What is Unconference?
An unconference is a participant-driven meeting. Attendees come together, bringing their challenges and relying on the experience and know-how of their peers for solutions. A professional facilitator is also there to help keep the discussion moving forward, but where it goes is up to the participants.
It's a facilitated peer group that avoids the hierarchical aspects of a conventional conference, such as a top-down organization. Only the broad themes are predetermined. Everything else is just space for attendees to sound off ideas together, relate to shared challenges and rewards, and identify new ideas and goals.
Our unconference sessions have been based on the Open Space Technology and Lean Coffee format since 2006.
Why are we doing Unconferences?
We have designed QCon for senior software practitioners. That role comes with demanding challenges and complex problems.
Connecting with your peers in a structured environment allows you to:
- Broaden your perspective with the benefit of the experience of others.
- Challenge how you've been doing things by breaking out of your bubble.
- Learn from peers who have already overcome the challenges you're facing now.
- Benchmark your solutions against other teams and organizations.
- Get real-world perspectives on challenges that might be too novel or specific to find solutions in books or presentations.
- Validate your technical roadmap with real-world research.
- Connect with others like you and build relationships that go beyond the event.
How do unconference sessions work?
The Law of Two Feet means you take responsibility for what you care about -- standing up for that and using your own two feet to move to whatever place you can best contribute and/or learn.
Unconference photos at:
Four principles apply to how you navigate our unconference sessions:
- Whoever comes is the right people. Whoever is attracted to the same conversation are the people who can contribute most to that conversation—because they care. So they are exactly the ones—for the whole group-- who are capable of initiating action.
- Whatever happens, is the only thing that could've. We are all limited by our own pasts and expectations. This principle acknowledges we'll all do our best to focus on NOW-- the present time and place-- and not get bogged down in what could've or should've happened.
- When it starts is the right time. The creative spirit has its own time, and our task is to make our best contribution and enter the flow of creativity when it starts.
- When it's over, it's over. Creativity has its own rhythm. So do groups.
Bring your passion and ideas to QCon Unconference! See you there!