Wild West to Agile: Adventures in Software Development Evolution and Revolution

Book description

Wild West to Agile: The evolution and revolution of software development, drawn from personal experience, from the Apollo moon mission to digital transformations.

In 2023, "technology is your business--no matter what your business." But how did we get here and how could a historical perspective prepare us for the future?

Jim Highsmith tackles the evolution and revolution of software development, embellishes them with personal experiences, from the Apollo moon mission to modern digital transformations, and introduces the adventurous pioneers--from structured era developer Ken Orr to Agile methodologist Kent Beck--who strived to make the world a better place, by building better software.

Jim's six-decade career has encompassed the Wild West (1966-1979), to Structured Methods and Monumental Methodologies (1980s), to the Roots of Agile (1990s), to the present Agile Era (2001-present). In each era, he explores the evolution of software development methods, methodologies, and mindsets.

Whether you are from the 1970-1980's generation looking for an "I was there too" moment, a newer generation interested in the evolution of software development, the Agile generation interested in how Agile methodologies were born and evolved, or have a general interest in information technology, Wild West to Agile has something for you.

"Jim Highsmith is the Forrest Gump of software development. What made the 1994 movie so entertaining was how frequently Forrest found himself in the right spot as history was being made. Unlike Forrest, though, Jim's actions influenced that history."

--Mike Cohn, cofounder of the Agile Alliance, and the Scrum Alliance; author of Succeeding with Agile

"If you want to understand the shape of software development today, this is the book for you. If you want to understand how to navigate a turbulent career with grace & style, this is also the book for you. If you enjoy memoirs, ditto. Enjoy his story."

--Kent Beck, Chief Scientist, Mechanical Orchard; author, Extreme Programming Explained

"This entire journey--beginning with the Wild West era of software development through the Agile Era to today's Digital Transformation era--is entirely empowered by people. Thank you, Jim, for sharing these beautiful stories and honoring the people that were a part of this amazing journey."

--Heidi J. Musser, Vice President and CIO, USAA, retired

"I've always felt that understanding history is important, because it's hard to understand where we are unless you understand the path that we took to get here. Jim's memoir is an entertaining and astute odyssey through this history."

--Martin Fowler, Chief Scientist, Thoughtworks

Table of contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. About This eBook
  3. Halftitle Page
  4. Title Page
  5. Copyright Page
  6. Pearson’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  7. Dedication Page
  8. Contents
  9. Foreword by Martin Fowler
  10. Foreword by Heidi J. Musser
  11. Preface
  12. Acknowledgments
  13. About the Author
  14. 1. The Adventure Begins
    1. Career overview
    2. Software
    3. Software development
    4. Software development eras
    5. Six decades of change
    6. Observations
  15. 2. Wild West
    1. Apollo
    2. Technology and the world
    3. Esso Business Systems
    4. Exxon to Oglethorpe
    5. Software development
    6. Management trends
    7. Era observations
  16. 3. Structured Methods and Monumental Methodologies
    1. Era overview
    2. Software methods
    3. Methods, methodologies, and mindsets
    4. CSE/Telco
    5. Structured pioneers
    6. Information Architects, Inc.
    7. Technology
    8. Monumental Methodologies
    9. Waterfall
    10. Management
    11. CASE tools
    12. Era observations
  17. 4. The Roots of Agile
    1. Era overview
    2. Structured methods to RAD
    3. Microsoft
    4. RAD to RADical
    5. Portland Mortgage Software
    6. Information technology
    7. Nike
    8. Consultants’ Camp and Jerry Weinberg
    9. RADical to adaptive
    10. Collaboration
    11. Complex adaptive systems
    12. Adaptive software development book
    13. Additional agile roots
    14. Era observations
  18. 5. The Agile Era
    1. New challenges
    2. Martin Fowler
    3. Trimble Navigation
    4. The Agile Manifesto
    5. Agile organizations
    6. Agile ecosystems
    7. Agile methodologies
    8. Agile periods
    9. Era observations
  19. 6. Rogue Teams
    1. Cutter and travels
    2. The Mustang Team at Cellular, Inc.
    3. Technology (1995–2007)
    4. Three agile stories
    5. Agile project management
    6. Period observations
  20. 7. Courageous Executives
    1. Sciex
    2. A new generation of pioneers
    3. Integrated Financial Software
    4. Southern Systems Software
    5. Agile project management
    6. Organizational change
    7. Software development
    8. Scaling agile
    9. Athleta
    10. Period observations
  21. 8. Digital Transformation
    1. Thoughtworks
    2. A world accelerating
    3. Digital transformation
    4. Tech@Core
    5. EDGE operating model
    6. The unFIX organization model
    7. Empathetic and adaptive leadership
    8. Period observations
  22. 9. Prepare to Engage the Future
    1. Why history?
    2. Agile and agility
  23. Afterword
    1. Why write this book?
    2. Purpose
  24. Appendix: Computing Performance Improvements over Six Decades
  25. References
  26. Bibliography
  27. Index
  28. Code Snippets

Product information

  • Title: Wild West to Agile: Adventures in Software Development Evolution and Revolution
  • Author(s): Jim Highsmith
  • Release date: May 2023
  • Publisher(s): Addison-Wesley Professional
  • ISBN: 9780137961146