Archive for January, 2013

On 20 June 2011, I published a set of questions that I used as the start of the blog serie:
who is . Very quickly I received to much answers, and the success led to waste.

At January 2012 I created a book from the serie: Who is agile
The book allowed me to publish the stories faster. As a big bonus, the book, helped me to create a community around it.

When Marcin added the google maps, I realized that we had NO country diversity. So we scaled the book up to 89 people.

Who is agile volume, is now +/- 300 pages. That is a big book.
Personally I think to big to be atract a big audience. Let’s make it clear, I love the book. I love every single answer in there. Yet I know, it makes people afraid.

We have more then 200 people in our backlog.
Big names or unknow people, that everyone should know.

What should we do to release their stories asap?

Aha, what can we do instead of scaling up? We can also scaling out.
What would scaling out be for who is agile?

Today I am proud to announce that we will create local country versions of who is agile.

This means we are looking for people who liked the idea of who is agile, and who want to help create a version for their country.
If you consider Who is agile an open source book (like I do) you can consider this a fork.



Daniel was suggested by David Hussman. Here is what David has to say Daniel.

I met Daniel at an agile conference. It was quickly clear that he was skipping the dogma and heading towards value. He cares about building the right thing as well as building it the right way. Working with a strong band of pragmatic rebels, Daniel is clearly working to introduce agility in lasting ways that work within China.

What is something people usually don’t know about you but has influenced you in who you are?

I was fortunate to work closely with Lixing Sun, who was one of the earliest adopters of CMM in China as well as a software process expert. Even though he doesn’t admit it, I treat him as my career and life mentor. What he changed in me is not his CMM knowledge but his attitude towards career and life. He said (8 years ago) to me , “I can still fail two more times by the age of fifty. Every five years I can make a career change and start again, and all what I need to do is to learn and improve myself continuously.” Inspired by him as a role model, I learned quite a few learning habits from him and started my journey of continuous improvement.

If you had not been in IT, what would have become of you?

Because of my family background, I had the opportunity to play with computers when I was very young. It is very natural for me to be in IT. Besides IT, I am interested in animals and plants, so maybe I would have pursued a career as a biologist.

What is your biggest challenge and why is it a good thing for you?

My biggest challenge is to be the Product Owner of myself. I have many life projects. I want to spend more time with family, I have strong passion for continuous learning, I want to help and influence more people in China possibly via more sharing and community work. However my time is limited. Prioritization has become a most difficult job for me. On the other hand, this is a good thing. At least, I know what I care in life and I know why.

What drives you ?

It is a hard question. After thinking for a while, I discovered the desire to better myself and help others improve is the thing that drives me the most. Many years ago, I only learned things on my own, but did little sharing. Once after reading a book, which was The Art of Agile Development, I decided to share this book with my team. Based on the content of this book and some other information, I prepared seven tech talks for my team. They enjoyed it a lot and I realized that I really enjoy sharing. Actually I gained more insights in preparation, re-reading of the book and answering questions than by reading it the first time. So I started to share more in public, at meet-ups, conferences etc. Soon, I got to know more people and developed a very good social network. Many people are experts in various areas. I got to know more Unknown Unknowns. This turned out to be a reinforcing loop.
Learning -> Sharing -> Network -> Learning.

What is your biggest achievement?

I believe my biggest achievement so far is that I was the main contributor in creating a huge learning and sharing network in China. Via this network, many people in China have discovered and started pursuing a better way of working and living. I created Agile Tour China and for two years, it has been the biggest agile event ever in China. There were 14 cities involved and there will be more this year, which is the biggest agile and community movement. Many people from the team I worked and coached were encouraged to become the community contributors, conference/event organizers, volunteers, and speakers. The experience with such a movement has influenced many people as they have now started to think about who they are and what they care about in their work and life.

What is the last book you have read?

The last book I read is “The Lean Startup – How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Business”. It is an insightful and practical book. Ries did a great job to provide a useful tool or methodology for successful startups such as the ideas of validated learning, the build-measure-learn framework, actionable metrics, etc.

What question do you think I should also ask and what is the answer?

Why are you so deeply involved in community development in China and what do you care most about it? There is a huge number of IT professionals in China. However, most of them do it just to earn a living Due to various reasons such as language barriers and education, they have had little motivation to learn and improve themselves after they graduate from school. Many of them are talented and they have strong passion, but they don’t have any good direction. I want to try my best to awaken as many as IT professionals as possible by my contribution to China community. What I care most about the community development is that it should be owned by the community and for the community.

Whom do you think I should ask next?

I think

as two mentors from whom I learned a lot.

August 2012

Shanghai (Pudong), China

Vladimir is one of the people involved in the Agile Manifesto translation project. He was responsible for the Latvian translation. Vladimir was not sure he belonged in the book. I am extremely happy he did accept to be in it. For me “Who Is agile” is about the mindset and not about being a famous agile consultant that has written 27 books. I think when you read his answers you will agree with me that Vladimir has an agile & lean mindset.

From his answers on StackOverflow you can see Vladimir is a technical guy. I was happy when I discovered that, as next to diversity in gender and countries, I was worried about the ratio between technical and non-technical people. And yet, his first book, is one of my favorite non-technical books.

What is something people usually don’t know about you but has influenced you in who you are?

Well, I guess it’s the fact that I can not live without drive. I feel sick when I have nothing to long for. I participated in organizing cinema festivals, contributed in making free movie translations, played paintball for six years and still get addicted to different extreme activities. Now I’m one of the organizers of Agile Latvia and Latvian Developers Network communities. Who knows in what direction I will go in the next couple of years? Not me. The other fact is that I’m a very lazy person. I don’t like doing things inefficiently or without a reasonable purpose. There’s always more than one way to achieve a goal. For example, you can dig a hole using your bare hands. It would take a lot of time and be quite painful, but you’ll succeed in the end. Or you can use a shovel and dig the hole much faster. Or you can use dynamite and make it very fast and very big. Or you can ask somebody for help. Or you can find an alternative solution when this hole is not needed at all. As I mentioned, I’m too lazy to do things inefficiently and so I try to find a way to improve the process. Sometimes I’ve even changed the goal to see the problem at a different angle. It’s called the lean way of doing things. It was common sense 8 years when I started to practice XP as a developer and it still is today.

And so that’s the third unknown fact about me: I don’t consider myself an Agile or Lean person, but a person who is convinced that every task has the best tool whatever it might be — waterfall, XP, Scrum, Kanban, Continious Delivery and so on, and this tool depends greatly on the experience of the person who uses it.

If you had not been in IT, what would have become of you?

Looking back I’ve always been the kind of person who tries to start something new or make something better. Although I stuck with IT since my school days, I think I could have become a scientist too. For now, I’m interested sharing my experience and knowledge and learning from the other people. I think I’ll try myself in the role of a coach.

What is your biggest challenge and why is it a good thing for you?

I love to do what I want and that’s the biggest challenge for me to follow this path, but it’s good, because I can learn new things all the time.

What drives you?

Money and power. Just kidding. 🙂 My life drives me. There are a lot places to go, a lot of new people to meet, a lot of new things to try. Does anybody really need more?

What is your biggest achievement?

I guess I have not achieved anything really big yet, however there are a bunch of small things I’ve achieved. Let me mention a few activities on which I spent my spare time: + I was a DJ for some time long ago. + I participated in fandub community developing it from its scratch. + I started a couple of start-ups, but failed 🙂 + I achieved EU Pro Paintball Player, but retired shortly afterwards. + I was interested in video-making and now know how to produce a DVD from the very beginning to the end. + I tried the role of bartender and succeeded all of a sudden. By the way, It’s a great experience for communication skills improvement.

I can’t say that these things are huge and worth mentioning.

What is the last book you have read?

Now I’m reading:

What question do you think I should also ask and what is the answer?

Q.: What is the thing you definitely will do in your life? My answer: fly a jet-plane on my own.

Whom do you think I should ask next?

I saw a lot of great people in your book already. I suggest you to interview:

August 2012

Riga, Latvia

PS If you like these answers, you might want to check out our book: who is agile, it contains answers to the same questions from 89 people.