Exploration Through Example

Example-driven development, Agile testing, context-driven testing, Agile programming, Ruby, and other things of interest to Brian Marick
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Sat, 30 Jul 2005

The Gordon Pask Award

One day before the start of Agile2005, the Agile Alliance board voted to create the Gordon Pask Award for Contributions to Agile Practice. Here's its description: a cybernetic device

The Gordon Pask Award recognizes people whose recent contributions to Agile Practice demonstrate, in the opinion of the Award Committee, their potential to become leaders of the field.

The award comes with a check for US$5000 and some physical object inscribed with the recipient's name. We expect two recipients per year.

The idea behind the award is that we in the Agile community need to do more to promote and encourage the rising stars of tomorrow. These are people who help other people: both indirectly, by producing tools or ideas other people use, and also through direct support of some Agile community. Rather than planning out the award, thinking through all the gotchas of deciding on recipients, and giving the first award in 2006, we decided to give the Award at the conference's closing banquest just five days later, trusting our membership to be tolerant of mistakes so long as they lead to improvement next year.

The two recipients this year are:

J. B. Rainsberger, for spending a great deal of time helping people on the testdrivendevelopment mailing list, for writing JUnit Recipes, for XP Day Toronto, and for being this year's Agile2005 tutorial chair.

Jim Shore, for his performance as a paper shepherd; for a fine experience report he gave at ADC2003 that, together with his blog, suggest a cast of thought that deserves cultivation; for his work on the Fit specification and the C# version of Fit; and for being a person who holds the Fit world together by doing the sort of organizational and cleanup tasks that are usually thankless.

The selection committee was Rachel Davies, Big Dave Thomas (a different person than Pragmatic Dave Thomas and Wendy's Dave Thomas), and me. We'll be evolving our notion of the prototypical recipient over the years. Putting nominations from the conference members into affinity clusters got us well started on that. But it was remarkably hard to narrow down to a cluster of two: there were six or seven obvious choices.

(Next year, we'll be taking nominations from the entire Agile Alliance membership. And we'll start much sooner.)

I'm really happy we did this.

Oh - you wonder who Gordon Pask is? As constant readers know, I harp on the similarities between the attitudes and approaches that characterize Agile and those of the British cyberneticians of the last century. Of those people, Gordon Pask is perhaps the closest to us. Also, we needed a logo, some cybernetic device seemed appropriate (given how the idea tied into my keynote), and Pask's ear was the only one I had to hand. (It's the picture above.)

## Posted at 07:52 in category /conferences [permalink] [top]

About Brian Marick
I consult mainly on Agile software development, with a special focus on how testing fits in.

Contact me here: marick@exampler.com.




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