This is our second interview of our brand new series of Agile Interviews with agile influencers.
For a long time we have been searching for a format that would allow us to provide our TeamPulse blog readers with fresh, unique and different, but still agile content. The Agile Interviews would give you the opportunity to get to know the agile influencers better in both professional and non-professional context. If you have any questions to them, please submit them in the comments section below. There is an agile influencer you think we should interview? Please share them as a comment below.
Would you please introduce yourself?
I'm Joel… from Canada...idea hamster, processes guy, lover of innovation and photography.
Why "Joel from Canada"?
I used to travel and teach internationally a lot. For many, my last name was hard to remember. One day in Hong Kong about 10 years ago I had a student go "Hey.. You're Joel… from Canada" - and I realized this was an easy way for people to remember and search for me. Turns out "www.joelfromcanada.com" was available.. why not?
What is Agile?
My definition may be dramatically different than others. For me, Agile is a set of values that lead to practices that help teams focus on value and remove waste from their software development processes.
Coffee or tea?
Coffee during the day. Tea at night. Mmmm Peach Tranquility before bed….
Do you scrum?
Any other addictions?
Throwing away what I know to replace it with better stuff. I am addicted to finding a better way - to disruption and change.
Favorite agile principle?
Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
How do you like the agile community on Twitter vs on Google +?
Overwhelmingly active. There are so many people contributing and sharing that sometimes I find it hard to keep up.
How many kids do you have?
2 Boys - 15 and 11 this year.
How many projects do you usually work on?
Right now I’m involved in 4 projects - this is about average and lets me take advantage of my ADHD.
What keeps you organized? And what focused?
My weekly and daily planning habits help me get things done. I'm old school - I really love pen and paper. At the beginning of every week I lay out my goals and high level focus areas. Then every morning (after email) I make my goals for the day.
Have you tried agile parenting?
My family has a kanban board by our back entrance where we track chores at a weekly and daily basis. It's fun - the kids run to it every day to get things done - after that, they have some free time.
Please share your agile predictions for the future. Short-term. And long-term.
I love trying to predict trends. I do this every year - this year I wrote a white paper on my favorite predictions for Agile called 7 Agile Development Trends and Predictions for 2013. In summary, Agile is here to stay, but it will require another "bump" of evolution to truly scale.
What's your favorite place on earth?
Namche Bazaar, Nepal. Hands down, my favorite place on the planet. One day Stephen Forte and I will open up our own Tea House there (grin)
What was Nepal like?
Nepal has a lot of diversity - from the craziness of Kathmandu to the serenity of the Khumbu value through the isolation of Mustang - to the spiritual magic of the temples. More than Nepal, Nepali people have a big place in my heart.
Most dispersed team you have ever been part of?
The TeamPulse team at Telerik - Winnipeg, Sofia, Boston with a sprinkle of Columbus and influence from Austin and Hong Kong.
Which are the must have features in a project management tool to be successful with agile? Extremely customizable visual board that is available to the entire team.
One of my favorite books is ReWork by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. One of my favorite blogs is by David Anderson - agilemanagement.net
What was your worst situation that agile was able to address?
Agile doesn't solve your problems - it helps to expose them faster to allow you to do something about them. I've used Agile many times for this exact purpose - to bring to light true issues within a company struggling with their software processes - Agile exposed these right away.
Team or individual sports?
Ironically, individual - with the exception of volleyball. I'm my own biggest competitor - yet, absolutely love the smaller yet extremely confined team structures of Volleyball.
Is it true no Teleriker has ever defeated you in arm wrestling? If yes - what is your formula for arm wrestling success? Its absolutely true that no one from Telerik has defeated me in an arm wrestling match. The magic formula? Be very strong ;-)
What's the cure for PMs of multiple projects?
Don't manage multiple projects. Kidding. For me a big factor is the synchronization of the project cadences - this helps a lot. That and being able to have perspective across all projects in one place.
Tell us about your first printed book. What's coming up next?
My first book was called Exchange and Outlook: Constructing Collaborative Solutions - all seven people who read it loved it. What's next? I am toying with a book about the use of Lean principles to drive the incremental and scaled use of Agile - that or one how to take excellent pictures of your meals with your phone camera ;-)
Where can we get updates on what you are up to?
Facebook is updated most often - facebook.com/JoelFromCanada, twitter: @joelsemeniuk, and my blog, of course, www.joelfromcanada.com
Where did you speak last?
At the Winnipeg .NET User Group on April 22nd about what I'd learned over the past 20 years as a software engineer.
Is there something we didn't ask you, but you might want to share with us?
Where are my next adventures? Well, I desperately want to do a cycling/kayaking tour in British Columbia. I really want to kayak with the whales and cycle through the mountains. I think in 2014 we're going back to Nepal - we've never hiked the Annapurna circuit - however, I'd also love to summit something over 20,000 - specifically Island Peak in Nepal
Who influences you in the world of Agile? And in photography?
Agile: David Anderson, Photography: Timothy Allen.
Joel Semeniuk was a founder of Imaginet Resources Corp., a Canadian based Microsoft Gold Partner and the #1 Small to Medium Sized Employer in Canada. Currently, Joel is the Executive Vice President of Innovation at Telerik. He is also a Microsoft Regional Director and MVP Microsoft ALM and has a degree in Computer Science
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