Origin Story (or Restarting a Long Quiet Blog)

This is the original “Pragmatic Agilista” blog. I’m claiming it.  I started it in 2003 on a different service and in fact, this is the third blogging service to host the The Pragmatic Agilista.  As an aside, I now wonder whether I should have called it Pragmatic Agilsto but that’s another story.

It’s funny, now that I think of it, how I came up with the name.  At the time, I was newly enamored of the Agile software development movement.  It was the way to solve all the things that were inherently wrong with the old way to develop software.  Since I had been writing software for different companies, in different countries for over 20 years at the time, I felt qualified to make that judgment too – so did many, many others but that’s beside the point.

So, back to the name. I had started my Agile journey by reading the “Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master” back in ’99 or 2000 (I remember reading about the book in books column in Dr. Dobb’s or another now defunct programmer’s magazine) and excited by Kent Beck’s Extreme Programming Explained, I was off and running – or trying to; it was rare that potential clients were trying Agile in those days.

Partly, the “Pragmatic” in Pragmatic Agilista is a nod to the Pragmatic Programmer, the book that changed my programming life.  The other aspect is, as I said above, no one (near me at least) was trying Agile in any guise so the ‘pragmatic’ was meant to be ‘realistic’ or ‘not pure’.  ‘Agilista’ was because the ‘-ista’ suffix was fashionably applied to distinct (sometimes revolutionary) things and those devoted to them; think Sandinista or Zapatista.  (It’s true that the –ista suffix is also used to dis a concept, e.g. fashionista or Guardianista, but I chose it for the affirmative form).

Anyway, the title was meant to say, “Here’s a bunch of articles about being Agile in the real world by someone who’s into it” and apparently, I wasn’t the only one thinking about it in this way because by the time I thought about getting the domain name agilista.com, it was gone (I have but haven’t used agilista.net), and there are at least two other bloggers using “Pragmatic Agilist” as either their title or their identifier.

Why the long dissertation on the name of the blog?  Because it dawned on me this morning that to some extent, I am no longer ‘pragmatic’ about Agile; there’s no need to couch the intent – everyone and their neighbor claims to be Agile (or at least ‘doing’ Agile – more on that later).  On the other hand, after working at being Agile myself and helping others get to that state for 13 or 14 years now, there’s a certain reality to the journey that ultimately suggests pragmatism.  Maybe I should re-title to Agile Pragmatista?

Over the past, nearly six months, I’ve been writing a blog about my current heath issue – that’s not to say that I have a history of health issues, but this one’s a deusy (or doozy, if you’re less historically aware) – and I’ve enjoyed the experience (of writing the blog).  It has helped me deal with some things that I wish I hadn’t had to, but needed to handle.  So when I started feeling like my job was throwing challenges at me from different directions I thought, “Hey, why don’t I write it out on the blog?”

So, the plan is to come back to this as I think of things that I need to explore at the office and hopefully offer some insights into implementing an Agile environment.

We’ll see how it goes.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s