Who am I?

I’m an Agilist, a former software engineer, a gamer, an improviser, a podcaster emeritus, and a wine lover. Learn more.

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  • The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
    The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
    by Eric Ries
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    The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How.
    by Daniel Coyle
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    Alexander Hamilton
    by Ron Chernow

Paul Tevis

Entries in professional (3)

Monday
May192014

Community Building

Last Thursday was the second get-together of the Santa Barbara Agile Meetup group. Like the first time, we had a dozen people, though half new attendees and half were repeat offenders. There were some excellent discussions, and the energy in the group was palpable. When the end of the evening came, I could feel that no one was ready to leave.

I’m excited to see where this could go. When Heidi and I kicked off the group, we wrote this mission statement:

Our goal is to create a living, self-sustaining, Agile entity that provides people with inspiring new ideas about Agile to apply in their daily work, and fun opportunities to connect and network with like-minded professionals in the Santa Barbara area.

I believe very strongly in that “living, self-sustaining” idea. I’ve been part of a number of different volunteer groups that lacked that energy, in large part because it was not an explicit part of those groups’ mission and because the initial burst of energy that created the group had faded away. I want to build a community, one that can shift and adapt over time, one that fulfills its members’ needs, and one that doesn’t need its founders in order to thrive. And I’m excited that we might be on the path to doing that.

Tuesday
Aug132013

Unpacking In Progress

I’m back from Agile2013 in Nashville, which did all sorts of fun things to my head.

The last time I attended, in 2010, I was very new to Agile, so attending the conference was like drinking from the firehose. Almost everything I encountered then was new, so I had to work hard to catch it all. This time was a little different. I had a much stronger background coming in, which meant that most of the learning I did involved integration. I didn’t encounter many ideas that were radically new to me, but I did see connections between things that I hadn’t noticed before. It helped me build a much stronger, more cohesive and coherent framework of thought. And that was fantastic.

I’ll likely be writing more about specific sessions I attended and conversations I had as I process them.

Friday
Jul262013

Ears Open, Mouth Closed

This has been my most silent week of work ever.

On Monday, I started my job as an Agile Coach at AppFolio. The first thing I have had to get used to is that I’m not writing code. This job is an opportunity to step fully into the coaching and facilitative role that I’ve said that I want, which is vaguely terrifying in and of itself. It’s also led to the second thing I’ve had to get used to: It’s far more useful for me to listen than it is for me to speak. I’m in a staff position, rather than in the line of production. My job is to be of service to the team, to help them get more of what they want. So I need to listen, to observe, to soak up what’s going on and how things work. I need to see what normal is and what that implies. I need to not start by assuming I know what changes should be made and simply speak from my own perspective. In time, I will start asking powerful questions and offering suggestions for improvement, but for now I mostly need to keep quiet, to watch and to listen.

For those of you who know me, you can understand how hard this is.