Alan is one of those people whose reputation goes faster then he does, and in his case, that is a good thing. I heard about what he had done in Amsterdam at the Scrum Gathering. Being into agile games I was impressed. When Gerry Kirk proposed to use a multi-tasking game that he learned from Alan for our Personal agility workshop I immediately agreed. After we did it, it became a favorite part of my agile toolkit. I was happy when Xavier Quesada proposed him for the book.
What is something people usually don’t know about you but has influenced you in who you are?
I’m not sure if this is a well-known fact outside of Argentina, but as far as I know Buenos Aires (my home city) boasts (or suffers from) the highest ratio of psychoanalysts per capita in the world. As a member of such creed, I went to analysis three times a week during 11 years ever since I turned 16. Psychoanalysis has shaped in a great respect my thinking, both in a personal and professional respect. In retrospect I must say that the psychoanalyst was a nice guy, but a bit on the cruel side. I believe that is where I took the idea of pain-driven facilitation from. I’m more into behavioral psychology these days, but I still feel a bit melancholic when I listen to someone do free association.
If you would not have been in IT, what would have become of you?
I would have loved to be an orchestra conductor or a theater director, but sadly I wasn’t born with the instinct and the ear to become one. I guess I’ll have to wait until a wave your baton” Wii app comes out in order to relieve my artistic angst.
What is your biggest challenge and why is it a good thing for you?
One of the biggest challenges I have to face almost daily is my shyness. For some reason I chose a profession in which I am forced to communicate and help others communicate. This I feel helps me advance personally whenever I run a course or coach a team. I’m very happy I made the enormous effort to leave my comfort zone as a lonesome developer and take acting lessons. I found that acting, in contrast to what many people think, is a very genuine way of communicating both with actors and the audience.
What drives you ?
I’ll plagiarize Jonathan Perret: the smile of those I love.
What is your biggest achievement?
I guess my biggest achievement so far is having found and picked up Vero, my wife. Professionally speaking I think I never felt so happy and fulfilled as when I did the closing session during the Amsterdam Scrum Gathering in 2010. I ran games for over 80 people for almost an hour. I just loved it!
What is the last book you have read?
I really enjoyed reading The Worldly Philosophers an intro to some of the most influential economists in history. Apart from the director thing, I would have loved to be a historian. I find it thrilling when history and philosophy are described in a deep and straightforward way. Very very recommended reading.
What question do you think I should also ask and what is the answer?
“Why hasn’t agile become more widespread outside of the software world?” I think we don’t try hard enough to spread the word outside of the community. A lot of people have expanded its use to marketing, NGOs, advertisement, you name it and yet I feel this is just the beginning. I would love it if software was just associated to only a couple of tracks in the Agile 2xxx” conference.
Who do you think I should ask next?
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