LAST Conference. Videos, slides, and other coverage

View and add coverage

The best way to see all of the coverage about sessions at LAST Conference is to go an look at our Lanyrd page, where you can view the session pages, and see the aggregated coverage; slides, videos, visual notes, write ups, photos, etc.

Lanyrd is crowd sourced, so don’t forget to add your coverage to the relevant session.


Most of my day on 27 July, was spent running around from room to room. Checking that everyone was OK, checking that the catering was going as planned, and so on. I also co-lead a session. I did get the chance to sit in on a couple of sessions, at least for short periods, but didn’t get to see a lot of stuff that sounded really great. So I have been looking forward to catching up on some videos of things that I missed. Craig’s been in charge of getting videos of sessions edited, and now he’s announced that they are all uploaded.

We videoed as many of the sessions  at LAST Conference, as we could. Two of the rooms we were running were lecture theatres, which had in built A/V capabilities, with the ability to put the video of the session leader on top of any presentation slides they had. In the other rooms, we simply had cameras mounted on tripods, pointed at the front of the room.

Some sessions didn’t lend themselves to being videoed, or the video didn’t turn out well, so not all sessions have one. However, there are 25 of them, so that should keep you/me busy for a while!

Visual Collaboration

I’ve not started watching the vids yet, except for the one that I have embedded above, and also a bit of Brett Maytom’s session. Lynne Cazaly‘s session about Visual Collaboration. seemed very well received, which I’m really pleased about.

I came across Lynne at a Trampoline Day, where she ran a session, which was quite similar to that in the video. I instantly thought that this was the type of thing that would be great for LAST. You may have noticed that I’m an advocate of UX techniques, and of incorporating more visual collaboration in general, in projects.

The other consideration was that the session was fun, with lots of engaging content, and laughter, as well as being useful. An added bonus…no Powerpoint!

She mentions James Wood’s Systems Thinking session, and she’s put the  visual notes she made up on Flickr. This was done using the Brushes iPad app, and puts my attempts at visual notes to shame. Must try harder!

Lynne also mentions Dan Roam’s book, The Back of the Napkin. I’d recommend this book, also.

Google group for Agile Oxford

Here’s a link to a Google group that I’ve setup for the Agile Oxford user group that I started banging on about in this post. If you’re interested, why not sign up? It’s looking good that we’ll have our first meetup either in November or early December

Google Groups

Geek nights and user groups

Georgia? (LOC)

Networking = yawn-fest?

I used to think that “networking” was some type of dreary activity that only terminal bores went to. However, increasingly I can see that getting together with like-minded people to share experiences can have benefits.

Geeks in the night

I live in Oxford, which along with its Dreaming Spires, also has a healthy geek scene. A foremost example of this is Oxford Geek Night,  ably organised by JP who also works at Torchbox, an Oxfordshire web agency. The basic gist is that there are a variety of technology related talks (keynotes and shorter “microslots”) with healthy gaps in-between to discuss the issues with geek-minded folks. It is held every couple of months and is generally a good night, although the PA system sometimes lets it down. Most of the talks are archived on the OGN site and are worth a look.

I also sometimes stop in on the Oxford Internet Professionals meetup, which meets monthly with no particular agenda (i.e. talks), just some chats over a couple of beverages. I’ve met some fine folks such as Rob Jones, the organiser and head honcho at Surefire Digital and David Langer, a co-honcho at the fast-rising startup, Group Spaces.

In my previous job, I was in London 2-3 days a week, so another group that I often attended was the London Scrum User Group, which is held monthly.  The format of this user group is a bit different to the OGN in that it often used the Open Spaces concept, although that might have changed.

Agile Oxford

As far as I know, there is no equivalent group that meets to discuss agile development/Scrum/Kanban and so on, in Oxford. There used to be an agile book group, The Oxtremists, however that seems to be undergoing a hiatus.

With that in mind, tonight I met up with James, a developer and quite freshly minted Scrum master, who was keen to discuss setting up an agile user group in Oxford. The basic idea for the first event, is to have a guest speaker  as an icebreaker, then have some time for groups to form to discuss issues relating to agile development. We could also thrash out future directions for the group, adapting the format in an…agile…manner.

Some possible areas of discussion:

  • We just started “doing agile”…what now?
  • Help! I need advice on insert problem here.
  • How do you do continuous integration/source control/pair programming/automated testing/behaviour driven development/agile UX etc.

We’re looking to start some time in October November probably at the East Oxford offices of my employer, White October. I would be very keen to hear from anyone interested in this idea, so GET IN TOUCH!. You are also welcome to comment, as per the usual weblog etiquette.

The photo at the top of the post is from The Library of Congress on the Flickr Commons.