Yves Hanoulle, an agilist supporter of communities


by Guillaume, on March 2nd 2016


The interview of Yves Hanoulle


Yves Hanoulle

Yves, who are you ?

I'm a Belgium guy from the Dutch speaking side that learned French translating between French and Dutch friends on holiday at a camping in the Auvergne when I was 16. A few years later I came back to work as a DJ and I have been in love with France ever since…

In 1999 wrote a screensaver to count down to the year 2000. I got fed up waiting for a screen to test it, so I I wrote functions to test my main functionality. When I looked for idea's on how to do this better, I discovered extreme programming. I'm a strong believer that agile can only work when you pay attention to the technical side.

What will you present at MiXiT this year ?

The scaling ball game. Which is a version of the ball point game adapted to experience scaling (scaling is to set agile in huge teams for huge project). Although we have many different scaling frameworks, not everyone has experienced scaling. Now we can, and you can experiment with your solutions.

Did you know about MiXiT before ?

Yes MiXiT was one of the conferences that I have seen floating around the interwebs that last years. I instantly loved the name because of my love for DJ'ing (mixing) and IT. And I was a big Joël Spolsky fan in the early 2000. so another reason to say yes. Lyon has always been a city on the way to holiday and already a few years I said I wanted to discover the city some more.

How did you came up with the idea to create the Retroflection twitter account?

Retroflection twitter The original idea was to have a question that was asked on twitter that was then answers on blogs. The person who invented the question should propose one person to answer the question (And I was secretly hoping on more answers.) The blogging part was an organisatorial disaster. At that time I was working in London and I spend my full evenings finding people for the next days. So I adapted the idea to just asking questions to inspire people.

The fact that we now have +80 people who contributed tweets so that we have been tweeting one such a statement every day since 1 January 2010 tells me it was good a switch. (We could always use new people,...)

Why people think your name is Hanouille (I did the mistake myself) ? Do you think it's because of the writer Jean Anouilh ?

It's related to the writer and some people think that our families have similar roots. yet other then the fact that I briefly lived in Bordeaux where he was born, we have not found a link yet. The name Hanoulle is a name that is not widespread, thus people try to linked it to another name they know. And I have to admit the name resembles a lot... Even friends of me think my name is wrongly spelled, when someone finally spells it correctly.

Having a french first name does not help either....

I've heard your father created the notion of pair coaching, what is it and how did he create it ?

Like many good things, many different people invent the same idea around the world. Although I thought my father came up with the idea of pair coaching, turns out that Joshua Kierevsky (from Industrial logic) used the same name earlier then we did.

PairCoaching is the concept of coaching with two people. If writing code is hard, working with people is even harder. It's so much easier to miss stuff. For me a scrummaster and a Product Owner is a nice example of a pair. They both together do the leadership of a team, yet they focus on different parts. A little bit like we have the archetype mother and father role in a family. I try to do all my workshops with a pair. At MiXiT my pair will be my friend Franck Depierre.

My father invented the name because he was looking for a way to express how we had been working together (and what he had been doing with my mother and his brother for 20 years.) The article in which first used the name is part of our leadership game book. A game that became popular thanks to the people from XP day Paris.

What is your current big project ?

hihi, that's a great question and a hard to answer. As usually I'm busy with many community projects. The reason why I'm able to do many different community things, is I design my community projects in such a way that they can run independent from me.

The latest thing I did start was the translation of Jimmy Janlens great visualisation examples book into local languages. The French version has been picked up by many French friends and we have already finished a first draft. We - I actually should say "they"- are now reviewing everthing.

The current project I'm most proud of, is Anguis which is a android board game I co-developed with my 13 year old son. At this moment it's only available in Dutch, when we have finished more features we will also translated it in other languages.

The project I hope to launch in France is Who is agile. that is a book about agilists. After the international version, we are now creating local country version books, and I look for a French team to start a French version. It would be nice to start that at MiXiT ;-)