Who is Gustavo Quiroz (@quiroz_gustavo)

Yves asked Andrea to provide the introduction to Gustavo

I have not met Gustavo personally, but I feel I would really have some interesting discussions with him. I discovered this because Gustavo maintains an extensive list of books on his Linkedin page, as I do. Reading through his book list, I soon realized that we have read or want to read almost the same list of books. Whatever the reason is for that coincidence, I hope to meet him some day in person!


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

That would be the fact that I have loved playing drums since I was about 15. I’ve never done it professionally or anything like that, but I’ve had my share of playing with various musician friends for more than 16 years now. I think that this has taught me a lot about how good teams communicate, collaborate and innovate together. The best bands I have been in involved developing a sense of understanding that goes beyond words. I love when I encounter that same level of understanding in a business setting.

One more thing that comes to mind is the fact that I was very shy when I was a kid and a teenager. That helped me to develop good listening and observation skills, which come in pretty handy as a coach, mentor or team lead. It has become second nature to me to always seek first to understand, then to be understood just like Stephen Covey used to say.

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

When I was a kid, instead of dreaming of becoming an astronaut, I wanted to grow up to design space shuttles. Then, after watching shows like Matlock and L.A. Law I was sure I wanted to be a lawyer. But my all-time dream job since I was about 14 years old is to work as a radio DJ or to have my own record store (just like John Cusack in High Fidelity). I love music, and I very much enjoy playing the music that I love in front of people who haven’t heard it before and seeing that it touches them in some way or they just like it too. If I hadn’t got hooked on software development, I think I would definitely have pursued that path.

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

My biggest challenge right now is to stay focused on my day to day activities when it’s so clear to me that too many things are wrong and unsustainable in the world. Sometimes I just get a bit overwhelmed and wonder if what I’m doing is enough or even the right thing to do given the state of things on our planet. But, at the same time I know that this feeling leads me to strive to work on things that contribute to improving people’s lives. So, i guess it’s like a paradox but it also yields a healthy tension that ultimately makes me go forward.

What drives you ?

Basically two things.

The first is the urge to not stay in the same place (or do the same thing) for so long that it stops being cost effective (not in terms of money, but mostly in terms of fun, engagement and happiness). More than one time in my life I’ve been in that situation, when I knew that I just had to get out and do something different. That feeling led me to discover wonderful things (such as Agile) and take on great but rewarding risks, like starting my own company.

The second thing is explaining and showing other people things that I have discovered and that I’m convinced they will like and benefit from.

I guess these two things have led me to constantly be learning and discovering new things, since I get tired of showing and teaching the same thing over and over again 🙂

What is your biggest achievement?

That would be co-founding and working to grow the Peruvian Agile community. It has been an immensely rewarding experience to watch it grow from a handful of people to events gathering more than 700 people and to see those events spread throughout the country.

What is the last book you have read?

The last two books I read cover to cover were:

I also have a bunch of other books that are in progress (bad habit) or that are sitting idle on my desk. You can check them all out in my Reading List on my LinkedIn profile.

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

What is your top ten list of favorite artists of all time? They are (in no particular order):

Whom do you think I should ask next?

I’d love to see more people from the Latin American Agile community. These are some great folks that I have worked with in the past and that I’m convinced have many interesting things to say:

July 2012

Lima, Peru