“I believe in Scrum. I am intrigued by people and their behaviors and I have a passion for teaching – those are the drivers behind my work.” –Hubert Smits, CST
Hubert’s History with Scrum: Scrum before it was “a thing”
I got introduced to Scrum in the early 2000’s.
My first Scrum would be the creation of if.com; a Scottish internet bank which went from greenfield to production in 10 months. I’m talking 2001, and we didn’t even know the word ‘Scrum’! But in our project, with hundreds of developers, we went live every month, we built every night, we had daily meetings and daily project manager meetings. All aspects of Scrum were there and the experience prompted me to search for like-minded people. I found a few unknown guys, one called Schwaber, the other one Cohn. The Agile Alliance just emerged, Ken was heading it up and Mike needed assistance in one of the programs. The rest is history…”
The longer I work with Scrum, study the principles, and see the effects of teams using the framework, the more I believe in the power of simplicity. “Do the simplest thing that can possibly work” – Occam’s Razor – is the only way to get complex development done, to get results, and to have a steering mechanism during development.
People and behaviors, the first value in the Agile Manifesto, is another passion. Maybe I was a psychologist in another life, or I will become on in my next life. Motivation of people, the factors that drive passion, learning, improving – these concepts are counter intuitive at best, and they are key for industry: productivity and quality are drivers in competition.
Teaching is a way to transfer my experience: to tell stories that make concepts stick. It pleases me when I get good feedback, and I have work to do when feedback is not good. There is always work to do, responding to new challenges, changing cultures, new business or governmental environments – teaching is never the same between one class and the next.
“All of my work is based on experience, coaching teams in their steps to move from the classic Waterfall process to the Scrum process.”
All of my work is based on experience, coaching teams in their steps to move from the classic Waterfall process to the Scrum process. Steps in which teams have to learn new practices and embrace new thinking, steps in which they unlearn and get rid of muscle memory, and steps in which they learn to distinguish which old practices are good in the new framework. I’ve worked with startups, sometimes for years, I worked with distributed teams, teams in the US, Europe, Middle East and the Far East plus mixes of all of those countries sometimes in a single team. Global organizations are a passion, changing process in a 15,000 people organization is a challenge I enjoy. Working for the US government is a developing passion, learning to maneuver between government and contractor, while staying true to the Scrum principles.
Check out Hubert’s Professional Resume at LinkedIn: Hubert Smits @ LinkedIn
Besides my business life, I have a personal life that includes family and friends, salsa and bachata, tractors and cameras, tigers and a teepee – conversation for the breaks in class.