Most of my thoughts and ideas around software and agile can be found in the The Agile Samurai. Everything else appears here or on my blog.

The Way of Agile Warrior Column

These are a collection of articles I am currently writing in a column for the Pragmatic Programmer Magazine called The Way of The Agile Warrior.

It’s not about the unit tests

10 ways to better lead your agile team

Self-Inflicted Scope Creep

The Indispensable Developer

Ten Questions You’d Be Crazy not to Ask at the Start of Your Project

Production Readiness

The Way of the Spartan Warrior

They’re not requirements

The speed of trust


The Agile Inception Deck and Boot Camp – Agile Conference 2006

Long Build Trouble Shooting Guide – XP/Agile Universe 2004

Canadian Workshop on Scaling XP/Agile Methods – 2003

Introducing XP into Greenfield Projects: Lessons Learned – IEEE Software 2003


The Automated Tester


Everyone is a tester on an Agile project. Traditional roles like business analyst and developer are eating QA’s lunch. It’s time to level up and become an automated tester. Presented at Agile Indy 2014.

Slide deck

Who Moved My Agile Cheese


Agile will change. And so will you. This was my message for the keynote at Agile Tour Quebec 2012.

Slide deck

10 Ways To Better Lead Your Agile Teams

Agile leadership is different. Agile teams don’t like to be micromanaged. Command and control doesn’t work. Yet today that is how most projects are still run. It kills projects, demotivates teams, and gives agile a bad name.

In this presentation I share share with you my Top 10 Tips for leading agile teams. Learning these tips will give you a framework for leading teams, help you retain top talent, while making you indispensable in serving your organization.

Watch the video here.

Slide deck

Agile in a nutshell

If you’ve been doing Waterfall delivery most of your career – agile can be down right scary.

  • Changing requirements.
  • Adaptive planning.
  • Iterative development.

All intimidating things for managers and organizations used to doing things sequentially in discrete phases one stage at a time.

Most people get intellectually what agile is (much of it they already do). What isn’t so obvious is how to explain it in simple terms to others and how waterfall shops can consider transitioning.

In this introductory presentation, we will look at:

  • How agile planning works?
  • What to expect.
  • How it’s different.
  • Debunk some agile myths.
  • Which agile method is right for me?
  • 3 steps you can take towards agility today.

This talk was presented been presented several times at Agile2011, Agile2012 and Agile Japan 2012.

Slide deck English

Slide deck Japanese (courtesy of Shintaro Kakutani)

The surprising science behind agile leadership


Not everyone is a fan of the self directed self organizing team. It flies in the face of traditional project management, and often conflicts with the traditional organization model. The benefits of self directed teams however are too big to ignore and now we have scientific proof as to why. In this new talk on agile leadership, Jonathan explains how and why agile leadership works, the science behind why so many choose to work this way, and the impact it’s going to have on you and your organization.

This talk was originally presented at Agile2011 and NDC Agile Japan 2012.

Watch the video here.

Slide deck English
Slide deck Japanese

Agile for startups

Originally presented at AcceleratorYYC, this talk is geared towards startups who are looking for ways to use agile in their startups.

Perfect for those looking for alternative ways to use agile in a startup environment and context.

Slide deck

Hit YOU with your best shot

Think you know agile? Come and test your mettle to see how you would handle these real life agile horror stories.

  1. What to do when you can’t show progress?
  2. Refactoring gets a bad name.
  3. Why delivering working software isn’t enough.
  4. What to do when test automation is too easy.
  5. How to handle a lead developer that isn’t a lead developer.
  6. The $1M surprise.
  7. If developers are writing the tests, what role do testers play on project?
  8. The one time I was asked to leave a project.
  9. Get your donuts off the table.
  10. What to do if you can’t have a visible workspace.
  11. What to do if you’ve been sold one thing but asked to build something else.
  12. What if they tell you you can’t be agile?

Audience members will be presented with real life cases of agile horror stories and asked to discuss how get out of the crisis, or prevent it from happening in the first place.

No slides. No power-points. Just one hour of fun honest to goodness discussion and dialogue about how agile can keep us out of trouble, and what to do when it can’t.

Public speaking

I love public speaking and talking about all things agile. If you’d like me to come and speak out your company or local event drop me a line at jr at

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