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Tim Lister Keynote from Agile 2013 Available to View

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At the recent Agile 2013 conference author and consultant Timothy Lister gave a keynote talk titled "40 Years of Trying to Play Well With Others".  The session was recorded and has now been made available on the Agile Alliance Learning Centre website.

Lister is one of the authors of "Peopleware", one of the first books which examined the people aspects of software development.  His talk included a "guest appearance" by co-author Tom DeMarco in a video clip in which he reflects on the history of the Agile movement and how it has tackled many of the disfunctions which were prevelant in the software development industry at the time the Agile Manifesto was written.

Lister presented a series of 9 key learning points, couched as stories from his 40 years experience in the industry.  For each lesson he had a story from his life and the reason why he included the story in his talk. The lessons covered a range of topics covering:

  • I started writing code as a fun experience. If you don’t get innate pleasure from writing code, it’s time to move on
  • I discover that software making is deeply intellectual work
  • I discover that it is very exciting, and rewarding, to be around people who are way ahead of you
  • Putting together a team may be the most important work for many projects
  • The manifesto was signed in 2001, but many engaged people were planting the seeds for years
  • Writing is a great way to distill your ideas and opinions
  • This conference is all about moving an idea out of one thick skull and into another
  • Dead fish projects will always fail - trying to make a dead fish project appear alive is a pointless and futile exercise
  • If your work is not an innate pleasure, use your feet 
  • Life is too short. Make your own career

He concluded with the reflection that

Agile has come a long way since 2001, and has a long time to travel on.

Take the ride, and bring your friends.

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