Alan Cyment

Listen to how Alan Cyment went from being an employee to Argentina’s first Scrum Trainer (CST)

I wanted to call this interview “Agile hustle” because it’s a great story of how an employee in Argentina hustled to help host a Certified Scrum Master course, and then hustled himself into a conference and a new job. It’s an inspiring story of how commitment and dedication took Alan Cyment from Buenos Aires to Costa Rica, Europe and eventually becoming a Scrum Trainer.

This is really long interview so I’ve broken it into two parts. In this first part Alan talks about his journey to becoming a CST.

Join me next week for part two, when Alan introduces me to an exercise called Pro-Action Cafe, talks about translating Tobias Mayer’s book, self-organizing conferences and more.

Transcript

Interviewer: I think we’re live …

Alan Cyment: Okay, cool. This is exciting.

Interviewer: I always find it very strange, my behavior changes every
time that I hit the record button.

Alan: [Laughs]

Interviewer: And I don’t know why. I mean, it’s purely psychological,
because there’s really no difference. But I always find my behavior
changes.

Alan: I guess the cost of error seems to be higher then.

Interviewer: Yeah, that could be it. I never really thought about that.
Let me give you a brief outline of what I’m trying to do. Basically, I’m
just trying to meet people within Scrum community roughly about, I don’t
know maybe, for the last couple of years. I noticed that there were more
and more people coming into the community that I simply didn’t know or
hadn’t met. Being out here in Australia its often very hard to meet people,
because, you know, the conferences are a lot smaller and the distances to
North America and Europe are far greater. I’m sure you experience the same
thing in Argentina.

Alan: Yeah, same thing.

Interviewer: And so, I wanted an excuse to go out and start meeting
people, and so I decided that the way I would do it is by doing interviews.
Asking people just basically, what brought them into the Scrum community,
how did they come to this Scrum community? Really, that’s how I’ve been
structuring these interviews. By and large everything is very free form; I
don’t have a terrible great structure for it. I let the conversation go
wherever it needs to go.

I typically talk about, or I try to talk about three things; What
brought you into the community? What are you doing now? And where do you
see things going from here? And so, those are really the three questions
that I try to structure the whole thing around.

Alan: Mm-hmm, all right, so, what brought me? I started as a
developer, a software developer at 19, and ever since I started coding, I
always felt like this kind of trade union view of a knowledge worker world.

Interviewer: Can you explain that?

Alan: Yeah, I read about Augusto Boal’s definition of oppression
later in life but I think I constantly felt oppressed, and I felt my
colleagues were being oppressed. Augusto Boal defines oppression as;
paraphrasing because I can’t remember the original, but it’s something like
“A monologue where there should be a dialogue.” I felt I was not being
heard, or listened to, or I was not even being asked about so many things.
I know when I started I knew the basics, what time to go to work, what time
to leave, and where to work, but then more and more stuff, like what was it
that we developed, or quality, or who I worked with, when we got to or not
to meet the clients, stuff like that. I naturally had a tendency to see
things from a made up perspective. So I was always saying, “This is not
working, this is not working, this is not working. Something needs to
change.” Then I remember in Argentina, it’s very common, I’m not sure if
it’s the same in Australia, while you study you work full time, or almost
full time. I remember I worked for six hours a day, so all my jobs there, I
took them as learning jobs, but then I learned that all of my jobs were
going to be learning jobs. So then my plan, or my strategy was to change
jobs, I mean I didn’t thought it from before, was to change a job a year.
Don’t stay in a job for more than a year.

Interviewer: Wow, that’s an ambitious target.

Alan: Yeah, and whenever I changed jobs, I didn’t just want to change
the company, I wanted to change something, transcendent is too much of a
word, some at least a minor focus in the work. I knew I wanted to have a
software company some day, so I said I want to learn the different aspects
of software development. So, I switched from size of projects, and
different things, and then I remember I had always developed object
oriented, but I took a class, it was actually focused on object
orientation, but it was with Smalltalk. I really got into it, and after 15
days or a month, I decided that I wanted to land a job where I was going to
use Smalltalk, because I wanted to learn it, and said, “I’m not going to
learn it if I wasn’t going to get paid for it or if there’s not any
commitment bigger than assignment for the university.”

So it was either an open source project, or a paid job, or something
like that. I got one, it was not that easy, and then I think I got without
knowing it, I entered the Agile world.

Interviewer: And what time frame was this?

Alan: This was in 2004.

Interviewer: 2004?

Alan: Yes.

Interviewer: What point were you into Smalltalk?

Alan: 2003?

Interviewer: 2002, 2003?

Alan: Yeah. Then my first assignment when I entered the Smalltalk job
was to write an automated test.

Interviewer: Ah, very nice.

Alan: Because it was a very, or a partly low risk assignment. I
couldn’t break anything, at least I could build some false positives, but I
couldn’t actually break anything. I loved it, and at that time, I’m not
sure if it was, I think because there were some agile books on the tables
on the desks that I picked up one, or I already knew about it. I can’t
remember, but I read the Extreme Programming original book, the first one.

Interviewer: XP distilled? Or was that the second one?

Alan: No I think it was XP explained was the first one. I started
reading it and it made sense, but it didn’t make a shift until, I can’t
remember which part I read, something about maybe continuous integration
after I had read TDD and I pictured trees? Like a cell growing? And I said
“Pkay, I get this guy. This is brilliant, this is organic. ”

Interviewer: Yeah.

Alan: This is going to grow slowly and at the same time, he’s making
sure the thing doesn’t die on the inside.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Alan: This is brilliant, the thing is alive, and if you don’t take
care of it, it will just rot and die.

Interviewer: Mm-hm.

Alan: I love the organic or more, you know, not human, but animal
view, natural view of the thing. And I just fell in love with it. I said,
“Okay, well this is the way it should be.” Then I remember I got tired of
that job for different reasons, you tell me if I’m making this too long.

Interviewer: No, this is really interesting actually. I quite honestly
see a lot of similarities between the path that you took, and the path that
I took, because I used to do a lot of Smalltalk as well.

Alan: Cool.

Interviewer: And my very first book was also, XP Explained, Extreme
Programming Explained, and so yeah, I can see a lot of similarities between
my own personal path and what you’re saying as well.

Alan: Cool. That always feels good. Then I remember I got tired of
the company, and the development assignments I was getting were boring, I
was doing too much Legacy code, or on the spot correction and environment
fixing and they were developing a brand new system and I wasn’t going to
take part of it. And I received a job offer for something that, apparently
felt like the perfect job. It was RUP processing engineer.

I didn’t know what RUP was. I quickly read about it and I said,
“Well, this is what I want, because I had been thinking for so long, how
developers work and now I will have the chance to help them not actually
developing, but helping them change the way they work.” I said, “Brilliant.
This is what I want to be; I want to be a process engineer in a big company
in the methodology group of a big company.” We were so smart, we knew
perfectly well what they needed. We built majestic methodology.

Interviewer: Yep, yep.

Alan: We said, “Okay, this is the way to work; now we’re going to
evaluate you on this.” I was so convinced for like two or three months.
Then I could see their faces of horror, their despair when I started
pushing them to start using all of the templates. It was not that much
about meetings, it was about templates.

Then I picked up again the extreme programming book, and I said,
“Okay I’m going to start tweaking this, because this is not going to work.”
It was interesting, after I had all of the talks with all of the teams, I
said, “I realize the thing that we’re not getting,” I was starting to get
it at the time, is RUP was incremental and iterative. They were water
falling, like hail.

Interviewer: Yeah, that’s a very common complaint with RUP actually,
that you end up doing waterfall.

Alan: Yeah, it was plain waterfall.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Alan: I was starting to understand iterative and incremental
development. So I read Craig Larman’s book, Iterative and Incremental
Development for Managers, something like that, and I said, “Okay so we need
to transmit to these guys the notion of iterative and incremental
development, that’s the thing, that is what they’re not getting.”

I promoted a series of two hour trainings for the whole IT
department; I had never given training on anything. I liked it, it was all
PowerPoint, and people sitting, you know. I realized I enjoyed trying to
convey this notion, and I enjoyed in which I, I still remember that. Things
started to heat up, when I said after like 20 minutes, that you needed to
have running software after, I think I said, four weeks. Then someone got
up, always in every training, 20 people per training, someone said “That’s
impossible. That doesn’t make sense and that’s going to make our jobs pure
hell.”

I got a little nervous at that moment but I enjoyed his passion. Then
after a while I got really disappointed with what we were doing, we were
actually in the end, implementing some rational tools. It was boring, and
after a year more or less, I got really tired of it. Then I got back into
school for doing some research work, aspect oriented programming. I had
finished my thesis on that. I had some free time, so I said “Okay I want to
start learning about this, I am pretty passionate about this agile thing,”
so I said, “Let’s start looking for training. I want to really understand
this,” and the training I found, the most clearly defined training that
seemed to have recognition in the industry was the CSM.

I started reading more about scrum, I hadn’t read much about scrum,
it was all XP until that time. I found it interesting, but I didn’t find
much training on XP and it didn’t seem like I could find many references to
it. For like half a year, I said, “Okay I might save some money,” I didn’t
have much money at the time, and I had to fly to US or Europe and pay like
$1200 or Euros. I just couldn’t make it. I remember one day out of
frustration, I wrote an email to the scrum developer list saying that I
wanted to take the course but I didn’t have the money for the trip and the
course, if any trainer could fly over to any place in South America and
charge less than $500 then I could go. I thought there were many like me.
So I encouraged other people as well from Latin America/South America to
join me so that we can gather enough interested people. I got a couple of
emails from I think like three or four trainers, one of them was from
Tobias Meyer.

Interviewer: Mm-hm.

Alan: The first reason why I got really caught by his email was when
he said he wasn’t going to charge anything.

Interviewer: That’s always a good price point.

Alan: Yeah. I mean the others didn’t mention pricing, he said “If you
don’t manage to get any money from this, to get people, I don’t care if I
don’t get paid, please try and pay my air ticket and my hotel and I’m going
to be okay.”

Interviewer: Cool.

Alan: I remember he told me, I’m not sure if I talked with him about
this again, he might have gotten confused like everybody in the world
between Argentina and Brazil, because he said I owe a lot to South America
because two South American’s have changed the way I see work, Augusto Boal
and Paulo Freire. Paulo Freire wrote about the philosophy of the oppressed,
Augusto Boal wrote the Theater of the Oppressed. I had read about them at
another time. I remember, I entered his website, and at that top it said
“Theater based Agile Training” or something like that, and I was really
into theater, I had taken acting lessons for four or five years. Actually,
I had considered dropping the software world, leaving the software world,
and just focusing on acting.

Interviewer: Oh, interesting, I didn’t realize that.

Alan: I said, “Okay this has to be the guy, I mean it’s great that
he’s not going to charge, but this has to be the guy.”

I started setting up, it was my first business venture, I had always
been an employee, and I had to start selling tickets. It was very low
priced, I think it was like $300, or $250. I managed to get a place for
free, I was sending emails and spamming everybody. Actually we filled the
course, and I took it finally. I started to understand things, and as soon
as we finished the course, I started telling Tobias, “You should change
this, you should change that, you should change this, I would change this
part of the course, that part of the course.”

Interviewer: Why were you saying that, what was driving you to make
those suggestions?

Alan: I remember a lot about PowerPoint, believe it or not he was
using PowerPoints at the time. And I said, “Tobias, I think have too many
bullets here, I think the concept is not clear here. I think people were
bored at this part. I think when you give us the mission statement for this
game, it’s not very clear and I saw people getting confused by it. It was
great at this part blah blah blah,” stuff like that.

I got really engaged into the dynamics of how the course was
delivered. That was a surprise for me, because I had never been in that
area before. He stayed here for like a week, we quickly became friends, and
it was a lot of chemistry. He actually invited, he put a poster on the
scrum exchange on the wall of the CSM. The scrum exchange was going to be I
think two months after the CSM course. I told him, “Tobias, no one is going
to fly to the US for a conference on Scrum from here; it’s too expensive,
there’s no way.” He said, “Well you should come.”

I said, “I’m not going to fly to the US. It’s in two months, it’s
impossible.”

He said, “Well you can stay at home you’re, not going to pay the
entrance, it’s just the ticket.” So I did some math, and more or less, the
same money I actually managed to make from the course, I thought I was
going to lose money but, the exact money, I made I used to buy the ticket.
That was a month or two afterwards. I remember the trip to the Scrum
exchange, I was amazed by all these people with all these ideas, all of the
games, and I was so much into games. It was games, but connected to
theater.

I remember from the Scrum exchange; names I remember a lot, I
remember being quite touched by Matt Smith, David [inaudible 0:23:10],
Michael Spade, I think Luke Hoffman did some stuff I wasn’t that shocked by
it, Kurt Pierson.

Interviewer: Yep. Boy, that’s a lot of names.

Alan: Yeah, well actually Kurt was the one that was going to come in
the first place, before Tobias. He was the first one that wrote me. I know
so many things, stuff that I had never heard about. Like learning from
errors, and I remember I started proposing changes in games. It was
natural, the whole thing was natural, when I came back from Argentina, I
said, “I’ve got to do this for a living. I just have to.”

It was a big coincidence, because of this aspect oriented thing, and
the thesis thing that I told you about before. With my thesis partner, we
had won a prize from Microsoft. It was for Microsoft research. I had flown
in the beginning of that year Redmond, presented the thesis. I had met a
guy from Costa Rica who was the owner of the company that was a partner of
Microsoft. The presentation that we did was for Microsoft research team,
and some partners that were interested. It was all compiler stuff. We
stayed in contact and then, just right after the Scrum exchange, the guy
writes to me, and asks me if I was interested in a job in Costa Rica.

I said “Okay, I think I had broken up with my girlfriend at the time,
so I was ready for an extreme change.”

It just appeared just in front of me and I talked with him, and it
was very interesting, because he wasn’t sure what my role was going to be.
It was a services company, it’s a company that does automated migration.
They have a very sophisticated engine for pattern detection and mapping. So
they had been very successfully performing services to companies migrating,
so they did semi automated migration.

Interviewer: So what are you talking about? Data migration? Or are you
talking about…?

Alan: No, no, no. It was source code.

Interviewer: Oh, okay.

Alan: Source code. They did a lot of work from visual basic, to
Visual BASIC .net, from Cobalt to Java; they got all sort of different
paths of migration. They had a very sophisticated engine that takes
patterns and transforms them, but the guy had always wanted to do some
consumer products with that technology. They put up an internal startup
inside this company, they wanted me to take part in that effort, and they
thought of me as a technical guy, so more the architectural aspect rated
part. I flew, I think it was a month later, to Costa Rica, and they didn’t
know what work to give me, and they didn’t know what the project was going
to be about. I said I’m going to use Scrum here.

Interviewer: Good on you.

Alan: These guys don’t know what scrum is yet. We’re going to use it
like hell. I’m going to be the scrum buster; I’m going to have a lot of fun
here. I did, I was a very… I shaped the way we did product development,
and actually coding, and all the team dynamics. There were so many things
that I was trying, using experimental lists. I had a great time as the
scrum buster, I formed the PO. I think we did a great job, but we did a
lousy job, I found later, at, today you would say customer development.
Wheel to product I think they spent $2 million, and we sold seven copies.

Interviewer: So you built a product that no one really wanted?

Alan: Yes. We did focus groups, we did paper prototyping, but we
failed. But, I think we did a lot of things really great. I learned a lot
about it.

Interviewer: So, looking back at it…?

Alan: Yeah?

Interviewer: What would you do different?

Alan: Yeah, I had thought about that. I would have been more
insistent, I was, but I should have been way more insistent with the
product owner to hit the market after three months, instead of two years.
His main fear, actually it was my fear with my own ideas, then I later
realized was nonsense, was that they might steal the idea, or we might
create a bad impression on the market with lousy software.

So, the main lesson is the market is way more unpredictable than we
want to think. I think that’s the main difference. Internally it was the
lesson of focusing on delivery instead of discovery, focusing on building
the thing right instead of the… We underestimated the difficulty of
finding product market fit.

Interviewer: Right.

Alan: Luckily it was not my money, because it was a lot of money.

Interviewer: Yeah, absolutely, yeah that is a lot of money. That is a
very expensive mistake to make.

Alan: Yeah. That’s the way I entered the scrum world. Then the Scrum
Alliance Training World was when I got back to Argentina, because I was
really missing my country after a year and a half. We had had a very hard
time inside that team, inside that company in finding good testing people;
apparently in Costa Rica they were very sparse. They were slower than what
I thought was healthy in incorporating XP practices.

I told them that if they wanted, we could experiment. If they wanted
me inside a team, I volunteered to become part of the team as a
testing/continuous integration oriented person, team member. I remember I
told them that we could experiment with rotating scrum buster. I’m not sure
it was the best idea, but it was interesting for me to be inside the team.
Maybe I took it as an experiment as well. I wanted to feel what it was like
to be inside the scrum team. I thought “I can’t change these guys, I can’t
change the way that they develop if I’m not one of them.”

Interviewer: Yeah. Absolutely.

Alan: I think I did a good job at that, but the PO needed better
coaching, maybe it was not overall the best decision.

Interviewer: It’s hard to know that at the time though, especially as
you’re starting out. It’s very difficult to know, especially from the
business point of view, because a lot of scrum busters are very technical.
They tend to focus on the technical aspects rather than focusing on the big
picture.

Alan: That’s the kind of PO’s we’ve grown so far the more delivery
project manager like PO’s who are obsessed about the plan and not the
ROI.

Interviewer: That’s a hard one there. That’s a very difficult problem
to solve.

Alan: You tell me when to stop with the entrance to the scrum world.
Then I came back to Argentina, and I said I want to live in Argentina, and
I want to do Scrum.

Interviewer: Cool.

Alan: I don’t know what is it I’m going to do, but I’m going to start
coaching. Luckily, shortly after that, after the training, I was doing some
remote work, remote marketing work for the Costa Rican guys. The guy that I
had known in the CSM course that had taken the course with me, and had
actually been my project manager in the most waterfallish project that I
had ever done, that we both suffered the whole year for nothing. The user
saw it after one year and said, “Worthless.”

It was so hard. The guy said, “I’m currently coaching some people on
scrum, they want training and I think you can give a way better training
than I can.”

So I said, “Okay let’s make it.” Internally I said, “Why the hell is
he saying that? He’s done so many trainings and I’ve never trained.”

Interviewer: That was a very brave step though, that must have taken a
lot of courage to do that.

Alan: Yeah, I mean I just said yes, and I was really confident. I said,
“Okay, what I’m going to do is rerun the course.” I took, Tobias’ course,
well, actually he hadn’t seen me, but I had been Tobias’ assistant, three,
four, a couple of times after I had taken the course. I had traveled for
three months in Europe before that, and I remember I flew to co-teach a
part at a course that was being give by Boros Glover and Jake Sutherland. I
had done some co-trainings and stuff.

Interviewer: You’d seen some of the different styles that the scrum
trainers…

Alan: Yeah I had seen Stacia as well in Costa Rica, Stacia Broderick.
I said, “Okay off we go, two days, let’s go.” I prepared my PowerPoint, I
took Tobias’ PowerPoint, and I changed many things. I don’t know, I just
didn’t care.

Its not that I didn’t care, I said “To hell, this is going to be a
good course!” And it was, I think it was a very good course. I realized I
could do that successfully. Worst thing about my first course, was getting
into arguments with people.

Interviewer: Yeah. I remember those days too, yeah.

Alan: I got really angry, really angry. That made me suffer, and made
the other people uncomfortable. I walked a long path since then. I’m not
getting angry any longer.

Then these guys wanted another course, and another course. Then I
found another course, and we wanted the guys we had taken the CSM with,
maybe some others together with this guy Juan, Juan Gabardini, the guy who
invited me to this course. He said we need to have a conference here. I
said, “Yeah let’s do it.”

He said, “People know you more here, than they know me, so why don’t
you write an email?” Because I had created a user group.

Interviewer: Right, okay.

Alan: Before the CSM course, I wanted it to be the user group for
Agile in Latin America. We had maybe like 800 users at the time, not very
active. It was mostly from people who had taken the CSM, in Costa Rica and
Argentina. I remember I wrote an email saying, “We need to make this more
physical, more real, more touchable; so why don’t we make a conference?”

A couple of us got together and we started. I came up with a name, I
think it’s a cool name, and we still use it. In Spanish it’s Agiles, it’s
hard because in English you don’t change the adjectives you don’t put them
into plural, but it could mean like “Agile people” or if you say “We are
agile.” It could mean many things. I love words that could mean many
things. So, when you read it, it’s not agility in itself its agile people,
it’s a word agile, with telling that you are many and that we are people.
That was the goal. We organized the first Agiles, I wasn’t that present
during the organization as much as I wanted to, I was a volunteer. When we
started gathering a lot of people, we had like 400 – 500 people here in
Buenos Aries that year. I think that kicked off the whole thing, we’re
going to have the 5th one this year in Peru.

Interviewer: So, if you’re having the 5th one this year, that was 2008?
That you had that first conference?

Alan: Yes. We brought over Tobias.

Interviewer: Were you a scrum trainer then, or were you?

Alan: Oh no, that’s right, I was not. I remember I wanted to go to
the Agile conference. It was too expensive, so I think I submitted… it
was hard to find, but you could be a volunteer. It was hard to find the
button where you could be a volunteer, but I told them my story, and they
accepted me. I flew to Toronto. I loved it, it was way off course from the
scrum exchange, but I loved it.

Interviewer: Very big?
Alan: Yeah, very big.

Interviewer: Lots of people, lots of crowds.

Alan: Yeah, but I learned a lot and I enjoyed being a volunteer. I
became close friends with Alexi Krovitzky, the Ukrainian CST.

Interviewer: Yep.

Alan: The guy who did the Lego City game, we were both volunteers and
we shared a bedroom.

Interviewer: Oh neat.

Alan: We posted signs in places, we did basic stuff, and I met a lot
of people there. I remember an Agile, Agiles; our conference was going to
be
I think three months after the Agile Conference 2008.

Interviewer: Right, okay.

Alan: So we wanted, I had the idea that we could run some courses,
international courses, with the guest speakers, before the conference so
that with the earnings we could fun the conference. I prefer that over
sponsors.

So I knew that if we did the CSM with Tobias, we could get some
money. Then some guys from another companies were in touch, were in contact
with some contacts with the pop index were going to come. We prepared a
lean development course. Some people were asking for CSM in Spanish, I
think Tobias’ CSM was sold out. Some of the people who were preparing the
course, the conference with me, told me “Why don’t you become a trainer
yourself?” Tobias told me.

I said, “Well I’m not ready; I don’t have that much experience so I
don’t think that I can do it.”

Toby said, “You should do it.”

Interviewer: Absolutely, yeah.

Alan: He said “Do it, do it by all means.” I remember he said “We need a
guy like you in the trainer community, so come, you’re going to make it.”

So I said “No, this guy is just nuts. I want to be a trainer, but
it’s going to be in 1 or 2, or 3 years time.” I submitted my proposal, my
form, and I remember I got an email right before Toronto, right before the
Agile Conference, from Jim Candiff.

Interviewer: The managing director of the scrum alliance at the time.

Alan: Yes. The MD, he said, you’re almost in, but we need to have a
talk. He said can we have a talk, sometime, somewhere in the world? I said
I’m going to Toronto, he said I’m going to. So we met there. There was one
CST who had objected to my saying that I… well I’m not going to get much
into it, but we had a long talk with Jim. He said “Okay that’s all I needed
to hear, I’m going back to the board,” or whoever was choosing CST’s at the
time, “I’ll get back to you in a couple of days.” He sent me an email that
said you’re now officially a trainer.

Interviewer: Cool.

Alan: I remember I had at the time, they had sent me an email from
Costa Rica, asking me to go back if I could for a couple of months, because
they needed [inaudible 0:45:10] the shift in the way they were doing
things. I remember I flew there after Canada, after the Agile Conference,
and I think I received the email telling me I was a trainer the first day
that I got there. I bought a bottle of wine.

Interviewer: To celebrate.

Alan: Yeah, and I poured a glass for each of the team members and the PO,
and I said “This is all thanks to you, obviously I quit, but thanks so
much. I love you guys, and I learned, most of the scrum I have learned with
you.”

I mean I flew there for, supposedly for ten days, but they said “Okay
if you’re going to leave, then we need you for sometime this year,” so I
stayed there for two months or three months, I can’t remember. I changed my
air ticket, and I became a trainer but I did my first training like four
months later, at the opening, I mean days before the conference. I had a
great time ever since, the course, of course, changed so many times.

Interviewer: As it does.

Alan: Absolutely different from what it was at the time. I think I
ran another session with Tobias, at the Agiles conference, but I was mostly
interested in, I don’t know, the timing of the sessions, and if people
would leave the room at the right time, and if the food was there. I
remember I had been to one open… no I hadn’t been to any open space. I
had been to what they used to call the open jem, at the agile conference,
supposedly like open space, so I liked the concept and brought it over to
our conference.

No one went there, then I started reading about open space, and I
understood that we had horribly failed, because at the open space and the
open jam was parallel to the conference and that doesn’t make any sense. I
fell absolutely in love with open space later, and became a… I wouldn’t
say that I’m a scrum or agile zealot, but I think I’m an open space zealot.

Interviewer: Really?

Alan: Yeah, you can solve anything with open space, I mean I’m over
stating it but, I think it’s amazingly powerful.

Interviewer: I’m exactly opposite. On this particular point, I’ve had
some bad experiences, with open spaces early on, so I have no time for open
space. I really don’t enjoy them, I go to them, I try and participate, I
try and be a constructive member of the community. But inside I die a
little bit for every open space that I go to.

Alan: Oh, whoa, what a shame.

Interviewer: And maybe that’s because I haven’t been to a good one, but
honestly, I do die inside.

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. You won't believe how much time Alan Cyment spent at business school! | Scrumology.comScrumology.com - September 5, 2013

    […] week I publish the first part of my interview with Alan Cyment, and this post cover the second part of the interview. In this second part Alan introduces me to an […]

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