My name is Scott Downey and I have been in the software industry for over twenty-five years now and have served at all organizational levels. I started out as a database and Unix System administrator then moved into software engineering (associate through senior software engineer titles). I’ve been a development manager, project manager, vice president of engineering, and chief architect. I also spent several years working as a C language instructor. I was a Microsoft Certified Instructor of C++, Microsoft Foundation Class Library (MFC), and Win32. I also taught Unix Shell script programming and Unix for users and system administrators.
I have worked with some of the best, and with some of the worst. I have been in healthy organizations that were very happy, empowering, educational, and sometimes even inspirational. I have been in “bleeding edge” companies, high profile security, obscure infrastructure. Once I even accidentally stumbled into a position with a spammer (I quickly left).
I have also been in the pits of hell. I’ve survived micromanagers, outlived absentee managers, endured egomaniacal architects, coped with dishonest product and marketing executives, and bolstered battered QA engineers. I’ve even coached some very senior engineers with diva complexes into better behavior. I won’t say that I’ve “seen it all” but I will say that it’s rare that I see something new.
Even if I’ve worked in some high profile companies that most people would consider to be very exciting, it’s been a long time since anything in the tech industry ignited my passions. But eight years ago, I stumbled upon something that has my creative and energetic juices flowing again. It’s a process that can improve not only the efficacy of any team of people with a goal but, when properly applied, it simultaneously improves the lives of the team members and the satisfaction of their customers. As you may have guessed, I’m talking about Scrum.
I work closely and collaborate with Jeff Sutherland, the father of Scrum, and I’m currently a Scrum Coach for large and growing companies that strive to make both the structural and cultural shifts toward Scrum. It’s not a path without pitfalls, to be sure. Over the years, I’ve developed a tool to help me and others to do good Scrum. What started as a simple spreadsheet quickly grew to a mammoth spreadsheet. I shared it with others openly and called it RoboScrum. I developed it over the years, keeping in mind that it should be a tool that teams can use to always practice good Scrum.
We’re now witnessing the next phase of RoboScrum. The RoboScrum spreadsheet has been retired. In the last few weeks, I have been working with a team to make RoboScrum a web-based application and we’re calling it RoboScrum Online.
We’re still in our early beta of RoboScrum Online but we’re excited about how it can guide a team to use Scrum. I have taken my knowledge and experience as a coach and collaborator with Jeff Sutherland and rolled it into this new online tool.
If you’re interested in checking out our very early beta of RoboScrum Online, then shoot us a message from the roboscrum.com website.
Keep an eye on this blog as we will be posting here as we get closer to a full launch.