Agile Interview – Paul Oldfield (CSM, CSPO)

Agile Interview – Paul Oldfield (CSM, CSPO)

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/serialst/public_html/ on line 141

Welcome to the Agile Interview Series.  As part of this series, we ask agile practitioners 7 questions, focused around agile and agile related certifications.  Our goal with this series is to give you multiple perspectives from a variety of practitioners within the agile space.

How did you get into the agile space?

I started in research back when Waterfall was the standard. Far too many unknown unknowns for Waterfall to work; we often needed to refactor software architecture, for example. That was before the term “Refactoring” had been coined.

What is your focus area/area of expertise related to agile?

Pretty broad in terms of languages, domains, roles and methodologies; if anything I specialize in what makes a process appropriate to the context.

What is your view on certifications?  Should people get them or not?

Certifications are for mediocre people and mediocre organizations. If you’re mediocre, get a certification to show the mediocre organization you do know something. But the real agilist is learning all the time; you cannot test all that, and certification takes time away from learning and focuses on things that are less useful.

What certifications do you have and why?

I took CSM and CSPO about 20 years after starting, chiefly to meet the people running the course and the people on the course, to get a few more contacts. I’d already published in the Agile Alliance’s magazine by then.

What is your favorite agile related book?

Implementing Lean Software Development: Concept to Cash” though ask me some other time and it might be one of about 3 others.

Implementing Lean Software Development Book

Any final thoughts for other agile practitioners?

Do it. Discuss what you did.

How can people contact you if they have specific questions?

I recommend asking specific questions on the “Agile and Lean Software Development” LinkedIn forum. I give an answer to about 4 out of 5 of those, and you’ll get other responses too.


  • Thanks for sharing your thoughts Paul. I love this line

    “the real agilist is learning all the time; you cannot test all that”