Who is Sergey Kotlov (@skotlov) ?

After I announced the book version of who is agile, Sergey was one of the first who contacted me to help out with the translations. Although we have not published the Russion version yet, I’m very happy to have Sergey on our team. When we started looking for people in other countries, we did not any propose someone from Russia. It was only when I started working on Guy’s answer I realized I had a great team and I should see if we had people from missing countries on our team.


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

I believe we should enhance the connections between European and Russian agile/lean worlds. The Russian agile community is too closed-in and intellectually isolated from the broader agile community. We stew about our own ideas over and over and don’t often get fresh outside inspiration. It’s one of the reasons I spend time on translating this book and other interesting articles of well-known coaches and trainers.

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

When I was a child I dreamed about being a zoologist. Animals were my passion and I read tons of books. Today I couldn’t even imagine spending my time in Africa’s savannahs or subtropical jungles watching wild life. I think I could be a reporter who travels around the world and describes fine points of every day life in different countries. Though I’m not a big fan of food that might seem exotic to a Russian, I believe I could deal with it.

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

Learning foreign words. I make myself practise language regularly so I don’t forget. It’s the only reason I imagine why it’s good for me.

What drives you ?

My fiancee, my teammates and enormous curiosity.

Several years ago I understood there was no best way for creating software projects, only better ones. From that moment every time my teammates and I achieve some state, I start thinking: “Ok, we’re on the next step up. What is higher? How can we climb there?”. My curiosity helps me to constantly move forward.

Besides this, it’s ordinary for me to choose the wrong direction and find myself in a state I don’t want to be in. If it happens a few times in a row, I feel lost and my mood goes down by leaps and bounds. My fiancee and colleagues are my secret superheroes who carry me out of the danger zone at those moments.

What is your biggest achievement?

I spent at least half an hour trying to figure out what it could be. No success. I think my biggest achievement is still waiting for me somewhere :).

What is the last book you have read?

Ready for speech. Presentation’s constructor written by Radislav Gandapas. It opened my eyes on how people absorb information (especially during presentations) and showed me a number of tricks for getting better results from a speech.


Whom do you think I should ask next?

Tatiana Vasilieva. She’s a great mover in the Saint-Petersburg agile/lean community.

July 2012

St Petersburg, Russia

If you like these questions, in our book (who is agile) you can find 88 more people. And Sergey’s answer to the question: Q: “What impressed you most of all last month?”