- Why would they need to talk?
A big man in the fourth row just could not see the point of having a daily conversation with coworkers. The rest of the audience beamed with helpfulness and were offering examples how helpful it can be to communicate with others. The man remained unconvinced.
Yet, there he was - in the middle of the Agile track at Houston TechFest, an open conference for developers and others involved in IT, on a bright summer Saturday. However skeptical this person was about talking to others at work, he chose to spend a weekend day talking to strangers about work.
The popular stereotype, and old movies, show programmers as deeply introverted, hiding from the light of day, lonely guys with poor hygiene and terrible haircuts. In reality, the industry is populated by all kinds of people – men and women, homebodies and party animals, early risers and night owls; and proper grooming and professional appearance are a matter of course. Conferences like the TechFest tend to attract the best people in the field – those seeking to learn new things and to share their knowledge, to exchange ideas and discuss challenges.
Agile discussions have become a topic de rigueur when two programmers, or two thousand, get together. While simple, defined by just a few clear values, Agile philosophy goes against many a business practice and management theory. Agile methodologies are somewhat more cumbersome, but are far from the most complicated ones ever used in software development and IT. Still, the approach is a subject of very emotional debates, quasi-religious beliefs, and an occasional angry outburst.
More simply, Agile is about being human. Throughout history, people learned to value one another, interact peacefully with one another, and roll with the changes. So should programmers.