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Announcing FlowCon

I spend quite a lot of time at conferences, and it consistently bothers me that they are so often focused on one particular function: development, testing, UX, systems administration. The point of continuous delivery is to accelerate the rate at which we can learn from each other – and from our customers. That requires everyone involved in the delivery process (including users, product owners and entrepreneurs) to collaborate throughout. So why isn’t there a conference which focuses on flow – the emergent property of great teams?

So I got together with a bunch of like-minded folks – Elisabeth Hendrickson, Gene Kim, John Esser and Lane Halley – and now there is a conference about creating flow: FlowCon. It’s on Friday November 1 in San Francisco, and it’s produced by ThoughtWorks and Trifork (creators of the GOTO conferences).

The conference is based around four values:

Learning: Our goal is to provide the best possible conference forum for practitioners to learn from each other how to build great products and services.

Open Information: We aim to uncover how great products and services are built in real life and make this information freely available to the widest audience possible.

Diversity: We believe the technology community – and thus the conference speakers and participants – should reflect the demographics of our customers and the wider world.

Spanning boundaries: We believe that the best products and services are created collaboratively by people with a range of skills and experiences.

We have put together nearly half of the program, and we’re delighted to announce that Adrian Cockcroft, Catherine Courage, Jeff Gothelf and Linda Rising will be giving keynotes. The program is still a work in process (a minimum viable product, if you will). In particular, the after lunch sessions are empty – for a good reason: we want you to speak in those slots. We’re looking for people working to create flow in their organization – especially those who:

  • Span multiple roles and work across organizational silos.
  • Work in any of the following areas: a highly regulated environment; a large, traditional enterprise; in the pursuit of social and economic justice.
  • Are willing to share obstacles encountered or mistakes made and how you overcame them – whether cultural or technological.
  • Offer actionable advice “the rest of us” can apply today (even if we don’t have the resources of Etsy / Amazon / Google).

Your talk could be about culture, technology, design, process – the only really important criterion is that it draws on what you’ve learned about helping to create flow in your organization.

If that sounds like you, please submit your proposal. If you know someone who would do a great job, please encourage them to submit. Our submission process is designed to be entirely merit-based, which means that the first round is anonymous. The deadline is midnight Pacific time, Sunday June 23, 2013.

Tickets for the conference are now on sale – at $350 if you register before July 31, or $500 if you register afterwards. Whatever your role or domain, you’re sure to find inspirational, disruptive thinking that will make you better at creating great products and services. I hope to see you there!