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GOTO 2015 • Agile is Dead • Pragmatic Dave Thomas

00:00:11welcome thank you for coming um before I

00:00:14start I have to apologize I have to

00:00:18polish for a couple of things first of

00:00:20all this is by far my most cynical

00:00:25darkest meanest ugliest talk I don’t

00:00:30really mean it to be I just can’t help


00:00:33so I apologize for that it does have an

00:00:38uplifting message at the end so please

00:00:41don’t walk out in the middle it’s also a

00:00:47talk that’s really quite hard to give

00:00:49because I need to separate the

00:00:53implementation of something from the

00:00:55specification of something and we all

00:00:57know how hard that is so please bear

00:00:59with me give me just a little bit of

00:01:02slack if if I ruffle any feathers so let

00:01:07me just start off with a statement you

00:01:11know I shouldn’t have put my email and

00:01:13stuff down there because now I’m going

00:01:14to get problems all right agile is dead

00:01:20I’m going to show you why over the next

00:01:23half hour or so but that doesn’t mean we

00:01:27have to stop doing it to say why I think

00:01:33I have to kind of go back in time a

00:01:34little bit so let’s go back to 1999

00:01:38because I think we can party right

00:01:40so back in 1999 January first you’ll

00:01:44celebrated the destruction of all your

00:01:46currency the adoption of the euro in


00:01:52Bill Gates became the richest man on

00:01:55earth also in 1999 Apple Rim introduced

00:02:01the Power Mac g4 I wish they would bring

00:02:03that form back it’s just so wonderfully

00:02:06retro I like it

00:02:07ah what else do we have oh yeah Bill

00:02:10Clinton didn’t get impeached

00:02:14we had Phantom Menace released Napster

00:02:20came about DeForest Kelley died which is

00:02:26sad I met him I met him when I was about

00:02:3012 years old and we were both at

00:02:32SeaWorld in California and I actually

00:02:35said hello to him and he said hello back

00:02:37to me so therefore I officially I

00:02:38haven’t met him but of course most

00:02:41important of all 1999 saw the first

00:02:45episode of Spongebob Squarepants upon

00:02:49which I will base the rest of this talk

00:02:51no but it does lead quite nicely into

00:02:55the next slide how are we developing

00:02:57software back then well one way we’re

00:03:01developing software is we were drawing

00:03:03pretty pictures we’re using the unified

00:03:06modeling language UML to draw pictures

00:03:09of our our classes and of our

00:03:12interactions and everything else

00:03:14in fact UML is probably responsible for

00:03:18the destruction of object-oriented

00:03:19programming because its total focus on

00:03:23classes and not objects has corrupted an

00:03:26entire generation of programmers but I

00:03:30mean it does lead to some really nice

00:03:31pretty diagrams that are terribly useful

00:03:33things like this there will be a test

00:03:36afterwards and then as well as our UML

00:03:41we may well have been developing our

00:03:44software using the rational unified

00:03:46process run that’s as opposed to the

00:03:49irrational unified process no maybe

00:03:56there was one um not necessarily a bad

00:03:59process but badly applied most of the

00:04:03time but that was kind of like what was

00:04:06wrong I was around however the reality

00:04:09was very very different

00:04:1299% of software projects looked like


00:04:18valiant people Manning the barricades

00:04:21do-or-die mostly died chaos smoke gun

00:04:28fire death that was your average

00:04:31software project and clearly that’s not

00:04:35sustainable it’s fun and you get to wear

00:04:38cool uniforms but it’s not sustainable

00:04:41so roughly the same kind of time there

00:04:47was kind of like a counter it’s not a

00:04:51movement just a whole bunch of people

00:04:53weren’t very happy with the way things

00:04:55were going now

00:04:57the chronology of this is not quite

00:04:59right but people were thinking these

00:05:00thoughts definitely in the 90s late 90s

00:05:03so Kent Beck was experimenting with

00:05:06extreme program and he was at that point

00:05:11probably still working on the Chrysler

00:05:14come see project the whoever and he and

00:05:19Wool Cunningham Ron Jeffries were all

00:05:20experimenting with XP and you know how

00:05:23you can push a team to focus on just the

00:05:26important things

00:05:27Jim Highsmith was looking at his own

00:05:32adaptive software development techniques

00:05:34and the hunter and I were looking at

00:05:36pragmatic programming not really a

00:05:39methodology but just more common-sense

00:05:40ah scrum scrum

00:05:44I mean scrums been around since the mid

00:05:4680s but being used in software more more

00:05:49by then and of course we have Alastair

00:05:52Coburn who was pushing the crystal clear

00:05:56ideas around about this time so we had

00:05:59all of these I different ideas all

00:06:02focused on you know how can we cut down

00:06:06on all of the basically and

00:06:08just focus on writing software and most

00:06:13of the people involved in this attended

00:06:16oops lot object-oriented suffer I can’t

00:06:20remember what it stands for now

00:06:21programming that whatever right and we

00:06:25all sort of sat there and chatted

00:06:27and bemoaned to the state of the world

00:06:29as people are tending to do and the idea

00:06:32came off hey we should probably get

00:06:33together and balloon this in private

00:06:36so a meeting in Snowbird Utah was

00:06:41arranged and we all turned up and on the

00:06:48first day I think we had a two and a

00:06:50half days in total I can’t remember my

00:06:52memory is horrible so forgive me if I

00:06:53get this wrong Jeff can probably tell us

00:06:55better but on the first day we turn up

00:06:58in this room we immediately removed the

00:07:00tables and just set the chairs up in the

00:07:01circle and then said okay now what are

00:07:04we going to talk about and somebody

00:07:07handed out index cards and we all wrote

00:07:09down what we wanted to achieve a couple

00:07:11of index cards and then we all had great

00:07:13fun trying to fling these index cards

00:07:16into the circle and make pretty patterns

00:07:17and things like that so that was a good

00:07:19interesting hour and then we picked up

00:07:21the index cards and we divided them into

00:07:23piles too depending on what they were

00:07:25about and it became clear that what we

00:07:27wanted to look at was kind of like the

00:07:30values of our software you know what is

00:07:31it that we we value when you’re writing

00:07:33software and that actually came together

00:07:36in the next hour or so

00:07:39the initial stab at the we value x over

00:07:44y formulation was done by the end of

00:07:48lunch and then we discussed it we

00:07:50refined it in one went in one came and

00:07:52it was just basically fine-tuning from

00:07:54then on and then we sat there and we had

00:07:57extra time and as software people tend

00:07:59to do we just then filled in the time by

00:08:02creating random stuff so we produce some

00:08:05principles and everything else but

00:08:06fundamentally the values is what we’re

00:08:08happy with and the statement of the

00:08:13values we felt expressed what we wanted

00:08:16to express about software development

00:08:19that’s kind of cool and I think

00:08:22everybody who is in that room will look

00:08:24back on that with some pride yeah I mean

00:08:27maybe you would have changed it slightly

00:08:28if we were doing it again but I think

00:08:30given what we had then everybody is is

00:08:33pretty happy with it and so what

00:08:38happened well we all basically went back

00:08:41ward cunningham and i put up a website

00:08:44where we published the manifesto and

00:08:47people could sign up and say yes i

00:08:49support this and as far as i was

00:08:52concerned and mostly other people there

00:08:54that was it we’d launched this thing out

00:08:57on an unsuspecting world and then we

00:09:00just waved our hands of it and said

00:09:02that’s fine move on um and that was

00:09:06probably a mistake because what has

00:09:10happened since is that the values have

00:09:14been totally lost behind the

00:09:17implementation let me show you why I

00:09:20think that is you’ll notice we were

00:09:25careful to call it the manifesto for

00:09:31agile software development that’s what

00:09:35it says on the website sort of said in

00:09:37Dutch that’s what it’s called but that’s

00:09:41not what people call it people call it

00:09:45the agile manifesto and this is the root

00:09:50of all the evil that has followed no I’m

00:09:54serious can anybody tell me why it’s the

00:09:58root all evil I’m sorry

00:10:07yes this sentence says that we produced

00:10:14a very agile manifesto which presumably

00:10:18means if you put on a table it’ll start


00:10:21yeah because agile is an adjective you

00:10:28cannot call if you mean to talk about a

00:10:30manifesto about agile software it’s not

00:10:33an agile manifesto right the best you

00:10:36can do is the agility manifesto or

00:10:39something ugly like that because agile

00:10:42there’s a definite black spot here for

00:10:45clickers agile as it says

00:10:47there is an adjective I want to stress

00:10:53this and I’m going to stress this by

00:10:55hypnotizing you all with a word

00:10:57adjectives from now on anybody here who

00:11:02uses the word agile as a noun as in I’m

00:11:05doing agile I’m going to come and I’m

00:11:07going to find your scrum master

00:11:08certificate now I’m going to tear it in

00:11:10pieces all right

00:11:11agile is not a noun so it’s perfectly

00:11:17okay to talk about things like an agile

00:11:20gymnast an agile programmer possibly I

00:11:24don’t like the concept of an agile

00:11:27methodology because I don’t think there

00:11:28is such a thing I mean there’s a j’l

00:11:31meta methodologies but not agile

00:11:32methodologies but I mean you can

00:11:35possibly say that at least it makes

00:11:36sense as a sentence and so that makes me


00:11:41what does it make me happy are when

00:11:45people use it as a noun do you do agile

00:11:49what is agile agile Alliance I mean even

00:11:54Kosmos getting in the act

00:12:00do you notice by the way that not only

00:12:04do they use it as a noun but they spell

00:12:08it with a capital letter it’s a proper

00:12:11noun just like God so this is not good

00:12:19this is not good so why do I think this

00:12:23is the root of all evil

00:12:24it’s really really simple if I have some

00:12:30adjectives like for example green right

00:12:34I can’t sell it to you I can’t come up

00:12:38to you and say here have some green

00:12:40doesn’t work if I said have some green

00:12:43paint or some green vegetables

00:12:46absolutely I can sell you that I can

00:12:48sell you nouns but I cannot sell you

00:12:51adjectives and the industry that sprang

00:12:56up around the agile manifesto oh I just

00:12:59used the word agile manifesto the

00:13:01industry that sprung up around that

00:13:03manifesto wanted to sell you things this

00:13:08is where the cynical part starts by the

00:13:10way all right they wanted to sell you

00:13:12things and therefore they needed to

00:13:15convert agile from an adjective into a

00:13:18noun and they succeeded very very

00:13:20quickly and so we have this thing and

00:13:23now they can sell you they can sell you

00:13:25training and consultancy and books

00:13:28Maricopa and actually not really because

00:13:32agile web development is actually an

00:13:34adjective so I can get away with that


00:13:36um and conferences there are a lot of

00:13:43agile conferences and they make a lot of

00:13:44money for people so this whole industry

00:13:47has grown up around the noun right I’ll

00:13:51have a kilo of agile please yes sir

00:13:54here it is but that’s nowhere close to

00:13:59the spirit of the original manifesto and

00:14:02the values of the original manifesto but

00:14:05it gets worse because how do they sell

00:14:08you agile

00:14:10the same way they sell you medicine and

00:14:14all sorts of things they use fear speak

00:14:21to me because agile has all these new

00:14:26words scrum Kanban write spikes all of

00:14:31these kind of things that people not

00:14:33heard before and people get nervous

00:14:37particularly management where new people

00:14:39are talking to them about it’s weird

00:14:40things what on earth II took him how do

00:14:42I use this right this is this is strange

00:14:45so you have to bring in a translator

00:14:47who’s going to sit there and spend a day

00:14:49and charge you 2,000 euros to tell you

00:14:51what a spike is and okay that’s a small

00:14:54thing there are also new rules gone is

00:14:59the hierarchical project structure and

00:15:01instead we have these flat teams with a

00:15:03scrum master and maybe we you know we

00:15:05don’t have QA people anymore and we got

00:15:07all these kind of weird things going on

00:15:09so again people are afraid that

00:15:11particularly organizations who rely on

00:15:14that structure in order to manage people

00:15:17you know that’s that’s kind of tough new

00:15:21ways to measure things to back in the

00:15:24good old days

00:15:25all right everybody filled in a

00:15:27timesheet and before project started the

00:15:31project leader would tell you this

00:15:33projects going to take 200 hours and you

00:15:36look at the timesheets and when it got

00:15:38to hundred hours you would know that the

00:15:40project was hard for you done

00:15:46so I mean that was comforting right you

00:15:49had numbers you could draw graphs it was

00:15:51wonderful now they’re reporting progress

00:15:54using meatballs or some other kind of

00:15:56weird like you know measure of velocity

00:15:58velocity right I don’t want you’re

00:16:01moving right so it’s all it’s all funky

00:16:05it’s all strange and then underneath it

00:16:08all is this concern whenever anybody

00:16:10starts doing something new are we doing

00:16:12it right because if we’re not our

00:16:14competitors are going to be just so we

00:16:16have to make sure we’re doing it right

00:16:17and then last but by no means least cool

00:16:23cells and this is where we take a large

00:16:28part of the blank because as developers

00:16:31and to some extent as managers in the

00:16:34industry we are drawn to bright shiny

00:16:36new things

00:16:37okay I mean you have to look at

00:16:39successive JavaScript libraries to know

00:16:41that so when anything new comes along

00:16:44it’s like oh I want to try that I want

00:16:46to be good at that and so you got and

00:16:48you will try it right but that’s kind of


00:16:51because once you have tried this brand

00:16:54new thing then you have this kind of

00:16:57weird sense of power that you know

00:17:00something that other people don’t know

00:17:03all right this is this is my step up in

00:17:06the world and so you’re actually kind of

00:17:09in a way want to make it harder for

00:17:13other people because this is your kind

00:17:15of thing now I know it’s not a conscious

00:17:16thought no one here is evil like that it

00:17:19happens I am okay I’m going to take a

00:17:24potshot here at the Ruby community

00:17:29simply because I’m allowed to Ruby

00:17:33community is fantastic it is wonderful

00:17:35all right I love the Remy community over

00:17:40the last 12 15 years I would say the

00:17:44Ruby community has done more to push

00:17:47forward testing than anyone else has

00:17:50done in the history of computing right

00:17:52they have a culture of testing but not

00:17:55just that they’ve

00:17:56with many different forms of testing and

00:17:58they’ve produced a whole bunch of very

00:18:00cool frameworks which is then be copied

00:18:01into other languages so the Reba Trinity

00:18:05is really big on testing and I’m very

00:18:07proud of them for that that’s great what

00:18:09I am not so proud of them for is it’s

00:18:13gone one step further and they now have

00:18:16this total bigotry about testing so if

00:18:21you’re a Ruby programmer and you are not

00:18:24getting a hundred percent test coverage

00:18:26they look at you and they go you know I

00:18:28thought you were a programmer yeah we’re

00:18:32not interested in your stuff go away go

00:18:35away and they kind of like have the

00:18:40backing of the majority of people there

00:18:42because testing sounds like it should be

00:18:45something you do right I am going to

00:18:49tell you right now I mostly don’t test

00:18:54and when I was my son my son was five

00:19:01years old living in Texas

00:19:03okay Texas is Bible Belt and my son was

00:19:07five years old and he was at a school

00:19:09where all the other kids were parroting

00:19:12kind of religious stuff that was told to

00:19:14them by their parents and he got really

00:19:17sick of this so he did what any

00:19:19red-blooded five-year-old will do he

00:19:21climbed up on top of the swing set and

00:19:22said if God exists

00:19:25have him strike me with lightning or

00:19:27something right and he did that three

00:19:30days in a row and the school phoned us

00:19:33up and said this isn’t too good you know

00:19:36but that’s how I feel when I say I don’t

00:19:38do tests you know

00:19:47and the reason is that for me the

00:19:51benefit of tests comes from the design

00:19:53aspects the fact that it helps me

00:19:55understand the design of my code it

00:19:57helps me design interfaces of my code

00:19:58api so my code it helps me decouple my

00:20:01code and I’ve been doing it for so long

00:20:03that now I think about that as I’m

00:20:06coding and the test doesn’t have to

00:20:09exist it still drives the design and

00:20:12I’ve done measurements I don’t actually

00:20:14have any more bugs I will still test

00:20:17complex algorithms but I won’t test the

00:20:19whole piece so I am tion probably by the

00:20:24Ruby community and the same thing

00:20:26happens in the agile world right we can

00:20:29we can put down people that aren’t doing

00:20:32it our way

00:20:33right our way is best if you’re not

00:20:36doing that you’re second class so

00:20:41because of all these things I feel quite

00:20:45strongly that the concept agile as a

00:20:48noun has just become an industry it’s a

00:20:54machine the taxes on the basis of fear

00:20:58and asks us to pay money to assuage that

00:21:02fear the wonderful example of that is

00:21:07the scrum study organization I was

00:21:12actually just sitting on my browser one

00:21:14day and you know how the little Google

00:21:15Ads pop up on the sidebar and this

00:21:17popped up the world is adopting a scrum

00:21:20are you stop thinking and get certified

00:21:23today kind of sums up what I’m thinking


00:21:35and in order to keep growing are the

00:21:41influence of this industry when first we

00:21:43started out we were looking at

00:21:45individual developers because we all

00:21:47said that the agile practices you know

00:21:51the XP and scrum were designed for teams

00:21:53small teams all right

00:21:55and there are conferences on scaling it

00:21:57and basically people said now you can’t

00:21:59scale it but it was all to do a small

00:22:01team six twelve people whatever that

00:22:03might be but clearly after a while you

00:22:06discover that the money is not in the

00:22:08small teams the money is in the big

00:22:09companies and so we need to find a way

00:22:11of scaling it and so I mean I’m not

00:22:15trying to knock Craig Lyman here this is

00:22:16a cool thing it’s basically how to nest

00:22:19scrum inside scrum but it appeals to a

00:22:24corporation because it’s got little cute

00:22:26figures and it looks very complicated

00:22:28you know so you look at that and say hmm

00:22:30yeah I’ll have to please yeah and you

00:22:34can tell that this is designed for an

00:22:36organization you can’t quite read it

00:22:38here but on the bottom here in the

00:22:40legend it says extra meetings may occur

00:22:42not shown on this diagram so that keeps

00:22:46everybody happy and then of course we

00:22:49have this enough said

00:22:58so I believe it is time to reclaim

00:23:04agility because I still profoundly

00:23:09believe in the values of agility so let

00:23:16me give you a version of you jewel

00:23:17agility that you can take away it fits

00:23:19on one slide this is what I think

00:23:24agility is three steps plus a loop right

00:23:27the three steps are first of all

00:23:29understand where you are the second step

00:23:32is take a small step towards where you

00:23:35want to be and at the end of that step

00:23:37evaluate what happened that’s all or is

00:23:40to it and then repeat now I say that’s

00:23:44all there is to it that’s not easy

00:23:46because you apply this fractally to

00:23:49everything you do from the naming of

00:23:51variables to deciding where you’re going

00:23:53to deploy it right it’s all following

00:23:56the structure and it’s all a big nested

00:23:59set of these things now this isn’t the

00:24:02whole story because quite often we’ll be

00:24:04faced with a choice should I do this or

00:24:06should I do that and that’s where the

00:24:09second part comes in when faced with two

00:24:12or more options choose the one that they

00:24:15say easier to change in future and this

00:24:18is a simply a corollary of dayz rule of

00:24:21design right I say every single design

00:24:26methodology B can be encapsulated into

00:24:28one sentence a good design is easier to

00:24:33change than a bad design

00:24:35all right so whenever you’re designing

00:24:38you have to ask yourself is this easier

00:24:40or harder to change in future and you’ll

00:24:42discover that every single design

00:24:44principle falls out of that one

00:24:45statement same thing here make decisions

00:24:49that are easier to change in future so

00:24:53let me show you something that’s agile

00:24:55this is a little two-wheeled row what do

00:24:58you think is going around the circle

00:25:00just like the rest of us but it’s it’s

00:25:04managing to balance on very rocky ground

00:25:06you’ll see

00:25:07this gets how often it frees itself out

00:25:09doesn’t fall over totally self-contained

00:25:12how does it do it well it’s basically

00:25:17you think about it it’s a pendulum

00:25:18upside down so it’s a pendulum that

00:25:20pivots at the bottom and swings at the

00:25:21top and it has accelerometers and stuff

00:25:24inside it so if it finds itself falling

00:25:27this way then it knows it has to scoot

00:25:30the bottom underneath the top to stop it

00:25:32falling over so it accelerates the

00:25:34wheels if it’s tipping backwards it

00:25:36slows the wheels down so that’s really

00:25:39all there is to it

00:25:40and underneath it it actually uses an

00:25:43algorithm called the pit algorithm and

00:25:47that stands for proportional

00:25:48interpretive derivative all that really

00:25:52means is there are three factors when it

00:25:55decides what to do about an error and an

00:25:58error is hey I’m falling the first

00:26:01factor is which way am i falling right

00:26:03am i I’m like leaning over like that

00:26:05that’s pretty bad so I really need to

00:26:08spin those wheels fast to get back up


00:26:10that’s the proportional side if that’s

00:26:12all you had then the little robot the

00:26:15second it got even slightly off balance

00:26:18would oscillate back and forth until it

00:26:20beat itself to death on the ground right

00:26:22you need more than that and that’s what

00:26:24the next two terms include one is the

00:26:27history the history says maybe this

00:26:30robot weighs a little bit more on the

00:26:31front than the back so it has a bias to

00:26:33go forward well over time that’s picked

00:26:35up by the controller algorithm and it

00:26:37automatically compensates for me that’s

00:26:39the integrative step and then finally it

00:26:42works out what the difference is between

00:26:44where it is and where it wants to be

00:26:45that’s the derivative step so it looks

00:26:49at the anticipated short-term future the

00:26:53actual whole algorithm was designed

00:26:57about a hundred years ago when ships got

00:26:59big and you people discovered that they

00:27:03could not steer these big ships and the

00:27:05reason they couldn’t steer them is that

00:27:07you turn the wheel obviously a ship

00:27:09that’s really really big not

00:27:11happens for maybe 30 seconds and slowly

00:27:16it’s thus to come around but you have no

00:27:19idea whether your position is correct on

00:27:20that wheel or not and then if you wait

00:27:22until the ship is pointing in exactly

00:27:23the right direction

00:27:24well then you straighten the wheel it’s

00:27:26going to keep turning so they needed a

00:27:30way of stopping that and what they came

00:27:31up with was a mechanical system that did

00:27:34the proportional integral and

00:27:36differential side of the pig controller

00:27:39and they wired that between the wheel

00:27:41and the rudder and then mere mortals

00:27:45could steer ships again since then this

00:27:47is the algorithm that’s used in your

00:27:49central heating controller there’s

00:27:51probably six or seven pin controllers in

00:27:53your car it’s the common it’s the most

00:27:55common industrial process control

00:27:57algorithm and I think it reflects

00:28:01perfectly what we want to do in the

00:28:03agile world all right find out what the

00:28:06error is look at the history and also

00:28:08have a look to see what your change is

00:28:10going to do to the future all right

00:28:12change gears just slightly the reason

00:28:17I’m here is that I wrote that blog post

00:28:19I was getting really annoyed about the

00:28:21the state of the use of the word agile

00:28:24so I wrote this blog post and an

00:28:27interesting thing happened I had not

00:28:29been to an agile conference I don’t


00:28:33opinions vary but I don’t think before I

00:28:36wrote this I’ve been to an agile

00:28:37conference I may be wrong I’d certainly

00:28:39never been to any of the big ones so I

00:28:42write this blog post and the next day my

00:28:45email box is going didn’t ending of

00:28:47people inviting me to agile conferences

00:28:49go figure

00:28:53my wife and I love China so we accepted

00:28:56the invitation to go to the scrum

00:28:57gathering in Beijing know Shanghai

00:29:01Shanghai and that was great fun I really

00:29:03enjoyed it

00:29:04now I tried to do a little bit of

00:29:06research before I go to conferences and

00:29:08this conference had a motto there is its

00:29:11motto and I thought oh I better

00:29:14translate that so I went to my good

00:29:16friend Google and said hey google

00:29:18translate this for me and Google said

00:29:21Salzman I thought maybe they were angry

00:29:26about the blog post so I split it into

00:29:31separate characters and said well what

00:29:33does it mean to separate characters and

00:29:34it said laughs trout river lake obvious

00:29:41so my wife took this to her Chinese

00:29:44teacher the next time she saw her and

00:29:45said okay what’s the story and it turns

00:29:49out that in China no in Chinese there

00:29:52are these four character sequences

00:29:57called Chung you and they are basically

00:30:00shorthand they typically refer back to

00:30:03normally an ancient story and it just

00:30:06like encapsulate a lesson or some

00:30:09meaning out of that story so it’s a bit

00:30:12like a proverb but more formalized and

00:30:14shorter and the particular Chung you

00:30:19that they were using for this conference

00:30:21actually was not ancient it was fairly

00:30:23new it’s like 1960s someone produced a

00:30:27book which in English is called the

00:30:29swordsman about a kind of modern day

00:30:33person washing up modern but relatively

00:30:35modern person who goes out and suffers

00:30:37all sorts of things then ends up dying

00:30:38in a real but the the reason for the gem

00:30:42you is that back in the old days pirates

00:30:46used to frequent the rivers and lakes

00:30:49and so if you were a farmer or someone

00:30:51and you had to go down to the river to

00:30:53trade then you would be scared because

00:30:55you’ll be going down into pirate

00:30:56territory and so the saying is basically

00:30:59to say you know keep your chin up right

00:31:02don’t let these pirates have a oh


00:31:06whatever intimidate you yeah keep

00:31:09yourself proud in the face of this so

00:31:13that’s what they make the spirit of the

00:31:14conference meant so being me I thought

00:31:17okay I only go to China and tell them

00:31:20what their phrase actually means

00:31:22so I translated it using the American


00:31:25don’t let the turkeys get you down they

00:31:29were surprised

00:31:31I had to just double-check so I gave

00:31:34them the China Chinese for Turkey his

00:31:37fire chicken is that cool don’t let them

00:31:42get you down and what I said oops sorry

00:31:46oops that’s a giveaway some people I

00:31:51said think they are important they’ll

00:31:55they have more knowledge or more

00:31:58experience or more money or more

00:32:00whatever else and that they feel that

00:32:02that gives them the right to tell other

00:32:05people what to do and how to do it and I

00:32:08said these people are turkeys don’t let

00:32:12them tell you what to do and then as you

00:32:16all saw I said I’m a turkey all right

00:32:21don’t let me tell you what to do either

00:32:24in fact all experts are turkeys all

00:32:33experts tell you what to do and tell you

00:32:38how to do it and that is wrong why is it


00:32:55I think that’s possibly the favorite

00:32:56slide I’ve ever produced no rules are

00:33:01universal for every rule requires a

00:33:06contest for example it’s generally a

00:33:10rule that you don’t go around sticking

00:33:13knives into people’s throats

00:33:15yeah good rule help society live a

00:33:19happier life that you don’t have to

00:33:21worry about people coming up and

00:33:22sticking you with a knife so that’s a

00:33:25rule unless you happen to be a doctor

00:33:27performing a tracheotomy to save

00:33:29someone’s life then it’s not a rule and

00:33:33in fact I challenged people over the

00:33:35last year to try and come up with one

00:33:38absolute rule and so far I haven’t seen

00:33:44one so I say all rules are contextual so

00:33:53therefore you cannot listen to someone

00:33:55who tells you what to do because they

00:33:58don’t know all right any book that says

00:34:01this is how your write software is wrong

00:34:04because unless that book was written for

00:34:06your team in your company doing your

00:34:08project at this particular time it

00:34:12doesn’t know how you should write

00:34:14software so in that circumstance how do

00:34:21you know what to do haven’t you possibly

00:34:24know because you’re out there you’re on

00:34:26your own you can’t buy in you know a

00:34:29pound worth of agile it’s just not going

00:34:31to happen so what do you do you do

00:34:34exactly the same thing you do in any

00:34:37situation where you don’t know what’s

00:34:39going to happen next

00:34:40well there’s two things you don’t want

00:34:42is close your eyes but the other one is

00:34:45you take a small step forward see where

00:34:52that got you and then revise your plan

00:34:54and repeat and try not to go down any

00:34:59one-way streets and oh what a

00:35:03coincidence that’s exactly the same as


00:35:06process that I’ve described for running

00:35:10an agile project or an agile life what

00:35:13is an agile project so I think the

00:35:20antidote to agile Industries Inc is in

00:35:25this room it’s all of us because we are

00:35:31the people actually writing the software

00:35:34we are the people that have the problems

00:35:36we are the people actually you have the

00:35:38solutions as well but it requires

00:35:41courage to apply those solutions and so

00:35:46this is the uplifting part by the way

00:35:48right if you I mean

00:35:52encourages actually want to camp X

00:35:54original values for XP right and I

00:35:59always thought those are kind of strange

00:36:00thing to have now I understand why

00:36:02because you takes courage it takes

00:36:06courage to say no I’m going to handle

00:36:08this it takes courage to say I know I’m

00:36:11going to make mistakes but that’s the

00:36:14only way I’m going to find out what

00:36:16needs to be done but I’m going to work

00:36:18hard to make sure those mistakes are

00:36:20small and correctable right small steps

00:36:23review change make sure your path can be

00:36:27changed so that kind of thing does take

00:36:30courage it does take guts and it takes

00:36:33courage at the individual level at the

00:36:35team level and at the company level but

00:36:41I really think that is the only way

00:36:43we’re going to fix this problem and get

00:36:45some life back into the initial agile

00:36:49values and like I say I still believe

00:36:53very strongly in them so let me just

00:36:56leave you with something slightly corny

00:37:01agile is not what you do agility is how

00:37:08you do it and after all that’s what we

00:37:11want we want to do things you know our

00:37:13entire purpose here is to create it’s a


00:37:18we need to make things and for that we

00:37:21need agility thank you very much

00:37:36are we supposed to finish at 6:00 is

00:37:38that right

00:37:39so if so we have time for a few

00:37:42questions that people want to ask them

00:37:43or throw things at me or whatever you

00:37:46want to know cool so what’ll question

00:37:56may be so we have a whole scrum Trek on

00:37:58here on this conference so what is your

00:38:01what are your thoughts about scrum which

00:38:03is Bailey also one methodology which

00:38:07from experts telling how and what to do

00:38:10or at least how to do something I think

00:38:14that the okay so that’s that’s a loaded

00:38:16question but igni with jeff in the room

00:38:17I think that the the ideas behind scrum

00:38:24are powerful right that year of

00:38:27communications the original ideas of

00:38:29passing the football all of this kind of

00:38:31stuff I think is a very potent way of

00:38:34getting a team focused on board and

00:38:38creating software right I very much

00:38:40support teams that look to create scrum

00:38:43environments for themselves where I part

00:38:47ways with scrum is the concept of two

00:38:52days or even one day scrum master

00:38:54courses you know you charge for one day

00:38:57you know maybe or maybe not fill in a

00:38:59questionnaire you get a piece of paper

00:39:00you’re a scrum master right that’s just

00:39:02and that devalues the entire

00:39:04industry if you ask me but I also don’t

00:39:08like it because there are a lot of books

00:39:11on scrum and they all describe how to do

00:39:14it and they don’t necessarily say how to

00:39:19know if you’re doing it right how to

00:39:20change it to make it right for you and

00:39:22how to evolve it into your own

00:39:24environment it’s like here’s a set of

00:39:26practices follow them and most people

00:39:28honestly that’s kind of what they want

00:39:30they’re beginners at this they need

00:39:32direction in the same way that if you’re

00:39:34about to jump out of an airplane for the

00:39:35first time you don’t care about the

00:39:37theory of aerodynamics you want to know

00:39:39what you pull and when all right that’s

00:39:41all you care about and that’s what these

00:39:44beginners do in the team so they take

00:39:46these books and

00:39:47they follow them you know step by step

00:39:49exactly the way they’re written because

00:39:51that’s all they know and then they end

00:39:55up getting stuck in this process where

00:39:57they don’t actually know why they’re

00:39:58doing what they’re doing which is the

00:39:59cargo causing that we’re talking about a

00:40:01beginning and I think that that’s where

00:40:06I say I think scrum the concept is

00:40:09really really good but I think many

00:40:11implementations of scrum for very very

00:40:13far short of that is that a sufficiently

00:40:18diplomatic answer