Book review: Wild West to Agile (Highsmith)

Reading Time: 2 minutes

During the summer 2023 i choosed to read seven books. Here is a review on one of them. The others can be found here.

This book is written by one of the founders of the Agile manifesto, Jim Highsmith, and is published 2023. The book title tells us Jims journey from 1970 when it was wild west in IT with ad-hoc metods and command & control management until agile today. I feel myself home in this book from 1990 when i started with RAD development, just like Jim. The chapters is about the roots of agile, rouge teams, courageous executives, digital transformations and methodologies. Sometimes it gets boring to read about Jims (impressive) endeavors and it starts to look like a very long CV. But when you skip these pages, when it gets too detailed, you can get a great understanding about the journey of agile. Something that is essential if you are in the software business today.

Within IBM at that time, growing a beard without getting fired was an indisputable mark of technical genious.

Jerry Weinberg, IBM 1985

My takeaway from this 240 page book is that i get the big picture now. This big picture is essential in everything you do regardless of what you do. If you play football you must understand how the pioneers played in the late 1800 century. You need to have the background/history in place to understand where we are going, to be able to learn from it so we are better prepared. Too many junior Agile Coaches doesn’t have a clue about the roots and it is disrespectful for Jim and the others that actually did something valuable and woke us up from ad-hoc to how we work today in a more structured manner.

Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

Winston Churchill 1943

Detta var en bokrecension av mig. Vill du veta varför och hur jag gör dessa så kan du läsa om mig som boknörd här!

Ove Holmberg

Doubter, gaffer, author