i am finally returned from agile2008, held this year in toronto, canadia. i'll try to capture some of the findings or learnings from the week, but it may come as a trickle. we'll see how well my notes hold up.
my initial response to the conference was shock and horror. the first day consisted of 'research in progress' presentations. i tend to think of myself as an academically minded person with a large spoonful of pragmatism (comments welcome), but these presentations, along with group discussions to provide feedback, were largely useless, time wasting activities, perhaps due to my not having read any preparatory material before taking my seat. in general, each presentation was too brief to impart enough facts to judge the quality or depth of the research, sampling techniques, or analysis.
by far the largest frustration was to be found in folks' heavy reliance on poorly factored powerpoint slides. several people were even so bold as to read slides to their audience. the one man to pull it off was Gregg Pollack (of RailsEnvy), who managed to weave a great narrative around a demo of RSpec.