Thursday, July 20, 2006

John Scumniotales New Blog: Agile Project Development

In 1993, Easel Corporation acquired a German Smalltalk compiler company and hired me to lead a team to produce Object Studio for Smalltalk. We were a Microsoft partner and they must have liked our name as they later created Visual Studio. I essentially had a position similar to a Chief Engineer at Toyota, incorporating Program Manager, Product Owner, and ScrumMaster all in one person. I created the product backlog, led the development of the first product specification, and selected team members.

The Smalltalk compiler product had been built originally by a German team. The German's were high powered developers who had also created a prototype for the Object Studio design environment. I asked them to come to the U.S. and look at the team of C++ developers assigned initally to the product. The Germans made it clear the team needed to be reformed with Smalltalk expertise and John Scumniotales was recruited from the Easel Smalltalk consulting group to be the Object Studio technical lead.

We also brought Jeff McKenna onboard as a consultant. The three of us worked together to create the first Scrum and the title of ScrumMaster. John Scumniotales took on the role of first ScrumMaster.

In this case, John was the lead engineer with outstanding interpersonal skills. He spent 80% of his time coding which was the design goal for the first ScrumMaster, went on to create his own company and sell it to Rational, then became head of development for Rational Rose. John currently runs development and product management for PacificEdge Software.

Agile Product Development is John's new blog. Check it out.