Agile on the Beach

A business and technology conference supported by Plymouth University has recently been ranked amongst the top three in the world.

Industry magazine Software Development Today have released a Top 50 list of Agile or other IT related conferences across the globe, to arm enthusiasts with better knowledge in a rapidly growing market.  Of the 105 events rated, 'Agile on the Beach (AOTB)' – a Cornish event – placed joint third alongside Lean Agile Scotland.  

The annual conference, named after a software development methodology, has raised its profile dramatically from 60 attendees in 2010 to over 300 in 2014. It champions a range of Agile areas for ICT professionals to explore, and brings both UK and international speakers to the Duchy. 

The 2014 event - backed for the first time by technology giant IBM – brought joint keynotes from Bjarte Bognes of Statoil and Joe Rainsberger, leading Canadian technology writer, amongst some 40 other speakers, sharing their knowledge on the latest developments within the Agile movement. 

Dr Shirley Atkinson, Plymouth University’s Head of Software Engineering, said: 

“Plymouth University is well known for its work in the Information Technology world from gaming to robotics, and networks to security, and we fully support the Agile initiative embedding these skills into the wider community. Our engagement at AOTB is a very beneficial way of connecting industry to the lecture room, opening the eyes of students as to what is happening in the real world, and exposing them to the latest cutting edge approaches. It has even led to further opportunities including job offers from industry experts.”  

Tony Edwards, Plymouth University student has written a blog of the contributions he believes AOTB has made to his learning.

Mark Smith, Executive Director of Unlocking Potential, who has championed the University's engagement at the event over the past four years, said: 

“We're proud to have supported Agile on the Beach, helping to bring awareness of these methods to the widest possible audience.  I feel that our lead sponsorship, delivered alongside excellent support from Oxford Innovation and Falmouth University, has been instrumental in growing awareness of software capability in Cornwall and helping to raise the profile of the Duchy in this important sector of the UK economy.” 

Michael Barritt, Managing Director at Sullivan Cuff Software and Toby Parkins, Founding Director at Headforwards, jointly founded Agile on the Beach.  Toby said: 

“This year our reach and presence in the marketplace has grown tremendously, and the recognition from Software Development Today is a great confirmation that our hard work is being recognised. We are extremely grateful to Plymouth University for their long term support for AOTB helping to make this happen.”

The AOTB event explores 4 strands of agile adoption – Agile Business, Agile Teams, Agile Software Craftmanship and Agile Products - giving attendees from the software industry and its supply chain the chance to hear and discuss the latest coding, testing and delivery techniques and tools. 

The call for speakers for this year’s event, organised by Mackerel Sky Events, is open for online applications. Organisers advise early booking with interest from every continent to take part.