Skip to content

ACE Conference 2016

So another ACE conference took place last week in Krakow. It was the 7th ACE conference in general and the 3rd one I’ve attended. This time together with ALE Kraków team we helped with some organisation and took care of the Agile track (which was paralell to the Product track). How was the conference? Well, I think I’d say it was probably the best of all 3 editions I took part in.

I didn’t have a chance to hear all the talks. Nonetheless I would like to share some thoughts and inspirations which I took home from the event. So let’s begin!


Jakub Nabrdalik – Peer to peer salary review

This talk really inspired me. Not only Jakub presented a pretty innovative „system” to manage salaries in a form of peer to peer review (developer is rated by his teammates intead a manager), but he managed to show that this could work in a corporation – wow! I will certainly dig deeper intro that in the near future – if you need some „guide” you can find it on Jakub’s blog –

Luise Elliot – Punishment Driven Development

The thing about these kind of talks is that they don’t bring you the „100 concepts to implement on Monday at work”. But it’s even better – these kind of talks are the ones that are really pleasant to hear and they make you seriously rethink lots of stuff. Luise had a great interactive presentation (the audience could vote with the cards that were given to them) about blaming other people. I will think two times now before starting to play the „blame game”. Oh, and I learned a new, fancy Japanese word – Hansei.

Mary Popendieck – Friction

Did you know that 44% of people shopping online abandon their shopping cart at the end due to high shipping fees? Well, me neither. Mary introduced a concept of friction, which she defines as “coginitive overhead for a user”. She told some cool stories showing the examples from everyday life, which demonstrated how loss aversion bias and confirmation bias affect our daily decisions. She mentioned the book “Wiser”, which says that “deliberationg makes the group dumber”. Also, she reminded us about the “spiral of silence”, which could have and impact our meetings and brainstorming sessions. She also shown us a fragment of a great video by Bret Victor, which explains why designers should have and immediate connection with what they create.

Luis Goncalves – How to enable agility in a whole organisation

This talk was really inspiring. First of all Luis stated that agility should be parallelly introduced on 3 levels: team level, organisation level and “external” level. Some nice inspiration to introduce at your own organisation are: Book clubs, lunch talks, coding Dojos, MOB programmind sessions, Scrum Master coaching sessions and internal open spaces. Luis also mentioned some trainings that he finds very useful: crucial conversations training, feedback training, experimentation training and intristic motivation training. He also stated that while everyone conduct retrospectives on the team level, not many people do the on organisation level (which could sometimes be hard but useful). He also remined me something obiuos, which is however easily forgotten – when we give negative feedback, the other peson goes intro the “defense” mode, which ends up in a “brain disconnection” and won’t bring any productive discussion.

Ozlem Yuce – How to train your Hippo

What is a HiPPO? It’s Highest Paid Person’s Opinion. Ozlem told us some stories where the “senior leadership” affected the decisions of teams. Usually, even though these people had good intensions and a pretty broad knowledge, these stories didn’t end up well. She also showed us some ways to deal with these kind of situation. At the end she also warned us for the future – remember that one day you might be the HiPPO!

Claudio Perone – Popcorn flow

I regret that I haven’t attended the workshop in this topic but I guess the talk has to be enough. The presentation itself was brilliant – custom drawings, dynamic slide changes and the sense of humor made me really enjoy it. My first though during this presentation was: “If you think you experiment enough, you need to experiment even more”. Claudio showed us a whole new approach to experimenting – make experiments as fast as you can and make many of them. But how? That’s where popcorn flow enters – it a technique that comes along with a dedicated board – it can be used for sprint retrospectives, meetings, and even for stuff like self development (so literally almost everything). I won’t elaborate on the details – you can find them here. I will definitelly try to use that since I really loved this idea.

Paweł Wrzeszcz, Mariusz Sieraszczkiewicz – How To Transform Good Teams Into Awesome Ones

Mariusz and Paweł showed us 3 steps to “improve” the teams. The first one was discovering the actual needs of a team. The second one was “sharing what you”. What really caught my attention was the emphasis on the fact, that you should share you observations without emotional attachment – just state them neutrally. This was the most important reflection for me – when I though for a while I came to the conclusion that we often forget about that. The third setop was doing what you say – all in all, somebody has to set a good example.

Nina Bostrom Nakicenović – A Darwinian Perspective on Agile Architecture

This presentation was pretty innovative for me. Nina presented all the thing that evolution theory and sofware development have in common. Unfortunately I am not able to summarise the whole concept in a couple of sentences, but this presentation made me think. I learned a new term – Black Swan theory. I’ve also have a new book to read – “Reinventing organisations”.


That’s it. See you next year on ACE Conf 2017! :)




Published inAgileConferenceScrum

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *