Software development meetups, communities, conferences, unconferences, both free and paid are exploding in numbers. A few people think that these can be better. That no matter if the event is free or paid, it should feature a few characteristics to make it truly valuable for the attendees.

We(*) have thought about what we value about a well-organized unconference and we’ve distilled it to four key points. Being big fans of the Agile Manifesto, we followed its proven format and created a similar manifesto.

We believe software craftsmanship gatherings create the most value to their attendees when they feature:

Practical, concrete discussions on code over generic talks
 Speakers should write or show code

Solutions applicable in any language over vendor-specific tool marketing
 Discussions should feature techniques usable in more technologies

Exchange of ideas in an open environment over passive listening
 Opportunities should abound to meet and learn with fellow developers working in various environments

Learning by practicing with peers over hearing and forgetting
 Practice should be encouraged with formats such as hands-on workshops, open space, code with a stranger or pair programming

Today, a few communities and conferences follow these principles: SoCraTes Germany, SoCraTes UK, Software Craftsmanship communities around the world and the I T.A.K.E. Unconference. Let’s help them continue the amazing work they do by supporting the ideas that they stand for!

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(*) Programmers, coaches and trainers of the Mozaic Works team, proud organizers of the I T.A.K.E. Unconference: Adrian Bolboacă, Flavius Ștef, Alexandru Bolboacă, Maria Diaconu