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Recognition Awards Presented at Agile2006

Following an inspiring talk by Greg Harbaugh, veteran of four space shuttle flights, the 2006 Gordon Pask Awards for recent contributions to Agile Practice were awarded this evening at the Agile2006 conference closing banquet in Minneapolis. The award recognizes two people whose recent contributions to Agile Practice demonstrate their potential to become leaders of the field, and includes a check for US$5000.

This year, the first award was in fact given to a duo, Steve Freeman and Nat Pryce** for their creative and well-communicatd contributions, particularly as committers to the JMock open source project.  Freeman has worked in a wide range of situations from research to developing shrink-wrap software. He was a pioneer of the agile community in the UK: an early member of the eXtreme Tuesday Club and chair of the first XpDay.  He led a project that, briefly, was the largest XP project in the UK. Since then, he has helped to introduce Agile methods at Thomson Financial, and worked for ThoughtWorks.  Pryce is an independent consultant with expertise in software design, software development process & practices, having worked in finance, telecommunications, sports reporting and online advertising.   He is also a research fellow at Imperial College on the Cityware project that explores how urban design influences pervasive computing (and vice versa).  He collaborated with Freeman on the creation of the first XpDay and has chaired subsequent XpDay events.  He received a PhD from Imperial College entitled Component Interaction in Distributed Systems.  Unfortunately, neither Freeman nor Pryce was in attendance at the conference to receive their award.

The second Pask award went to Laurent Bossavit, "Consultant Indépendant - Coach Extreme", a developer with over 20 years of coding experience. Bossavit has translated Kent Beck's "Extreme Programming Explained" to French and is a coauthor of the first French book to appear on Extreme Programming. He has been a speaker at conferences and corporate seminars on XP in France, originated the first regular meetings of the French XP community, and hosts the French XP mailing list and Wiki.  He is author of a number of articles on Extreme Programming, including Laurent Bossavit: The Unbearable Lightness of Programming: A Tale of Two Cultures, which appeared in Cutter IT Journal. In accepting his award, he sated that his goal is to make the role of software developer a noble one, like fireman or astronaut, and he encouraged the audience of over 1000 developers and leaders to also teach and inspire others in this same way.

Todd Little, who has run many conferences in recent years, relinquishes his position this year as Conference Chair to take on the Presidency of the APLN (more on this in InfoQ).  Tonight he was recognized by both Agile Alliance and the APLN , for his continued, outstanding servides to the Agile community, particularly in nurturing the emerging Agile conferences in North America, for his co-authorship of the Declaration of Interdependence, and for building the relationship between the Agile Alliance and the APLN.

** Update - August 5, 2006:

Brian Marick notes that Freeman and Pryce are, in part, being recognized due their involvement in a wide network of collaborations... which actually posed a conundrum for the award committee...  they were far from the only people who've worked on mock objects.. Marick humorously remarks: "There'd be some justification for giving it to the whole of London..."

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