Developing a Better Life

When Staying Agile Means Staying Home
"I had a young family..."
 

Off the Road

A part of the agile software movement since the early days, Ken Auer had the IT chops to keep rising up the corporate ranks. But instead, in 1997, he quit.

What drove the decision? He was starting a family and couldn’t stand the thought of being on the road for major milestones in his kids’ lives.

Plus, he was an entrepreneur at heart. Case in point: he was this close to putting his signature on the Agile movement's manifesto, but he missed the meeting that day. Why? He was busy getting his extreme programming book published. Typical small-business owner: always hustling.

“Once I realized I could feed myself, it was about, ‘Let's build an environment other people want to be a part of.’”

What 3 Decades in Software Development Have Taught Ken

At the start of his career, Ken was coding in Smalltalk, then it was Java, and now it’s Rails.

In the last three decades he’s learned a lot about adapting to new technology, but one thing has stayed the same.

If you want to be a good developer, Ken says, three things are indispensable….

  1. Desire.
  2. Humility.
  3. Passion.

What 3 Decades of Coding Looks Like

Smalltalk

1 to: 5 do: [ :aNumber | aNumber timesRepeat: [ 'insureon' display ]. Character nl display. ]

Java

for (int i = 0; i < 5; i++) { for (int j = 0; j <= i; j++) { System.out.print("insureon"); } System.out.println(); }

Ruby

for i in 1..5 for j in 1..i print "insureon" end puts end

Pro Tip: Build a Collaborative Environment

Once a month, RoleModel Software has a "CCC" day – which stands for “Craftsmanship. Collaboration. Character.” On these days, employees can work on any software project they want. There's one rule: you have to work with someone else.

For Ken, collaboration is key to running a good software company. He often cites an African proverb which says If you want to go fast, go by yourself. If you want to go far, go with someone else. And he wants to go far.

If you want to be a good developer, Ken says, three things are indispensable….

  1. Desire.
  2. Humility.
  3. Passion.

“The way you really get good developers is you get people who are humble, really want to get good at their craft, and you have a good mentor.”

Where Agile Meets Craftsmanship

Ken has been at the heart of the agile software movement since its earliest days. He was this close to putting his signature on the movement's manifesto, but missed the meeting that day. Why? He was busy getting his extreme programming book published. Typical small-business owner: always hustling.

Ken's a big fan of agile, but also believes there's more to programming than process. "You can’t just take an agile process and give it to a bunch of novices and expect good things to come out,” he says. You need expertise, too. That's why Ken runs a graduate program of sorts at RoleModel Software. Developers fresh out of college (or boot camps) can come and hone their skills as apprentices.

Why He Chose Insureon

  1. Hassle-free process. Navigating contract requirements is hard work. Insureon makes it easier.
  2. Expertise. Insureon knows software liability and can answer his questions about E&O Insurance.
  3. Speed. When RoleModel Software needed to upgrade its coverage to satisfy a demanding client, Insureon took care of it fast.
Which Insurance Policies Do Software Developers Choose?

E&O Insurance

Covers client lawsuits, meets requirements in client contracts.

General Liability Insurance

Covers injury lawsuits and property damage lawsuits

Workers’ Comp Insurance

Protects your staff, covers workplace injuries, and meets state requirements.