Experience of giving the Lightning Talk in Amsterdam Scrum Gathering

This all started with the Special Mentor I met in an Agile event, Jesse Fewell 🙂
[More about him @ http://www.jessefewell.com/ ]
I told him I was passionate about Agile and wanted to contribute more in this domain.
He told me he would be my mentor and help me in my dream aspiration of becoming an Agile Coach. He asked me to propose a topic for the lightning talk for the Scrum Alliance Amsterdam Gathering. I thought about it and went ahead and posted my Idea:

“No Respect – My life as an Agile Tester”

In brief my idea talked about the below issues:-

– If I’m too young to be taken seriously as a team member, then why is it all the senior people aren’t fixing the problems?
– If Scrum is only about software development, then are we telling the world BAs and Testers don’t matter?
– Does the ScrumMaster need a programming background to be a helpful person?
– Even when it goes right, it goes wrong. Our feature teams having tester-programmer pairs (good), but my Non-functional testing team is still on the outside (bad)

My idea was selected!!! 🙂 Mine was among the few ideas that got selected out of the lot!!! It was a defining moment in my life, a stepping stone toward my dream goal. 🙂

I started preparing for the presentation. In the mean time I also started trying to get a travel approval to go to the meet. Tried a lot from all directions.. It dint work out. 😦 I was very dejected. I did not want to miss this opportunity, for me it was the biggest forum I could share my thoughts in!!! I dint want to give up. Then a thought struck me.. So what if I cannot go to the gathering, I could still try and get to tell them what I have to say. So I spoke to the organizer, Gerry Kirk, and asked him if I could do a 5 min video and send it across. I was told that this was the 1st time a lightning talk would be given as a video and it was worth a try. After thanking Gerry profusely, I started my work on my video. I wanted to fit everything I wanted to share within the 5 mins given to me. Being a 1st timer in actually doing a video presentation, I had my own share of challenges. Finally!!! My Video was done. I sent it across and it was all set to be presented 🙂

On D Day.. I was watching the live streaming of the gathering.
At the allocated time slot.. Gerry came forward and started the video. The video dint work!!! Technical issues!!! My heart stopped!! After all the efforts I had put in.. The video dint work!!! But Gerry dint give up.. He asked the other presenters to present. When all the lightning talks were done Gerry said, lets give the video another try. This time it worked!!! 🙂 It was an amazing feeling. I could see it 🙂

I took a snapshot of it 🙂

Once the video was completed. I heard a huge round of applause. I could not believe it that everyone liked it. All the applause was for me!!! 🙂 It was a Wow Feeling.. I still remember tears of joy flowed down my cheeks 🙂

And all the feedback flowing in thru twitter, mails etc made me feel so happy and proud.
I had done it. 🙂

My sincere thanks to:
Jesse – my mentor, for pushing me for this.
Gerry – for not giving up on me
Participants – who saw it and appreciated it as well as gave me tips for improvement,
And last but not the least everyone who supported me directly or indirectly [that includes all the companies I have worked in 🙂 for giving me the experiences]
Link of the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JfoqCvdrflM

Picture taken by Jesse in Amsterdam Gathering:

Some of the twitter feedback:
•
angel_m: /me too++ RT tumma72 RT @geoffcwatts: Soma Mohanty’s video made me want to donate to the “save the agile testers” fund #sgnl brilliant
about 11 hours ago via web from Binnenstad, Amsterdam • Reply • View Tweet
•
angel_m: Agile testers of the world have a new spokeswoman: Soma Mohanty. You Rocked!! ;))) #sgnl
about 11 hours ago via web from Binnenstad, Amsterdam • Reply • View Tweet
•
StefanRoock: RT @geoffcwatts: Soma Mohanty’s video lightning talk made me want to donate to the “save the agile testers” fund #sgnl brilliant
about 11 hours ago via Echofon • Reply • View Tweet
•
tumma72: /me too RT @geoffcwatts: Soma Mohanty’s video lightning talk made me want to donate to the “save the agile testers” fund #sgnl brilliant
about 12 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone • Reply • View Tweet
•
karen_greaves: He he RT @geoffcwatts Soma Mohanty’s video lightning talk made me want to donate to the “save the agile testers” fund #sgnl brilliant
about 12 hours ago via TweetDeck • Reply • View Tweet
•
geoffcwatts: Soma Mohanty’s video lightning talk made me want to donate to the “save the agile testers” fund #sgnl brilliant
about 12 hours ago via Echofon • Reply • View Tweet
•
llillian: RT @edschepis: Soma Mohanty I respect you. Your video was great. Thanks. #sgnl
about 12 hours ago via TweetDeck • Reply • View Tweet
•
edschepis: Soma Mohanty I respect you. Your video was great. Thanks. #sgnl
about 12 hours ago via TweetCaster • Reply • View Tweet
•
ScrumGatherEU: #sgnl Soma Mohanty video: My life as an agile tester
about 12 hours ago via HootSuite • Reply • View Tweet

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About agilesoma

An aspiring agile coach. I work in one of the leading Telecom Product Companies. I am a CSM and have more than 2 years of experience in working with agile teams. Passionate about agile/scrum and helping people who would benefit from my experiences and understanding.
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