A month ago I wrote this but somehow didn’t publish it.

I feel I’m becoming a Lifer at Google. If you work for a single company long enough that you can imagine yourself retiring at that company, you are a Lifer.

I’m here at Google more than twelve years. That’s long enough for me to become a Lifer, I guess. It’s kind of a shame. When I moved from Japan to the US, I wanted to experience more diverce careers. That didn’t happen.

I’m old enough to be OK with it but it feels weird. Before I arrived at this place, I was a hopper and had never worked at any single company for more than three years.

A month ago it was disappointing to recognize me as a Lifer. Today it is scary. I can still imagine myself retiring here. What I find not able to do anymore is picture any other non-devastating future. And we just learned that life here can end at any time for no reason.

I want to ask Lifers elsewhere – What’s it been like to be one at, say, IBM? How about Adobe, Microsoft, Apple, or HP? Please tell me it is okay. Tell me you are okay.

This was such an insensitive, selfish and cowardly rumbling. There are people who lost their jobs. I should just collect the pieces and move on. That’s the right thing to do here.

I’ll leave this post alone to mark my wimp.

Agile Roles

Capital One cuts over 1,000 roles in Technology • The Register (Also HN)

The consumer lending company told The Register that its plan was to eliminate its “Agile” job family and integrate staff there into “existing engineering and product manager roles.”

As someone who worked in the Japanese IT industry, I used to be wondering how Agile was adopted in the U.S. and why it had collected so much hate.

I then learned that many companies not only hired Agile consultants but also had full-time “Agile roles” like Scrum Masters. There are even certificates for these professions. Hiring more people to run the process didn’t feel like lower-case “agile”, and that was probably one of the reasons why the upper-case “Agile” was disliked.

This upper-case Agile was not as common in Japan, and I suspect it is still the same. I preach this fact because, to me, Agile was always a grassroots movement. It was hard to imagine what a full-time Agile role was like. I still don’t understand.

Today, before I figure it out, the era of the upper-case Agile seems to be ending.

You would point out that the statement from Capital One is just an excuse. Maybe. Partly at least. On the other hand, I smell a pinch of truth; There are countless ways to cut and excuse, and they choose the above from the endless options.

You may then wonder if the lower-case agile is also ending. I hope not. The statement says:

The Agile role in our Tech organization was critical to our earlier transformation phases but as our organization matured, the natural next step is to integrate agile delivery processes directly into our core engineering practices

As an ex-grassroots-agile-believer, I’m too biased to question this. I’d rather ask you what you see from your trench. Is the lower-case agile dead, or is it “integrated”?