5 Easy Questions for Ron Jeffries

On this blog I have published interviews with Steve McConnell, Johanna Rothman, Alistair Cockburn, Scott Berkun, Mary Poppendieck, Grady Booch and many others. Everytime I ask the same five questions, and everytime I am pleasantly surprised by the answers I get.

Ron Jeffries is the author of Extreme Programming Installed, listed at #70 on the Top 100 Best Software Engineering Books, Ever. Ron is one of the 3 founders of Extreme Programming (XP), along with Kent Beck and Ward Cunningham, and he is one of the 17 original signatories of the Agile Manifesto. You can find Ron's blog here.

These are the five questions I asked Ron, and the answers that he gave me…

1. What has been the toughest challenge in your past?

Trying to be a good husband and father. Nothing else has come close.

2. What is the main source of inspiration for what you do?

Day in and day out it is the chance to exercise my skills well. (I'd be much more inspired if I were more skilled.) I particularly enjoy working together with other people, trying to bring something into being.

3. What activity should be on every manager's daily list?

Talk with as many of her constituents (employees, manager, peers, customers …) as she possibly can.

4. What can we learn from you in the near future?

From my mistakes, or from the few acorns I manage to find?

From the mistakes: exercise, eat right, and most important do not age as you get older.

From the acorns: look for the good in every moment, and love it, while avoiding the bad without hating it.

I'm presently working on (or nominally working on) the Kate Oneal book, a related book on "Nature of Software Development", and a few new courses based on those ideas. And, as always, I'm available to come and talk with teams if they seem sufficiently interesting and

5. What is more interesting than software development?

Honestly, to me, very little is. I should say "people," I suppose, and if it's software people it could even be true.

And I think my cat is very interesting.

Well, these are the answers given by Ron Jeffries. I hope you liked them!

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