open space marketplace

FroGs conf is organized as an unconference, a conference format that follows the Open Space Technology. The idea of an unconference is to learn from and share with each other. It’s a way to build a conference around those meaningful interactions you have during the breaks at a normal conference.

In this format, attendees are also session contributors. Anyone who wants to initiate a topic can claim a time slot in the conference schedule. Once you are at the conference, the organizers' job is mostly over. They have provided a space and the tools for the event. After this, it’s up to you as a participant to make it a great event.

At the beginning of the conference, we will go over the open space principles and rules to make sure everybody knows how the conference is run.

We expect to use Welo and Miro as our main conference tools. We use Slack for pre-, side- and post conference discussions. You will be invited to our Slack channel before the conference.

Open Space conferences

There are some simple rules for participants:

  • Whoever comes is the right people
    As a facilitator, you should welcome anyone who has decided to join your session, and not be frustrated if you expected different people.
    As a participant, you should be ready to collaborate with anyone.

  • Whenever it starts is the right time
    As a facilitator, if you need some time to prepare, take it. This might lead to people getting bored and go join another session. The best is to prepare in advance.
    As a participant, there is nothing wrong with joining a session in progress. But respect the people who have already started, and try to jump in quietly.

  • Wherever it is, is the right place
    You will be offered several spaces for your session. Choose the one that fits your needs as a facilitator or as a participant.

  • Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
    Be prepared to be surprised. Don’t be annoyed if you get feedback. Don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t work. Try again if need be.

  • When it’s over, it’s over
    As a facilitator, it’s up to you to mind your timebox. The organizers will not do it for you. Keep in mind that the participants of your session might want to go to another session after yours, and that the room might be reserved after. Feel free to continue in a different location with anyone who is interested.

Law of two feet

If, during the course of the event, any person finds themselves in a session where they are neither learning nor contributing, they have the responsibility to themselves to stand up and go to some more interesting place.

Tell me more about how to prepare

If you want to know more about how to prepare for an unconference, you can read about that here.

Facilitating a session

We have a dedicated channel in our Slack space called #friends-of-good-sessions to support you in facilitating a session. So if you want feedback on your ideas, or are looking for a co-facilitator, go there and ask!

Possible session topics

Since the unconference is called “Friends of Good Software conference” we'd like to see sessions related to the themes of software and quality:

  • test approach and strategy
  • quality and agile, scrum, waterfall, XP, ...
  • DevOps, continuous integration, continuous delivery
  • oracles and heuristics
  • storytelling
  • modelling & visualisation
  • testability
  • documentation
  • automation in building, testing, deploying, ...
  • interesting tools, bad tools, fun tools, tools you wonder what they're for
  • risk analysis
  • how to hire people
  • organizational design
  • user story refinement
  • communication and collaboration skills
  • ...

Be creative! Create your own session with the stuff you want to talk about, learn more about or let others help you solve a problem.

Possible session formats

For the session format you have quite some options:

  • It can be a presentation or demo with plenty of time for Q&A.
  • It can be a group discussion after a 5-minute introduction of a problem or of a question.
  • It can be a coaching session, either 1-on-1 with observers, or one person being coached by a group.
  • It can be a workshop.
  • It can be an experiment or shared learning experience.
  • It can be asking feedback on an early version of something you're working on.
  • Or it can be many other things.

Again, be creative! Find a format that works for you and for what you want to get out of the session.

Facilitation tips & tricks

  • have a clear picture of your topic
  • pick a format you feel comfortable with
  • think about how you want to use Miro or other supporting tools
  • think about roles in your session: do you need a note-taker or observer(s)?
  • share both the topic and the format during the marketplace
  • consider energy levels when picking a slot for your session, e.g. do hard things in the morning
  • be there for sessions you proposed
  • don't hesitate to ask the group or a specific individual to take up a role