Over the last 5 years, a few people from interstate have come to LAST Conf in Melbourne and wondered why we don’t do LAST in Sydney or Canberra. Up until now, we have stuck to Melbourne and built the event to cater for the agile community here.
That’s changed because Andy Kelk has stepped up and is making LAST happen in Sydney for the first time in 2016. It will be a single day, 25 July, at UTS. We are really excited that this is going to happen and benefit the practitioner community in Sydney.
Find out more at the separate website for LAST CONFERENCE SYDNEY.
When we started in 2011, about 150 people came. In 2015, demand was so great that there were 600+ at the event. For 2016, we decided that we wanted to expand to 2 days in order to have fewer people per day, but have room for people who missed out on previous editions, because LAST was full. We think having fewer people per day will increase the quality of the experience for participants.
Day 1 and day 2 will have generally different schedules. In the past, people have asked for session repeats, so there may be some sessions that are run on both days.
We’re getting more help! In 2016, there are going to be "track hosts”. They include Kelsey van Haaster, Ryan McKergow, Adrian Fittolani, Victoria Schiffer, Megan Dell, Rajesh Mathur and Steve Mitchell.
Many things will remain very similar to previous editions though.
This is a mini-conference, aimed at practioners who are working with Lean, Agile, or Systems Thinking techniques. The primary audience is the practitioner communities in Melbourne and Sydney, although you're also welcome if you are from elsewhere. The event will be participatory, and collaborative. Workshops, activities, and discussions are favoured ahead of one person speaking at the front of the room in front of a slide deck.
The event is being run by practitioners from the Australian agile community. 2016 will be the fifth edition of the Melbourne version and the first time the event will be held in Sydney.
We sometimes joke that it’s like a “meetup on steroids”. The day has multiple meetups running at the same time, all day. A bit like a film festival, you won’t get to see everything that’s on, but we hope that you get something out of every session you go to.
The event is a chance for people to share their learning. Some session leaders will have a lot of experience presenting and facilitating. Some will be just starting out. We encourage people to get up and share their knowledge, even if you haven’t done this type of thing much before.
LAST stands for "Lean, Agile, Systems Thinking".
Our events are inspired by the Agile Tour, the inaugural Australian instance was held in December 2011, in Sydney. The organisers of LAST, felt that the Melbourne community could really benefit from something similar, and so LAST Conference was born. Here’s Ed's writeup of that event. He also explains "Why I started LAST Conference”. Although it’s inspired by AT, we’ve evolved into our own thing.
With the naming of the event, we wanted to provide a broad remit, so that the full scope of practice could potentially be covered.
The event is not aimed at beginners, but rather for people who have worked in the field, and want to extend their knowledge, and share their experiences with other practitioners in a collaborative and interactive environment.
This may include but is not limited to: Developers, Product Managers, Business Analysts, Product Owners, Designers, UX Designers, Iteration Managers, Testers, Scrum Masters, CTOs, Project Managers, Trainers and Coaches. Technical and non-technical practitioners are welcome.
If you are starting out, there may be some things that go over your head, but you may also find the event useful. So come along if you want to, it's up to you. Don’t be afraid to ask and learn from others.
Beginners will also want to attend 1st Conf an event organised by the same people that organise LAST, but aimed at people just starting out with agile.
We will start announcing the sessions for the in May (we think). We want to encourage activities and workshops, as well as talks, about real world experiences (both positive and problematic).
We will build the schedule iteratively, adding sessions if great new ideas come in or if there is a gap that needs to be filled. Session leaders are also free to alter their session in the lead up to the event, if they need to.
Craig is the main curator of the schedule in Melbourne and he’s will be programming a lot into the schedule again. In 2016, we will also have track curators, looking after certain spaces at LAST.
Not really. Our view is that there is too much tchotchke at a typical conference, so we aren't having very much, if any. We want to focus on communication, interactions and value rather than schwag.
If you have a lanyard holder from a previous event (and we bet that you've got a few), please bring it. Otherwise, your name badge is self-adhesive, so stick it on your shirt! Similarly, you'll probably have your own bag, so you don't need another one, right?
Don't worry, we still love you though, and have thought about all of your really important needs.
So, combining our "More Value, Less Tchotchke principle, we usually don’t do a t-shirt or a bag and pass that saving onto you.
In 2014 we had this Redbubble supported t-shirt design. We gave some away and some people bought one for themselves. This year, to celebrate the 5th edition of LAST, we have a special design, where we are doing the same.
We commissioned the artwork from artist, Rich Woodall. Rich is known for his long running comic Johnny Raygun, as well as titles such as, the Zombie Bomb! Comic Anthology, and Kyrra Alien Jungle Girl. We also like his cover of TMNT #22, for IDW.
You can see more of Rich’s work at Deviant Art
You'll be adequately fed and watered at lunch, and morning and afternoon breaks.
We always have an evening gathering, with sponsored drinks (we hope). Make sure you allow time to stick around and engage in stimulating follow up conversations about the day/s!
Registration opens in late March 2016. In previous years, the event has sold out weeks before the date, so it’s best to get in quick. Once full, please join the waiting list, and if any spots become available, they will be released to the waiting list first.
See this page for more FAQs about Registration.
We use Lanyrd for session and speaker details. It can be used it to track sessions and speakers, and find follow up coverage. Here's what it looked like for the 2012 Google I/O conference and for LAST Conference 2013.
Lynyrd has an HTML5 mobile version for various mobile devices, and an iOS app for iPhone or iPad They both allow for offline access…and are free.
Easy Twitter, LinkedIn or username/password sign in will also allow you to meet other attendees, and find out about other events that you might find interesting. Don't worry if you don't have a Twitter or LinkedIn account, you can still use Lanyrd to view event info.
LAST grew from the Agile and Lean community in Melbourne that holds regular evening user group events throughout the year. Ed Wong and Craig Brown, co-organisers of the Melbourne Agile and Scrum group, the Agile Business Analysts group, and experienced practitioners, decided to make it happen.
Ed and Craig are also founding members of Tabar, who are the organising sponsors of LAST. Tabar is a group of agile practitioners who provide coaching, training and consulting services…and events!
In Sydney, Andy Kelk is leading the organisation of the event, with Ed and Craig assisting, along with others in the Sydney agile community.