Friday, October 24, 2008

Learning to be Agile

Andrés Taylor comments remind me to confess to something. The title of the book is wrong.

The book, as published by Wiley is entitled: Changing Software Development: Learning to become Agile.

The title I thought agreed to was: Changing Software Development: Learning to be Agile. I’m not upset with Wiley or my editor, I only noticed this myself a few weeks ago (about a year too late). I’m sure if you look back through my blog entries you’ll see the mistake for yourself. I assume the small change was to improve the grammar (not my strong point.)

But, for me it changes the title quite significantly. Learning to Become Agile implies you learn then you are Agile. End of story. Learning to Be Agile - in my mind at least - can be read two ways. The first is as I just said, you learn then you are Agile.

The second is more subtle, and I’m not sure if I can express it. This is the “to be, or not to be” version. The implication goes both ways: true Agile implies you learn, learning implies you are Agile, think of it as “I learn therefore I am Agile” - in order to be Agile you must learn.

Maybe this second version is a bit of a stretch - does anyone else get it? - but for me its actually more important than the other reading and in many ways this is the true title of the work. Shame I never noticed the subtle change.