000 Introduction to the Agile Cafe & host Nick Fifield

December 24, 2017
A Podcast Introduction With Host Nick Fifield
 
 
Hi there! 
 
My name is Nick Fifield and I’m the host of the Agile Café podcast.
 
This is episode 0, which introduces …
 
a)            My background and experience
b)            Why I’ve started the podcast
c)            And My plan for the podcast
 
You are welcome to skip this episode, the true content starts in the next one! J That said, I DO hope you listen on!
 
Assuming you are still here…. first things first. A little about me…
 
I live in Reading, a large town 40 miles West of London in the UK. After graduating with a degree in Computer Science, I started my career working professionally as a software developer, this lead to a series of roles at software companies, consultancies and investment banks.
About ten years ago I joined a project at Barclays Capital where we used parts of Scrum to help with communication and planning. Whilst, on reflection, the Agile implementation was poor, it did open my eyes to a new way of working within teams. I later joined a small software department where there was a need for improved communication, coordination, planning and delivery. Hence, a golden opportunity to establish the use of Scrum and, as they say here in the UK, “the rest is history”. I have since worked in management and consultancy roles, where I continue to apply and advocate various Agile techniques to help teams improve software quality and delivery.
On a more personal note, I have a healthy obsession with everything technology, enjoy watching sci-fi movies and competing in long distance running events.
 
So, WHY have I started the Agile Cafe podcast?
Why is an excellent question!… There’s a great book and famous TED talk by Simon Sinek, called “Start with Why”.  It explains how great leaders inspire others by telling people WHY they are doing something rather than selling the WHAT. Here are a few reasons Why I started the podcast:-
a)            Learning never stops -  there is always more to learn, and the Agile community is no different. Methods and practices evolve, and new ones are developed. Starting a podcast is a great opportunity to speak with and learn from leaders in this field.
b)            Change perception – there are many miss-conceptions about what being Agile means and what it doesn’t. Agile & Lean techniques are not a silver bullet or necessarily easy to establish. However, when done right, these techniques can radically improve team morale, quality, productivity and delivery. I feel the need to help others understand and communicate these points.
c)            Helping others – agile and lean techniques are typically frameworks or guides rather than concrete step by step processes. This can make it a challenge when trying to apply them in practice, especially at scale across an organisation. Even those with experience within the industry, like myself,  have many questions. More so, those who are new to the subject. This podcast aims help answer those questions, providing practical help, and arm people with the skills they need within their role.
 
My plan for the Agile Café podcast is to run a series of interviews with practitioners, coaches,  authors, vendors and thought leaders. During these chats, we will discuss a particular topic, and the lessons they have learned. The show will have a question quick fire round, where I will ask the guest a standard set of questions aimed at capturing practical tips and advice. Finally, I will offer you some homework, influenced by what we have learned from the episode.
One of my favourite sayings is “plans change”.  This is very fitting because, in an agile way, I’m sure my plan for the show will change along the way, adapting according to your feedback and my lessons learned.
 
I hope you enjoy the show and I look forward to hearing your feedback following each episode. You can contact me via the Agile Café FACEBOOK page, just login to FACEBOOK and search for @theagilecafe.
 
Enjoy!