There are individuals who have influenced my professional journey significantly. Sometimes, by working with me directly. Other times, by their writing or position in our software community. And other times, simply as a role model.

I want to start a new segment on my blog called – My Heroes. I’ll post intermittently, perhaps every 1-2 months. But it serves as a reminder to me to be thoughtful and appreciative about the folks who’ve influenced my growth and skills. And of course, they get none of the credit for my many foibles.

The first one up is: David Hussman.

David is one of those original voices in the agile community. He’s been around for a fairly long time and I’ve interacted mostly with him at conferences. I’ve also followed his writing and conversations. One of the cool things about David is he challenges the agile status quo and always, always makes me think. Something that I value greatly.

He’s a musician, turned programmer, turned entrepreneur, so he’s followed a rather eclectic journey compared to my own. I suspect that’s what makes him have such an interesting view on things.

It so happens that he is ill now. I won’t get into the details, but to say that it is life threatening. And it’s this knowledge that influenced me to reflect on the impact he’s had on my life.

Beyond agile, David helps those in our agile community. He is generous in giving of his time and helping others whenever he can. He’s humble and all about others. And when I say humble, he’s truly humble.

I remember a year or two ago we invited David to speak at our local agile conference – TriAgile. Now David is incredibly well-known and a big audience draw. However, when we setup the rooms and tracks, we put David in the smallest room. By far the smallest room.

Needless to say, it was packed. And many were turned away. Many speakers would have been upset or affronted by this lack of awareness on the part of the conference team. David, literally said nothing. He came in, did a great job, collaborated with the attendees, and went on his way. He was far more understanding and humble than I probably would have been.

But that is David.

Wrapping Up

One of the defining aspects of my heroes, is that they’ll probably be embarrassed to be categorized in that way. Nonetheless, they are my heroes.

They’ve helped me to become the person, trainer, speaker, and coach that I am today. Whether they’re aware of it or not.

David Hussman, you’ve made a great impression on me in your journey that I can never thank you enough for. You’ve been a role model to me and many others in so many ways. And you sir, walk your talk. Something that I prize very dearly.

I’m incredibly blessed to know you and want you to know that you are my Hero.

Stay agile my friends,

Bob.

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