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