Launchpad June cohort candidate and Co-founder of Airize Ananya Banerjee spent last week volunteering at Cornwall’s popular tech conference Agile on the Beach. She gives us the lowdown on why you should be there next year…

In 2011, a handful of people started an initiative – bringing all agile professionals here in Cornwall to discuss all things agile; new insights, progresses, and letting loose in this beautiful part of the country – which turned 10 this year. They named it Agile on the Beach and it still is fondly remembered as such or in short, AOTB.

The two-day conference started an evening prior to the actual conference with Cornwall’s very own pasty and pint night. Throughout the course of two days there were several talks and workshops across the studios at the Academy of Music and Theatre Arts (AMATA) here at Falmouth University. Many keynote speakers, due to the COVID regulations, were remote this year. The audience was engaged in both the in-person and remote sessions equally – due to the amazing technical support given by the AMATA Technical Team and the Immersive Business Team behind the curtains.

The most interesting session for me was to know how our brain responds to agile frameworks and how to train a team to become more agile. The session also explained why it takes teams months to get used to the agile way of doing things. One workshop that could be very useful for teams dealing with backlogs was on how to prioritise them and get things done. The participants were extremely engaged throughout. Our team might just end up using the framework in our project management. Some of the sessions on overall leadership growth through emotional intelligence and psychological safety were very close to the heart as at Launchpad such overall growth is always encouraged and discussed.

The conference was not only about the sessions, but it was also about the huge networking opportunity it brought with it. I have spoken to many attendees who were just happy to be back at AOTB and meeting other professionals after Covid. There was also ample opportunity to let your hair down with a beautiful beach party and a party boat cruising through the river Fal, letting the attendees enjoy their time at the conference to the fullest.

I was working as a volunteer at the conference this year and it was a joy to be a part of the team. With so many remote and in-person speakers, with so much Covid regulations, nothing was easy for the internal team. But they embodied the principles of agile and learned fast from everything, reviewed their approach, and improved throughout the course of the conference. A bunch of extremely talented people from different parts of the agile industry – and some hardworking and creative students came together with one goal – to make sure that the attendees get the most out of the experience, under an inspiring leadership team and advisory committee. I walked away from there with a bottle of champagne, some great contacts from all over the world who were present at the conference, and a great sense of belonging with the brilliant team of Agile on the Beach.

Like many other attendees, I am looking forward to the next year already.