The Gateway Drug



Delivering high quality, high value product frequently is the gateway drug to a life-long addiction to professional fulfillment, organizational success, and customer delight. Nothing will ever satisfy you again.

The Suburbs

You clock in, do what you’re told, clock out, and come home to do very little else. You contemplate a hobby. You consider a support group. You entertain a change of career.

One day, you are asked to satisfy a customer’s need. You are given the environment you need and are trusted to get the job done. Something within you comes alive.

You conspire, create, cajole, and connive to satisfy that customer. Fireworks! Who knew it could ever be this good!

You’re hooked.

You sell your addiction. Just try it and you’ll see, you say. Some try it with you. More fireworks!

They’re hooked.

The authorities clamp down. This is dangerous, they say. This threatens our order and all we’ve known. You need to stop.

But you’re hooked

You can’t stop. You don’t want to go back to the suburbs. There’s nothing there. Their fear is natural, but you have glimpsed the truth. Working software is the primary measure of progress.

You see more truth: people matter most. Maybe you should have seen this first, but you press on. The minds and mouths of real people are most important. They plan, they do, they reify. Nothing else comes close to the importance of people and how they interact to create.

But, you’re screwed

You’re told, “Clock in, specialize, and do as you’re told.” You’re “coached”, “That’s just how things are around here,” or “if it’s not broke don’t fix it.”

You know, it’s broke.

You’re instructed, “Optimize your time; forget about what the hours of your life mean.”

You’re warned, “You’re not conforming to our order.” Again, you’re warned, “Keep fighting, keep searching and you’ll upset important people.”

You understand, but you still need your fix…



Jason is a developer, Scrum Master, writer, teacher, coach, husband, father, and community leader out of Tulsa Oklahoma. He's been delivering software since 2007 and absolutely loves the values and principles of agility especially as given form by the Scrum framework.