IBM developerWorks Podcast: Barry Hawkins on agile software development

Earlier this year, my friend Andy Glover interviewed me for season 4 of his IBM developerWorks Java technical series Podcast (RSS, iTunes, MP3 download) 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.

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