Q: What does your work involve?
I'm split between developing IL products and working with clients, so I'm able to exercise both the technical and social sides of my personality.
My work with clients is about 20% education, training people in basic Agile values and practices, and 80% is all in joining shoulder-to-shoulder with them so they can see how the principles and practices apply in their daily work.
Q: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself - your education, interests, past work experiences.
I'm a graybeard programmer now. I've been in software since 1979, and have spent a lot of my career jumping between implementation-only and consulting. I've been in taxes, military contracting, factory and warehouse automation, telecommunications, construction industry systems, and dozens of other verticals. I've usually written some code and done some training. I used to teach OO to world class high-energy physicists, too, and that was a real kick!
Having started in 1979, I am technically undereducated, but have been self-educating for 30+ years and have had great mentors (a tradition I continue here) from academia and professional circles. A lot of people are jealous of my list of mentors. I'm a lucky stiff. I have some publications to my name, and more coming.
I love making stuff work, I love working with teams, and I am constantly fascinated by cog sci and other pop sci. Lately I've been falling in love all over again with great papers on software engineering from the past. Dijkstra is no less valid today than when his words were new.
Q: That is great. Tell us what appeals to you about coaching?
Coaching is helping people acquire and apply skills in a context. I owe a lot to my mentors, and I suppose in addition to enjoying this work, I am paying forward the great kindnesses that were given to me. I like to see people falling back in love with their work, and celebrating their victories.
Q: What is a typical day at work like?
(laughs) I'm not sure what a typical day is like.
Most of my days involve pairing, thinking, sometimes coding, and always trying to see the next step in the evolution of my teams and their organizations. Some days are spent helping to set up environments (organizational, technical, and physical) so that teams can enjoy their work and do it more fluently than ever before.
Q: How has Lean changed hour practice of Agile?
Lean gives us a vocabulary to think with that we didn't have before. It has helped push the agile principles higher in the organization, to more decision-makers. Mostly, it has reminded us to see the whole and reach for a more carefully targeted, fluid work system.
Q: What do you do to relax?
I have a family, a small collection of guitars, and a love of really bad "B" movies. I like cooking, especially when it involves lots of sharp knives or hot chili peppers. When time allows, I also love taking the Nikon out on sightseeing trips.
Q: What does the future hold for you - any exciting plans, developments?
I'm thinking about another book or two, possibly one through PragPub and another through LeanPub. I'm overflowing with ideas about coaching, testing, Object-Oriented development and teaching programming to nonprogrammers.
Tim on YouTube