Who is David Harvey?

The next person in the Who Is serie is David Harvey. David was invited by Ralph Miarka. I personally followed several sessions of David at conferences like XPday London & Xp2010 and remember him from some great (and sometimes funny) discussions. He was one of the first people in the agile community to talk about Lean’s Value stream. He is also one of the people from CATeams. (I’m happy to say that you can find some of his humor back in his answers.)


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

I think enough people know about my musical background for it not to be something that people usually don’t know about me… I’m a frustrated actor/improviser, and when I’m in one place for long enough I will add that to the list of goals…

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

Hard one. Something in music and academia, maybe (but – apart from the paucity of opportunity, I really didn’t enjoy that life. Most of my contemporaries who took that root are still in their first positions, twenty+ years on). Maybe teaching and playing guitar.



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

At the moment, finding time for everything. I’m involved in one long-term development project, three start-ups at various points, and from time to time coaching and consulting. I’m a big fan of pomodoro, especially when I have admin to do. It’s not a good thing for me!

What drives you ?

Curiosity, and the pleasure of practice.

What is your biggest achievement?

  • In life? My children (though their achievement is all their own).
  • In music? Performing in many world premieres.
  • In Software? Seeing two ground-breaking versions of Sibelius to market when I was CTO. Courtesy of a great team – it was an exhilarating four years.

What is the last book you have read?

Again, three answers!

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

You should ask: “what question do you think I should also ask, and what is the answer?” To which the answer is: (“You should ask: “what question do you think I should also ask, and what is the answer?” To which the answer is: (“You should ask: “what question …   …)))))))))))

Serious answer – “What are your hopes and fears for software development in the next ten years?” Hopes – that between small-a agile and small-s-c software craftsmanship, we’ll continue to improve the practice and outcome of making software in our teams and organisations. Fears – that despite the best efforts of those who care, nothing much will change, and the profession of software will increasingly lose what pride in itself and respect from others it has.

Who do you think I should ask next?

I’m sure you’ve got Europe covered 🙂 Avoiding the usual suspects: in the UK, there are two people who are pretty much elders of the software community here. Bruce Anderson and John Daniels have both been very influential on me, and many others. I like Jason Gorman‘s anger and passion for action, he is well worth talking to. If you haven’t spoken to Joseph Pelrine, you definitely need to. And John Nolan is the best person I know for cutting through the crap and nonsense that surrounds a lot of what’s done in the name of agile – we need our controversialists, especially when they’ve delivered as much over the years as John has.