The short answer is that the Agile Water Cooler is the community I believe agile practitioners need, from those just starting their journey to the veterans who paved the way.
The longer answer is that I’ve had trouble finding a really great agile community. I know there are great ones out there…I’ve just had trouble finding a great one to plug into for a variety of reasons. There is no agile meetup near me and I’m just far enough away from the largest nearby city (Chattanooga) to make it difficult for me to start one there on my own. I’d joined the Scrum Alliance and other online communities, but mostly they’re either dead or just full of people trying to sell me the next big agile tool…not people invested in growing or learning what it means to be agile together
Sure, there’s no shortage of resources for learning agile, but as agile principle #6 states, there’s no substitute for face to face communication. Nothing beats learning from each other.
In fact, by far the best learning experience I had was my PSMII training class with Ryan Ripley and Todd Miller. Those guys are awesome, and they facilitated an environment that really empowered the students in their course to learn from each other. This is something that, outside of expensive trainings, is something I really feel is lacking for agile practitioners…the human, face to face component. There’s trainings, and conferences, and lots of other opportunities to learn from each other at special events…but what about the day to day questions and challenges?
I found lots of questions on Reddit in particular by new students of agile apologizing for their lack of knowledge and sheepishly asking questions about basic scrum topics. I remembered what it was like for me a few years ago when I was just learning, and how much more I could have learned with a community that I could talk things out with, to ask questions of, and to grow together in our knowledge of agile. The community I wanted then, and now, just didn’t exist…so I decided to start one.
This is the Agile Water Cooler. This is the place for the conversations in-between events, trainings, workshops, etc. This is the place for conversations between your planning meetings and your retrospectives. This is the place for conversations between your need or desire to learn more about agile, and actually putting agile into practice.
We are a global group of agile practitioners from around the world, and I’m proud to be a part of this community.
So grab your little cone-shaped paper cup and chill with us for a bit by the Agile Water Cooler. This a safe place to talk, to teach, to learn, to ask questions and be transparent amidst all of the chaos of your day-to-day.