IBM developerWorks Podcast: Barry Hawkins on agile software development

Earlier this year, my friend Andrew Glover interviewed me for season 4 of his IBM developerWorks Java Technical Podcast series (iTunes) on the topic of Agile software development. The episode is titled "Barry Hawkins on agile software development" and runs 41:03 in length.

This was an enjoyable interview; I've known Andy for years, and his style as an interviewer is quite comfortable and flows conversationally. What I really enjoyed about the venue is that it afforded me the chance to talk about software development, the Agile ecosystem, and the primacy of a healthy company culture in ways that I typically do in one-on-one or small group discussions, or talks at conferences that don't get recorded.

Here is a rough outline of the discussion with timing marks should anyone wish to jump straight to a given topic:

  • 00:55 - How I got here: my journey into software and then Agile
  • 05:50 - Things weren't always waterfall; Agile is a rediscovery of things lost
  • 11:12 - It turns out Agile is hard, but not because the old way was better
  • 12:25 - The underlying cultural elements of a healthy Agile environment
  • 20:35 - None of the Agile elements stand well on their own; they work best as complements to one another
  • 26:05 - As a newcomer to Agile, Lean, XP, and all this stuff, where should I start?
  • 29:25 - No matter what: Get better at interacting with the other groups in your organization
  • 31:30 - How to keep cross-functional interaction from becoming death by meetings
  • 36:35 - The scarcity of good ideas, and why they get expressed over and over

I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed recording it. A big thank you to Andy and the IBM developerWorks folks.