Open Source, Agile, technology, business and me
Warning: rambling thoughts with loose connection :-)
I've recently come to realise something that, in retrospect, is quite obvious. Long before my name got associated with the Agile movement back in 2001/2002, I was known (friends, colleagues and business acquaintances) as an Open Source enthusiast.
My first experience with OSS goes back to 1994 when a software development magazine I used to buy had a Slackware 2.1 CD in boundle. At the time I considered myself a hardcore C and C++ developer (so much so that my first website in 1996 was called C++Warriors, hosted on Geocities) and I couldn't believe my eyes when such a wealth of interesting, complex and freely available source code got into my hands.
After that enlightening experience my relationship with OSS kept growing so much so that I founded a company called OSWay - The Open Source Way - back in 2000. We did all sorts of things from partnering with SuSe Italy, to develop the world first Kylix enterprise-grade POS application (there used to be our case history on Borland's website before the CodeGear split). We sold part of the company to a publicly traded Italian company to raise funds and develop products but this is another story :-)
Over time I got more and more into not only the technical side of OSS but also the approach and reasoning behind it. In fact when I started delving into Agile it struck me how many things in common it had with a typical OSS approach to software development. In particular with what EricRaymond's TheCathedralAndTheBazaar described. I also created a page on the c2 wiki titled Open Source As Agile Process back in 2003 highlighting what was IMHO in common.
After that though I kinda stopped talking and writing about OSS. Does it mean I don't care anymore? Absolutely not! but somehow I stopped making it visible, it just became second nature. And this has already been happing with Agile as well. I guess the only reason why I'm still actively involved day in and day out with the Agile community is because I organise the Italian Agile Day and the Italian Agile Movement and this forces me to be proactive because I care so much about them. And probably that's why I try hard pushing intermediate members of the community to be more involved for all the good reasons nicely explained by Kathy Sierra in her 2006 post How to Build a User Community.
Now finally both my passions (that is: Open Source and Agile) have or are about to cross the chasm (with all the watering down involved but still!).