Going to the Beach

Cornwall’s Record Breaking “Agile On The Beach” Launches World’s First Design A Degree Programme

One of the UK’s leading agile conferences, Agile On the Beach kicks off in Falmouth, Cornwall. The event beat last year’s record for attendees at the Cornish technology event by 36% across the 2 day conference. The practitioner and real world experience driven industry gathering is focused on agile development and increasingly on the role of agile in the wider business context such as agile teams and agile product design.

Agile: Born in development; blossoming in business

Aside from the business keynote from Bjarte Bogsnes, VP at StatOil: Beyond Budgeting – an agile management model for new business and people realities. The role of Agile beyond the traditional software development arena is an increasingly core ground-braking theme within the rapidly growing sold-out event.

Putting the agile into Computing education: World’s first agile inspired degree

One exciting development within the event format is the world’s first practioner led “Design A Degree Programme” Session. According to Agileonthebeach founder, Toby Parkins this is a response to a specific industry plea, ”We hear from employers and industry all the time that the education system is failing to produce enough high quality IT graduates. So we thought let’s change that! So we introduce the session “What should a future computing related degree look like?” Which topics, skills or knowledge areas should be included? How can courses be even better designed/delivered to prepare students with the skills needed by industry?”

Why do we need the agile development of a Computing Degree course?

The IT industry is developing very quickly. Unlike many most other subjects, a lot of new techniques and knowledge are created and developed within industry including by several businesses and people who are part of Agile on the Beach 2014. Examples include the Agile Manifesto itself, Test Driven Development, Behavioural Driven Development, Selenium as well as, of course, many, many open source projects which play a part in developing how the industry works.

For the first year Agile on the Beach will be seeking ideas from delegates and bringing them together to produce a paper outlining this conference’s view of the future for computing degrees or further education. There will be a whiteboard in the main “coffee” room where post-it notes can be added to the board. There will also be a number of representatives from various educational institutions – Falmouth and Plymouth Universities, Cornwall and Truro & Penwith Colleges – around during the conference to discuss any views. Collectively we aim to pull together a diverse and varied range of views and ideas from specific knowledge areas to more practical application approaches that we feel should be part of the future. This will be published for Universities and colleges to use to help inform their course design as well as a vital resource document for Government specifically the Department for Education. The plan is then to review the content each year at the conference to continue the truly agile approach.

This year, AOTB will also launch its first Agile Audit to provide a litmus test of agile opinions across the industry. Results of the Audit, will take place over the 2 days of the conference and online for those who could not make the sold-out agile event, will be announced next week.

So is there actually a beach?

Agile on the Beach takes place on Falmouth University Campus on 4th and 5th September with a party on Gyllyngvase beach, Falmouth on the evening of Thursday 4th September sponsored by IBM. Well it couldn’t be Agile on the Beach without a beach party, could it?


AOTB 14 was a sold-out event so mark calendars for next year’s dates: 3rd and 4th September.