I T.A.K.E. Unconference: A learning event

September 20, 2013

For a couple of years I had an idea: let us organize an event focused for programmers and testers. For them, technical guys and girls that do a lot of work and are the base of any IT business.

So, last year during our team retreat (you can see a picture here with us, during the winter retreat) we discussed this and we had some crazy ideas like the fact that we will not allow any speakers not to have code in their presentation. Or that we will build a kata lounge, where programmers could practice and the best programmer would receive a special prize. Another idea was to have a product built during the event, by passionate programmers, testers, architects, managers that would pop-in for a period of time to add value to the product, and then they could leave to greener pastures. This was called the Product Development track. Of course we wanted to have workshops as well, so we added this as a track too. And what would a conference be without an open space? So we decided on the tracks of the event: Speaking, Open Space, Workshops, Product Development, Kata Lounge as you can see here. And we decided it should last for two days. We need at least two days to make something awesome!

Now it was up to us to start implementing this idea. But how shall we call it? So we thought about focusing on the things we care in our industry. We came up with: innovation, technology, awareness, knowledge, excellence. And we wanted to create this event with input from the audience, so we called it: Innovation. Technology. Awareness. Knowledge. Excellence. (I T.A.K.E.) Unconference.

After this step we asked some very passionate programmers, testers, architects, owners, managers, coaches, etc to come and speak or facilitate during this event. The reaction of the invited speakers and facilitators to the format was amazingly positive. So we were on the right track. Almost all the invited speakers accepted to join us, and we even convinced Robert C. Martin to record a video while he was in vacation specially for us. The topic of the video was Software Craftsmanship, and we liked it a lot.

At the event we had a nice bunch of 150 people from a bunch of European countries and Rebecca Wirfs-Brock from USA who was our opening keynote. Her talk was about how Clint Eastwood would maintain his codebase.

The event was positively received by the audience. It was a crazy atmosphere of learning and coding and it was happening all over the place. We made a retrospective during each evening of the event and we had mostly positive feedback. So we want during 2014 to make I T.A.K.E. Unconference better. We want to organize it better than in 2013 by taking into consideration each idea of improvement that our passionate attendees had during the two retrospectives.

This is why soon we will start call for papers at I T.A.K.E. Unconference 2014. Shhhht don’t tell anyone, but the link is here.

We are waiting for you passionate developers, testers, managers, CTOs, CEOs, analysts to attend this event and learn from each other. We believe that by having a mixed crowd, everyone will have the chance to learn a lot more from each other.

So do you take the challenge to attend I T.A.K.E. 2014?

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