Agile Maine Day

BY Michael Poliskey

Agile Maine

I was fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity to be the official photographer of Agile Maine Day at The Abromson Center on the campus of the University of Southern Maine last week. When I was first asked, my new Canon 80D hadn’t even arrived in the mail yet, but I would have some time to get used to my new gear before May 5th. What’s cool is that I was also able to shoot a lot of video for the event as well as photos, so there should be a video coming at some point as well.

Video and Photography

I had fallen in love with DSLR cameras for video use years ago after I got a hold of a Nikon 7100 to play with. You seem to have a lot more control over depth of field and other photography related techniques with video capable DSLR’s. The 80D is actually marketed as DSLR for video with its face tracking ability and swiveling and touch enabled LCD. Such a nice camera.

I loaded ‘Cinestyle’, which is a custom color profile that gives the colors a more neutral and real look so you can adjust colors after the fact if needed. Once I loaded that profile and played around with it a bit I realized I see this look everywhere. I see it on YouTube, movies and promotional videos…it’s kind of everywhere! It has a more cinematic look right out of the box. I learned that most cameras default profiles increase the contrast and brightness giving an oversaturated look to both photos and videos.

David Snowden

The Event

Agile Maine Day itself was one day only and had 11 speakers from all over the US. I thought since it was a local event that the speakers would be from Maine, but I remember hearing Idaho, Connecticut, Florida, Pennsylvania and one speaker was talking about being in Israel last week training a team of project managers on the topic of Agile. Kind of impressive. I was told there may be Agile Day events all over the US, which makes sense. Agile isn’t just a Maine thing, but a methodology used throughout the world I believe.

Heidi Araya

The Speakers and Sessions

The speakers were all top notch and the sessions were super informative. I have worked with project managers on web projects before but to hear and see the excitement from both the audience and speakers on all of the techniques and methodologies was an eye opener. Scrum Master, Lean, Kanban, Agile and Waterfall are just a few of the methodologies I knew nothing about but heard throughout the day.

There was even a ‘Mob Programming’ session which I didn’t expect to see, which was a group of people switching seats and roles every few minutes to help solve a code problem. Later there was a ‘machine learning’ exercise that was taking place as I walked into a darkened room where people were chanting ‘House, House, House…’ but it was all part of the exercise and not a cult meeting…which crossed my mind as I first walked in.

Mob Programming

Final Thoughts

Really cool event, I met some new people and was able to catch up with some old friends and former co-workers, who I’d like to think of as friends as well and not just ‘former co-workers’. I hadn’t been to USM in years so it was cool to see the new center and I didn’t have to pay for parking which seemed completely foreign but nothing I would complain about, so I won’t.

Michael Poliskey lives in Portland, Maine with Laura and Georgia where he plays guitar, makes videos and builds websites.