microservices. In addition to the London conference, events will also be held in Berlin, Germany (June 14-17), and New York City, New York (fall 2021).

Who should attend: Agile practitioners and learners, including developers, testers, and managers

Team 2021 (formerly Atlassian Summit)

Twitter: @Atlassian
Web: atlassian.com/company/events/team
Date: April 20-21
Location: Virtual
Cost: TBD

Team 2021 is Atlassian's reimagined user conference. Formerly known as Summit, Team 2021 is now intended for all teams and those seeking product knowledge or insights on the future of work. Participants can get together with industry experts to explore the intersection of teamwork, humanity, and technology as well as ways to unleash the full potential of every team.

Who should attend: Members of the Atlassian user and partner community, developers, creators, innovators

May

Agile Manchester Virtual

Twitter: @agilemanc, #agilemanc
Web: 2020.agilemanchester.net
Date (2020): May 15
Location (2020): Virtual
Cost: TBD

Organizers describe this event as practical agile development conference that allows participants to connect and learn from their peers and from leaders in the industry. The conference has a strong practical focus and attracts industry practitioners and decision makers who want to improve their success with agile and lean methods.

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

DevOps Enterprise Summit (DOES) London (now virtual)

Twitter: @ITRevDOES
Web: events.itrevolution.com/virtual/
Date: May 18-20
Location: Virtual
Cost: $650

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

Path to Agility Conference

Twitter: @cohaainfo
Web: thepathtoagility.com
Date: May 26-27
Location: Columbus, Ohio, USA
Cost: TBD

At this conference, both national and regional agile thought leaders provide session content focused on a mix of business, technical, and management topics. Event organizers say that, regardless of whether a conference-goer is well along the agile path or is just starting out, this forum will help guide them in the right direction. Session topics include realizing business agility with adaptive management, nitty-gritty practices of agile coaching, and documentation in agile development.

Who should attend: Agile team leaders and coaches, Scrum leaders, product managers, software engineers and architects, developers, and programmers

June

Agile + DevOps West

Twitter: @TechWell / #AgileDevWest
Web: agiledevopswest.techwell.com
Date: June 6-11
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Cost: Free to $999

Agile + DevOps conferences offer the latest in methods, processes, technology, tools, and leadership principles to help newbies and seasoned pros deliver software with greater speed and agility while meeting quality and security demands. No matter your level of agile or DevOps adoption, organizers promise, you'll find thought-provoking keynotes, deep-dive training classes, engaging tutorials, and session topics that will guide and inspire you.

Who should attend: Agile teams and leadership; digital transformation teams; automation, developers, testers, and release staff; product owners; and managers

XP 2021

Twitter: @XPConf / #XP2021
Web: agilealliance.org/xp2021/
Date: June 14-18
Location: Virtual
Cost: TBD

This agile software development conference combines research and practice. It helps agile researchers, practitioners, thought leaders, coaches, and trainers to get together to present and discuss their most recent innovations, research results, experiences, concerns, challenges, and trends. Whether you are new to agile or a seasoned agile practitioner, XP 2021 will provide an informal environment to both learn and trigger discussion.

Who should attend: Agile researchers, practitioners, coaches, managers, scrum masters, and developers

Agile Testing Days USA

Twitter: @AgileTDUSA
Web: agiletestingdays.us
Date: June 20-24
Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Cost: Conference, $2,095 to $3,390 (time-sensitive and group discounts available; all prices will rise with time)

This conference is aimed at all software engineers and testing professionals. According to conference organizers, the forum offers a fun platform to connect and network with the agile community through tutorials, workshops, keynotes, talks, and social events.

Who should attend: Anyone involved with software testing, plus software architects, application developers, IT managers, CIOs, CTOs, and software engineers

July

Agile2021

Twitter: @AgileAlliance / #Agile2021
Web: agilealliance.org/agile2021/
Date: July 19-22
Location: Virtual
Cost: TBD

Agile2021 will mark the 20th year that the Agile Alliance has hosted this international conference. At the event, attendees can explore the latest techniques, practices, and strategies in agile software development from the world's leading experts, change agents, innovators, and thought leaders.

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

September

Agile Prague Conference

Twitter: @AgilePrague
Web: agileprague.com
Date: September 13-14
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Cost: TBD

More than 30 speakers from around the world will appear at Agile Prague in 2021. The conference, which is conducted in English, is running in two parallel tracks over two days. You can choose from a variety of talks for managers, Scrum masters, and product owners. In addition to talks, there will be several case-study presentations about agile adoption and practical workshops where attendees can try out agile practices.

Who should attend: Managers, Scrum masters, testers, developers, and product owners

ACE 2021

Twitter: @aceconf
Web: aceconf.com/home
Date: September 16-18
Location: Krakow, Poland
Cost: €350, plus 23% VAT (time-sensitive discounts available)

Organizers say this is the largest conference of its kind in central Europe. In 2021, two conferences are being combined into one two-track forum. The "Building Better Software" track covers topics such as agile, lean, scrum, and Kanban. A "Building Better Products" track is for anyone involved in creating products.

Who should attend: Agile, Scrum, and Kanban practitioners; product managers; UI and interaction designers; and UX researchers

October

Mile High Agile

Twitter: @agiledenver / #milehighagile
Web: milehighagile.org/
Date: October
Location: TBD
Cost: TBD

Agile Denver, the city's nonprofit community for agile and lean methods, sponsors this conference, which has sold out nearly every year since the inception of the event. 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 India

Twitter: @agileindia
Web: 2020.agileindia.org
Date (2020): October 11-18
Location (2020): Virtual
Cost (2020): Conference, Rs15,000 to Rs45,000 (four-day pass); workshops Rs5,000 to Rs30,000

Agile India bills itself as Asia's largest conference about 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, and UX designers

DevOps Enterprise Summit (DOES) Las Vegas

Twitter: @ITRevDOES
Web: events.itrevolution.com/virtual/
Date (2020): October 13-15
Location (2020): Virtual
Cost: TBD

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

Agile-Lean Ireland

Twitter: @AgileLeanIrl
Web: alicon.org
Date (2020): October 29-30
Location (2020): Virtual
Cost: TBD

This community-led conference mixes open-space sessions with traditional conference workshops, presentations, and lightning talks.

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

Spinnaker Summit

Twitter: @SpinnakerSummit
Web: events.linuxfoundation.org/spinnaker-summit/
Date (2020): October 19-November 12
Location (2020): Virtual
Cost (2020): Free to $50

This conference attracts worldwide users of Spinnaker, an open-source, multi-cloud, continuous delivery platform for releasing software changes. Spinnaker was created at Netflix and is used by Google, Armory, Box, Cisco, Samsung, and others around the globe. It combines a powerful and flexible pipeline management system with integrations to the major cloud providers.

Who should attend: Developers, architects, leaders, and anyone maintaining mission-critical applications

November

Agile + DevOps East

Twitter: @TechWell / #AgileDevEast
Web: adceast.techwell.com
Date: November 14-19
Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
Cost: Free to $999

Agile + DevOps conferences offer the latest in the methods, process, technology, tools, and leadership principles to help newbies and seasoned pros deliver software with greater speed and agility while meeting quality and security demands. No matter your level of agile or DevOps adoption, you will find thought-provoking keynotes, deep-dive training classes, engaging tutorials, and session topics that will guide and inspire you.

Who should attend: Agile teams and leadership; digital transformation teams; automation, development, test, and release staff; product owners; and managers

Global Scrum Gathering Lisbon

Twitter: @ScrumAlliance
Web: events.scrumalliance.org/sglis20
Date: November 17-19
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Cost: TBD

The event aims to provide scrum practitioners with an innovative and actionable experience. Past forums have covered a mix of introductory and advanced topics and speakers have focused on how to amplify the benefits of Scrum across all industries, with an emphasis on growth through shared knowledge.

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

That concludes our list. For a more dense list of Agile Alliance-related workshops and events, check out the Agile Alliance event calendar, too. And see TechBeacon's complete list of tech conferences here.

Note: We've listed them all, although not all dates, locations, and pricing were available at publication time, especially for those events taking place later in the year. In those cases, we have provided historical information about the event to give you a taste of what to expect, and what you'll get out of attending. And keep checking back. We'll update this guide as more information becomes available.

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 the conference pricing.

Photo courtesy of Mark Kilby.

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