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Agile Meetup in Kyiv, Ukraine

Last Friday I had a phenomenal opportunity to join a meetup based in Kyiv, Ukraine. It was my first experience being the only remote presenter, and although it was challenging, I really enjoyed the experience and learned a ton. Let me tell you about it.

This August I was fortunate to attend Agile 2018 conference in San Diego, CA (thank you Allstate). It was my first experience at a professional conference and it was a truly great one. Many Scrum Masters and coaches struggle with an imposter syndrome and it was definitely my first time feeling “at home” with what I do for a living. I met a bunch of other agile professionals, learned a ton and also realized how little I really know. I will put together a separate post going over that experience.

While there I ran into several Ukrainians and we kinda clicked. Kate, Oksana, Vitaliy and Dmytro were some of the youngest attendees at Agile 2018 (we were all very surprised by it) and we really connected over our backgrounds and careers. You could find us every evening hanging out, discussing our days and joking around. After the conference we all went our separate ways, but we still stayed in touch. An idea was born to put together a knowledge share about the conference in Kyiv. Even though I wouldn’t be able to join face to face, everyone made sure to keep me involved during the planning process and make video/streaming available during the actual event.

Together we picked topics that we wanted to share, created a slide deck and invited people to come. Kate and Oksana work at MacPaw (company behind CleanMyMac and Setapp, which I’ve used before) and they were gracious enough to provide the space for attendees. Over 50 people came!

The event went extremely well for those in Kyiv, but I had some difficulties. I couldn’t see the audience, or hear them quite well. In addition the stream of the room was a bit behind, so I couldn’t quite see the slides changing in time. This is where I need to give kudos to Kate, as she was my “remote” for changing slides and looking at the recording it actually worked pretty flawlessly.

Again, I want to emphasize how easy it is to fall into feeling like an impostor as a Scrum Master, or Agile Coach. Very often your work can go unnoticed or under-appreciated, and this experience has really empowered me. I had no idea how much Agile and working in agile manner is of interest to people in Ukraine. Since I moved away young, I had no clue how remote teams, team culture, fun in workplace and things like that I regarded and discussed by many companies.

Being a part of this experience has definitely encouraged me to continue advancing myself in this field, as well as explore opportunities for more remote collaboration with other Agilists.

To Dmytro, Kate, Oksana and Vitaliy - you guys are an awesome bunch. You all are knowledgeable and I have learned a lot from you already. Hopefully we will get a chance to do this again!

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