Getting the most out of an “unconference” (and why you should attend TOGAF® Camp!)

By Steve Nunn, The Open Group

If you haven’t been to an “unconference” before, a great way to try one is to join me in San Diego next week at The Open Group Conference’s TOGAF® Camp. You may even find yourself bitten by the unconference bug.

The rules are simple at an unconference:

  • The people who come are the best people who could have come
  • Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened
  • It starts when it starts.
  • It’s over when it’s over

And, my particular favorite:

  • The Law of Two Feet (“If you are not learning or contributing to a talk, presentation, or discussion, it is your responsibility to find somewhere where you can contribute or learn”).  Makes a change from being stuck in those seemingly interminable sessions from which you can’t escape!

Of course, like all rules at an unconference, participants should feel free to break any or all of these rules if they feel that they are not contributing to the intellectual rigour or content of the event.

Sounds intriguing, and even — dare I say it — fun, doesn’t it?

I really enjoy running The Open Group’s TOGAF® Camps, because they are an informal opportunity for anybody to bring anything at all to the table. There is no set discussion going into TOGAF® Camp; really, any topic regarding Enterprise Architecture in general is welcomed. You will be encouraged to share your thoughts and experiences in several open discussions, with the subjects proposed and decided upon by attendees themselves. In fact, deciding upon the discussion topics is an engaging process in itself. You will take away new or refined ideas that can be applied to your own enterprise, and we upload the discussion content into a wiki accessible to all (this one was from our TOGAF® Camp in Amsterdam, October 2010).

Let’s say, for example, that you join us wanting to discuss how to go about using TOGAF® in conjunction with other frameworks. Introduce it, vote for it, and then talk about it in discussion groups – simple. You’ll have the benefit of hearing about others’ experiences with TOGAF® and other frameworks, get ideas, and explore solutions and challenges. When everyone who has wanted to weigh in has had his or her say, that’s the end of that session (see rule #4). That’s the beauty of an unconference.

TOGAF®Camp will take place at the Marriott San Diego Mission Valley, as part of The Open Group Conference, San Diego, Feb. 7-11.

It will be held during the afternoon track session on Wednesday, Feb. 9 and is free and open to all – whether attending the rest of the conference or not. Join us for libations afterwards for the full unconference experience!

TOGAF® Camp is just one of three unconferences taking place next week in San Diego. We also invite you to join us for CloudCamp and SOA Camp, as well as plenary and tracks focused on security, Enterprise Architecture and Cloud, presented by preeminent thought leaders in the industry.

Steve Nunn is the COO of The Open Group and the CEO of the Association of Enterprise Architects. An attorney by training, Steve has been with The Open Group since 1993. He is a native of the U.K. and is based in the U.S.

Comments Off

Filed under Enterprise Architecture, TOGAF®

Comments are closed.