Friday will be my last day at IBM, and on Monday I will become an Agile Coach/Trainer for hire, via my own little company: Agile Pain Relief Consulting.
I’ve had nearly an eight-year run with a great bunch of people. First at Databeacon and our NET Rich Client (tip of the hat to Robi, Dave, Marc, Tony, Patrick, Suzanne, Ralph, and briefly Hans) – little did you know how far I would take those crazy ideas around unit testing, milestones, and reflection. Then Cognos for the death of Corinth and rebirth of PMRC (add to the list Sasa, Viktor, Daniel, and Johnathan), PMMT (Brenda, Brian and Steve – aka Chad). Finally IBM and Agile Coaching with too many people to name.
I realized long ago that I was no longer passionate about coding, and that my interests lie in coaching and mentoring Agile Software Development, TDD, etc. Along the way, many of you have given me the chance to do coaching/mentoring work and for that I’m grateful. I’m also grateful to everyone who put up with my all too frequent harangues about why Agile/TDD, etc., was better than what we do today. One of the things I have learned since then is to ask questions, listen, and then harangue. Thanks to everyone who helped me evolve.
Special thanks to:
- Robi for teaching me a lot about quality and for helping me to get better at writing good code.
- A big thanks to Sasa, who took a chance on Scrum and put up with someone who was telling him how to organize his team.
- Ralph for giving me a chance to coach and for keeping me through three rounds of layoffs.
- Guillaume (and the whole BUDDI team) for letting me use BUDDI as an occasional test bed for my coaching and facilitation skills.
An interesting side story on the number of people at each company: Databeacon was ~60 people when I joined and ~30 when we were acquired. Cognos was about 3,500 and IBM is about 400,000. So each time I’ve been acquired I’ve joined a company that was 100 times larger than its predecessor.
It’s been great working with everyone and I look forward to crossing paths again.
My permanent email address is email@example.com. I would be delighted to connect with anyone on LinkedIn (yes, I know I’ve dissed LinkedIn before).
Mark Levison has been helping Scrum teams and organizations with Agile, Scrum and Kanban style approaches since 2001. From certified scrum master training to custom Agile courses, he has helped well over 8,000 individuals, earning him respect and top rated reviews as one of the pioneers within the industry, as well as a raft of certifications from the ScrumAlliance. Mark has been a speaker at various Agile Conferences for more than 20 years, and is a published Scrum author with eBooks as well as articles on InfoQ.com, ScrumAlliance.org an AgileAlliance.org.
It’d be great if you decided to blog about your experience as a new Agile Coach. Congrats again on you career switch!