For 2010, lets find ways to focus on teaching our craft and growing the world of skilled software development professionals instead of trying to figure out who is “right.”

I believe much of the “Escalation” that Jean is seeing was correctly titled by Regina Mullen as a battle to be “right.” (see and read Escalation is Killing Agile – Can We Please Stop It? and Escalation is Killing our Healthy Conflict in Agile). That behavior focuses on carving up the pie instead of growing the pie.   There has been so much added to the field of software development methods, tools and techniques from the guiding ideas of Agile.  Now is not the time to stop and eat.

For me, 2010 is about continuing to grow the Agile software development pie’s reach and innovations.The Agile Pie

I believe one of the key fixes to the problem of escalation can be found through increased professionalism and certification in Agile. By raising the bar through “difficult and skills-based certification,” as Brian Marick and the board at the Agile Alliance described, we can advance the Agile discourse through :

  • a defined a bar that is deep in skill, knowledge and practice
  • a significant enough bar to engage College and University study and examination
  • research and curriculum that explore the tough questions in a scientific method
  • development of more flexible or “T” shaped individuals that can see and work beyond silo roles.

With this back-drop, I am motivated by the notion of creating a  A Community of Thinkers,:

I am a member of a community of thinkers and I believe that communities exist as homes for professionals to learn, teach, and reflect on their work.

A Community of Thinkers creates more leadership in our profession. I see the expanding certification efforts in 2010 as great steps in these directions:

I encourage everyone in our community to figure out how to put energy toward one or more of these efforts.  The benefit of actively learning, teaching and reflecting on our work should lead us all to expanding civil dialogue that works to understand all points of view and keep expanding our thinking.  Thus broader education and difficult certification helps create a “Community of Thinkers.”  And, a Community of Thinkers will create a virtuous cycle of win/win and thus a larger pie for all.

That is my hope for 2010 in our profession.

About the Author: Ryan Martens is a happy father,  founding board member of the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado, and Founder and CTO at Rally Software Development. Subscribe today to get free updates by email or RSS.

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