The best agile and lean development conferences of 2018

You can't achieve great management and agility by reading a tutorial. You need to hear stories of how others did it and network with experienced practitioners. Conferences are one of the best opportunities to find those people, hear those stories, and turn abstract advice into real-world practices.

Here is our shortlist of the most popular agile and lean software development conferences in 2018. We've listed them all, although not all dates, locations, and pricing were available at publication time, especially for those events taking place later this year. In those cases, we have provided historical information on the event to give you an idea of what to expect, and what you'll get out of attending. And keep checking back: We'll update this guide as more information becomes available.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Software Test Automation 2017

February

DeveloperWeek

Twitter: @DeveloperWeek / #DevWeek18
Web: developerweek.com
Date: February 3-7
Location: Oakland and San Francisco, California, USA
Cost: Prices range from $55 for keynotes and DevWeek Expo to $1,445 for access to all events; additional conference packages can be found here.

DeveloperWeek 2018 is the world’s largest developer expo and conference series. Last year's "amazing Dev Network event brought no fewer than 8,000 developers ... for one week of incredible demonstrations, displays, and conversations," wrote Ahsan Awan. The power of code is the theme: The more software and the cloud integrate with any industry, the more we will see innovation move from "manufacturing" to "coding."

Who should attend: Developers, development managers and executives, artificial intelligence experts, and DevOps pros

Agile Open Northwest

Twitter: @aonw / #aonw2018
Web: agileopennorthwest.org/
Date: February 5-7
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Cost: $300

This event, sponsored by a coalition of practitioners and advocates intent on advancing agile, fittingly organizes its approach to sessions using open-space self-organizing principles and technology (OST) so that everyone has a chance not only to learn but also to contribute. Attendees can expect to grow their knowledge of lean and agile principles. Anyone with expertise in a topic related to the conference theme can propose relevant sessions. "Those discussions are universally great," wrote Eric Gunnerson.

Who should attend: Experienced, collaborative, committed agile practitioners and learners, including developers, testers, and business people

Agile Open California

Twitter: @AgileOpen / #AgileOpenCA
Web: agileopencalifornia.com/san_diego.html
Date: February 15-16
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Cost: $225

This event, sponsored by a coalition of practitioners and advocates intent on advancing agile, fittingly organizes its approach to sessions using open-space, self-organizing principles and technology so that everyone has a chance not only to learn but also to contribute. Attendees can expect to grow their knowledge of lean and agile principles.

Who should attend: Experienced, collaborative, committed agile practitioners and learners, including developers, testers, and business people

April

Agilia Conference / Agile Management Congress

Twitter: @agiliaconf / #agilia18
Web: agilemanagementcongress.com/
Date: April 9-13
Location: Olomouc, Czech Republic
Cost: €490 ($328.66) conference only; additional conference packages can be found here.

The Agile Management Congress is a subtrack of the Agilia Conference showcases improving business performance with agile, studying the topic through a number of different lenses: culture, software development, agile contracting, innovation, and more. It will follow its tradition of verifying presentations for authenticity and of offering fresh content thanks to limiting speakers' appearance to once every two years.

Who should attend: Managers (technical, finance, HR, operations, etc.), owners of companies, and board members interested in agile methodologies

Lean Kanban North America

Twitter: @leankanbanNA / #LKNA18
Web: lkna18.leankanban.com
Date: April 9-13
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Cost: Ranges from $1,799 for two-day conference pass to $3,599 for conference and leadership retreat; additional conference and training packages can be found here.

Attendees of Lean Kanban can connect with coaches and practitioners who use the Kanban and lean methodologies. Interactive workshops and sessions offer insight into enterprise scaling, the Kanban maturity model, upstream Kanban, forecasting, product management, visualization, and much more.

Who should attend: New and mature Kanban practitioners, coaches, trainers, consultants, and thought leaders

North American Global Scrum Gathering Minneapolis 2018

Twitter: @ScrumAlliance / #SGMSP18
Web: scrumalliance.org/sgmsp
Date: April 16-18
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Cost: Ranges from $1,350 for members to $1,600 for non-members; additional conference packages can be found here.

The event touts an innovative and actionable experience for Scrum practitioners. There are nine education themes on Scrum and agile topics, including government and regulated industries and organizational transformation, one-on-one coaching, and the chance to gain credit toward a Certified Scrum Professional® certification. "There was a lot of variety and a lot of great content," wrote Christopher Trudeau of his past experience.

Who should attend: Scrum and agile practitioners, agile enthusiasts, and business leaders and managers

Agile-Lean Ireland

Twitter: @AgileLeanIrl / #ALI2018
Web: agileleanireland.org/
Date: April 26
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Cost: €100, or €120 for late registration (after March 25)

This community-led conference mixes open-space sessions with traditional conference workshops, presentations, and lightning talks. The conference includes speakers from high-profile companies such as Spotify and Lego. Authors and practitioners of agile and lean methodologies are prevalent at this conference.

Who should attend: Agile/lean coaches, Scrum masters, product owners, leaders, and developers

deliver: Agile 2018

Twitter: @agilealliance / #deliveragile2018
Web: agilealliance.org/deliver-agile-2018
Date: April 30-May 2
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Cost: Ranges from $1,195 for early-bird members to $1,395 for non-members; group rates available.

The uniting of engineering and architectural topics under the umbrella of agile thinking forms the core of deliver: Agile 2018. It's a conference targeted at the multiple disciplines involved in agile ecosystems. Whether you're looking to support your agile practices with improved collaboration skills or better user experience implementations, its sessions will provide guidance from real teams who have been there.

Who should attend: Developers, system administrators, QA professionals, UX designers, infrastructure engineers, data scientists, cloud specialists, and DevOps and other agile discipline practitioners

May

Agile and Beyond

Twitter: @AgileAndBeyond / #AAB18
Web: agileandbeyond.com/2018/
Date: May 16-18
Location: Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA
Cost: $259-$279; group rates available

The all-volunteer Agile and Beyond conference will feature about 100 breakout and workshop sessions over the course of two days, focusing on agile principles and practices—as well as covering topics that it says will help make people and companies "awesome." The conference supports both novices and experts.

Who should attend: Designers, developers, and executives interested in lean and agile

Mile High Agile

Twitter: @agiledenver / #milehighagile
Web: milehighagile.org/
Date: May 21-22
Location: Denver, Colorado, USA
Cost: N/A; last year's tickets cost $525.

Agile Denver, the city's nonprofit community for agile and lean methods, sponsors this conference to help agile novices, intermediates, and experts grow, adapt, and evolve. Alan McKellar wrote that he enjoyed inspiring conversations at the conference, saying, "the community recognizes the need to look beyond practices and process to evolve and continue to grow as craftsmen."

Who should attend: Agile practitioners, technical professionals, team leaders, managers, executives, and organizational change leaders

June

Agile Dev West

Twitter: @TechWell / #AgileDevWest
Web: adcwest.techwell.com
Date: June 3-8
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Cost: Ranges from Super Early Bird pricing of $595 for the one-day Agile Leadership Summit to $3,995 regular pricing for the whole conference and three-day training class. Additional packages can be found here.

Here newbies have a chance to get up to speed quickly, and experienced pros can take their teams to the next level with hands-on, in-depth workshops. Another benefit is that the conference is held in conjunction with Better Software West and DevOps West, allowing you to choose from three distinct programs.

Who should attend: Agile teams and leadership, digital transformation teams, product owners, and managers in the areas of automation, development, test, and release

DevOps Enterprise Summit (DOES) London

Twitter: @DOES_EUR / #DOES18
Web: https://events.itrevolution.com/eur/
Date: June 25-26
Location: Intercontinental London - The O2, London, UK
Cost: N/A; last year's costs ranged from $1,250 to $2,150.

DOES is more than just a conference about technical and architectural DevOps practices. The event also covers the methods needed to lead widespread change efforts in large organizations. The goal is to give leaders the tools and practices they need to develop and deploy software faster. Attendees can expect to see speakers from many large companies and also engage in ad hoc discussions within a great community and learning environment.

Who should attend: Leaders of large, complex organizations implementing DevOps or agile principles and practices, developers, IT operations specialists, CxOs, software architects, and systems and network admins

August

Agile Alliance Agile2018

Twitter: @AgileAlliance / #Agile2018
Web: www.agilealliance.org/agile2018
Date: August 6-10
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Cost: Agile Alliance members: $1,649-$1,999; non-members: $2,399; academics: $999 (Unconfirmed, based on 2017 prices)

Agile2018 will mark the 17th year that Agile Alliance has hosted this international conference. Being the world's foremost agile event, the conference sells out quickly, so early reservations are a must. The conference features the most distinguished speakers in the field of agile software development and includes over 200 sessions.

Who should attend: Software project managers, product owners, developers, testers, and basically anyone with a significant interest in agile practices

September

Atlassian Summit

Twitter: @Atlassian / #atlassiansummit
Web: atlassian.com/company/events/summit-europe
Date: September 4-6
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Cost: N/A; last year's costs ranged from $799 to $1,299.

Development and collaboration software company Atlassian will provide developers in its user community the opportunity to enhance their skills and give teams the chance to compete to create a new capability that works with its Atlassian Tool Suite during the always-anticipated ShipIt Live hackathon. Its take on the user conference includes expanding beyond product talk to exploring issues such as how to create cultures of innovation and diversity in the tech industry.

Who should attend: Members of the Atlassian user and partner community

Agile Open Southern California

Twitter: @AgileOpen / #AgileOpen
Web: agileopencalifornia.com/southern_ca.html
Date: September 7-8
Location: Irvine, California, USA
Cost: N/A; last year's cost: $225

Like the Agile Open California event in San Diego, this event is hosted by a coalition of agile practitioners and advocates. The event uses open-space principles, helping all participants learn about and contribute to the discussion.

Who should attend: Experienced, collaborative, committed agile practitioners and learners, including developers, testers, and business people

Agile Cambridge

Twitter: @acconf / #agilecam
Web: agilecambridge.net
Date: September 26-28
Location: Cambridge, UK
Costs: £588 (including VAT) for Super Early Bird full-conference ticket (through March 15)

Agile Cambridge is described by its organizers as "a practical, hands-on agile software development conference" with a goal of letting participants interact with and learn from each other and from industry leaders. The event is focused on agile and lean experience sharing and learning by doing.

Who should attend: Agile practitioners looking for a small conference focused on hands-on training and learning

October

Agile Open Northern California

Twitter: @AgileOpen / #AgileOpen
Web: agileopencalifornia.com/northern_ca.html
Date: October 3-4
Location: Berkeley, California, USA
Cost: N/A; last year's cost: $250

The sister event to Agile Open Southern California and Agile Open California, it shares their approach to sessions using open-space principles, helping all participants learn about and contribute to the discussion.

Who should attend: Experienced, collaborative, committed agile practitioners and learners, including developers, testers, and business people

ASAS

Twitter: @Avisi_ASAS #ASAS 2018
Web: asas.nl/
Date: N/A; previous conferences held in October (2017) and September (2016)
Location: N/A; previous conferences held in Arnhem, Netherlands
Cost: €250 to €550

This conference emphasizes helping companies improve software development with new patterns, best practices, and agile principles, in order to deliver the right solutions for their users. Bart Hamer, application architect at CCV, stated that he attends "to learn about the latest software architecture ... trends and to get some wake up calls (usually provided by the ASAS keynote speakers)."

Who should attend: Technical leads, software architects, business analysts, and engineering directors

November

Agile Dev East

Twitter: @TechWell / #AgileDevEast
Web: adceast.techwell.com
Date: November 4-9
Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
Cost: Ranges from $595 for one-day Agile Leadership Summit to $3,995 for the full conference. Training and certification packages range from $3,495 to $3,995; conference packages range from $1,595 to $3,995; additional conference and training packages can be found here.

At Agile Dev East, newbies have a chance to get up to speed quickly, and experienced pros can take their teams to the next level with hands-on, in-depth workshops. The conference is held in conjunction with Better Software East and DevOps East, allowing you to choose from three distinct programs.

Who should attend: Agile teams and leadership, digital transformation teams, automation, developers, testers, release staff, product owners, and managers

DevOps Enterprise Summit (DOES) San Francisco

Twitter: @DOES_USA / #DOES18
Web: events.itrevolution.com/us
Date: November 13-15
Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Cost: N/A; last year's costs ranged from $1,250 to $2,150.

DOES is more than just a conference about technical and architectural DevOps practices. The event also covers the methods needed to lead widespread change efforts in large organizations. The goal is to give leaders the tools and practices they need to develop and deploy software faster. Attendees can expect to see speakers from many large companies and also engage in ad hoc discussions within a great community and learning environment.

​​​​​​Who should attend: Leaders of large, complex organizations implementing DevOps or agile principles and practices, developers, IT operations specialists, CxOs, software architects, systems and network admins

That concludes our list! For a more dense list of Agile Alliance-related workshops and events, check out the Agile Alliance event calendar too.

Review the options and make your choices soon: Prices may vary based on how early you register. Also, remember that hotel and travel costs are generally separate from the conference pricing.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Software Test Automation 2017

What are your favorite conferences and why? Post your comments below, and let us know if there are any other events or conferences we missed.

Image: Courtesy of LeanKanban Week

Topics: Agile