As of 2011, the codification of the principles that comprise “agile” is now ten years old. Do you think it should survive unchanged another ten? Is this the end of agile?
A few years ago I was giving one of my Pragmatic Thinking & Learningworkshops, and we were talking about the value of a wide-ranging education that included the arts, not just the sciences. One of the participants made a revealing comment about how useful those non-technical courses were:
“The theater I did in college has helped me more in my programming career than half of my engineering courses.”—Grant Gainey, Senior Architect Developer
There are many reasons that a theater course would come in handy, not the least of which is learning how to work well with others under sometimes trying and unexpected circumstances. But there’s one aspect in particular that’s worth looking at in more detail.
In her autobiography, comedian Tina Fey (Bossypants, Reagan Arthur Books; 1st edition 2011) explains one crucial part of a theatrical education: improv. That is, improvisational theater. You’re stuck out on stage with one or more other actors, with no script, no goal, no pre-arranged dialog at all. The “plot” and dialog emerge spontaneously as you and the other actors interact. According to Fey, there are two rules to improv: