About the event

Since 2011 Agile on the Beach has established itself as a world class conference for Agile and software development and the conference has sold out in the last five years despite increasing capacity.

The Agile on the Beach 2021 summer conference, will mark AOTB’s 10th Birthday and for it we will once again be returning to the AMATA building, on the Penryn Campus of Falmouth University, for two full days of talks over a range of different themes.

Many of delegates chose to stay on campus and accommodation can be booked either with your conference ticket, or added to you registration at a later date – up until the 30th April.

The Themes

Agile on the Beach 2021 will focus on Agile working, software creation and delivery, teams, practice and new business thinking. These themes will be organised as several tracks. Most run on 1-day only:

  • Product Design: e.g. product look and feel, user experience & UXD, front end design.
  • Product Management, e.g. product discovery, business analysis, product ownership, the product manager role
  • Team working, e.g. culture, personnel management, self-organization, leadership.
  • Agile practices, e.g. agile basics, writing user stories, retrospectives.
  • Agility in business (technology) including public sector, e.g. digital businesses, Agile delivery contracts, Involving business clients in technical discussions.
  • Agility in business (non-tech), application of agile techniques and ideas in more general business and outside of software development.
  • Software delivery (2 days): including engineering programing, testing and operations, e.g. TDD, BDD, continuous delivery, architecture, reliability, scalability.


The People

The 2019 conference was attended by nearly 500 people and we are expecting similar numbers for 2021. A large number of delegates come from the local area (Cornwall and Devon) although most attendees come from further afield, including a significant number of international delegates and speakers.

Most attendees are in someway involved with the software industry either at a technical or business level.  Within the technical audience the technology base is wide. From web-developers using PHP on LAMP to embedded C developers programming on the metal. However a significant minority are managers or come from outside the software arena.  One of the aims of the conference is to showcase Agile outside of software.

The Speakers

Keynotes for 2021 have not been confirmed yet but you can those that would have spoken in 2020 here  – please watch the website and Twitter feed for the latest announcement.  Past keynote speakers have included: Diana Larsen, Dan North, Michael Feathers, Kevlin Henney, Mary Poppendieck, Linda Rising, James Grenning, Bjarte Bogsnes, Woody Zuill and Gerd Gigerenzer.

In 2019 we had 54 speakers who delivered 45 sessions. Across the conference we aim to create a balanced programme with space for new speakers as well as those who regularly speak on the conference circuit while avoiding an unintentional bias in any direction. 

To get a feel for the types of sessions to expect from AOTB you can view the 2019 summer conference programme here (click on the title of the session to view the speakers bio, session synopsis and view the video and slides from that session).

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The Social Events

Almost as important as the two full days of quality sessions delivered by the speakers at AOTB are the social events. This is often when the magic happens, where the foundations of our community form. These events provide an opportunity for the delegates to connect with each other and share their experiences and knowledge on a personal level.

Pasty and Pint Welcome event – 8th July: Many of our delegates have a significant journey to AOTB and therefore like to arrive at the conference a day early (registration and check in opens at 3pm on the Wednesday afternoon) so for quite a few AOTB actually starts that evening. We like to welcome those early arrivals in a typically Cornish style… with a proper pasty (veggie, vegan and gluten free options also available) and a pint on the roof terrace of the AMATA building.

The AOTB Beach Party – 9th July: On the Thursday night we take our delegates 10 minutes down the road to Gyllyngvase beach for a delicious BBQ, followed by ice creams, with beach games and live music for entertainment, and then we round the evening off by toasting marshmallows on the fire pits as the sun goes down.

The Retrospective Boat Party – 9th July: On the Friday evening, after the closing Keynote, those lucky enough to have bagged themselves a boat party ticket (these always sell out) catch the shuttle bus from the campus down to the Prince of Wales Pier in Falmouth town centre. From the historic port on the mouth of the river Fal we set out on a on a sunset sail, either out into the bay or up the stunning estuary, again enjoying some delicious food and drinks as the sun sets. Then those that are keen usually hit the town for a party.

Lunch: Lunchtimes at AOTB are not your typical conference style lunch, they are more like a food festival. With some of the best street food caterers in the south west to chose from, AOTB delegates are spoilt for choice as take their lunch out on to the lawn. Menus will be released closer to the conference, when delegates will be asked to pre-order. To get an idea of the style of catering view the 2019 lunch menus here. 

Here is a list of the speakers that would have been speaking in 2020: