The Best Way to Spend 45 Minutes

I just finished watching the Similarities Between Interaction Designers and Agile Programmers interview with Alan Cooper from the Agile 2008 conference posted on InfoQ and I absolutely have to recommend that anyone serious about software engineering in general and Agile in particular take the 45 minutes out of your day or evening to watch this.

In this interview, Alan offers what to me has to be the absolute best explanation for the psychological motivations behind the Agile movement, working on open source software, the conflicting burdens that developing software in a commercial context place upon us all, the fundamental differences between software engineering and manufacturing industries, and other complex aspects of the practice of software engineering.

Perhaps best known for his famous book, The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity, Alan has many more years experience in software engineering than I and so can offer a really interesting set of insights into the problems and challenges that face us all in the practice of our work.

Its a fascinating mind-f*** to be psycho-analyzed by someone who never met me, but Alan understands my motivations in a way that even I can’t claim to.  Its truly amazing how his words resonate with my own goals, values, and thoughts on the practice and business of software engineering.