Hubert Smits flying with Big Orange Square

A short, informal chat with Hubert Smits about The Gathering

Editor’s Note: Hubert Smits is one of the founders for The Gathering in the Big Orange Square community. Here are a few of his thoughts about why he put this conference together.

Why is it called The Gathering?

In our Scrum community, we know the event ‘Gathering’ and so I use it to describe this event because it is more accurate than the word conference. It is, in a sense, a conference, but it is also an environment designed for people to come together and work together, share, learn and build together. It’s a very collaborative experience.

Who are the speakers?

The speakers come from within the community. They give a talk about something they’ve worked on, experiences they’ve had and then they invite the attendees to participate in a collaborative effort. To collaborate, we usually have someone speak on a topic and then, following the Q&A, we solve a problem or add to the topic. Of course, we use Scrum frameworks to do this. The keynote speakers are Joe Justice and Kevin Thompson, PhD. Joe is a consultant at Scrum, Inc., a TEDx speaker, and coach for agile hardware and manufacturing teams around the world. He is the founder of Team WIKISPEED. He’s a great guy, a good friend and he is an inspirational speaker with a great deal to share about successfully using scrum in hardware projects. Kevin has a doctorate in Physics from Princeton University, and extensive background in managing software development projects. He will also share an excellent and pragmatic talk. His talk will focus on the basic concepts of developing hardware with the Scrum framework. He will address how Scrum for hardware can differ from norms commonly seen in the software world.

Why the Hotel Boulderado?

I selected the Hotel Boulderado because the second Scrum for Software Gathering was held here. I attended that one and it was led by Ken Schwaber. That Gathering laid the foundation for what is now known as the Scrum Alliance. This Gathering of Scrum for hardware folks will meet at the same hotel where that great movement began.

Why are you doing this?

When I am restless or need to relieve stress, I got out to my workshop and I make things. When I am working, I am teaching and using Scrum. It is natural for me to put these two passions together. So, why not build a community with this focus?