Leon Maritz

About Me

I have been working in software for many years and over that time it has simply become more and more important in our lives. When I started my IT career people still got training on how to use computers. Now we have super powerful computers that are always connected to a worldwide network that we carry in our pockets.

With this massive change, there also needed to be a change in the way we work. Enter Agile software development.

For me, Agile software development, is a mindset, a culture, a set of values and principles, but mostly a way of having knowledge workers work in teams successfully.

I am trying to do my part to make New Zealand knowledge workers a bit more competitive in a very big world of software development by supporting the Agile Community in Christchurch and the wider New Zealand by helping with the Agile Professionals Network and Agile Alliance New Zealand.

Christchurch Agile Professionals Network

The Christchurch Agile Professionals Network (APN) is open to all with an interest in Agile Practices and Lean Software Development in the Christchurch area. Meetings generally involve a guest speaker, with time for drinks and chips before and after. There is are no prerequisites for membership, and membership is currently free thanks to our sponsors.

Christchurch Agile Professionals Network

Agile Alliance New Zealand

Agile Alliance New Zealand is an affiliate of the global Agile Alliance.

“Agile Alliance is a nonprofit organization committed to supporting people who explore and apply Agile values, principles, and practices to make building software solutions more effective, humane, and sustainable.”

Started in 2016, with getting all the paperwork in order and setting up accounts. We really started getting traction in late 2017 with a project to run 3 small one day conferences in underserved cities or towns in New Zealand.

First one was Tauranga, Hamilton and then we had one in Christchurch. Then we finally found someone in Dunedin.

With most of the conferences set to become annual events, it looks like we will be kept rather busy for the next few years.

Agile Alliance

Agile Alliance New Zealand

Agile Tauranga

Agile Christchurch

Agile Dunedin

As a speaker

I have spoken at:

Agile NZ conference 2013

GOVIS 2014

SQL Saturday

Agile Tauranga 2017

Toastmasters International really helped me with public speaking.

As a software developer

Doing some software development training is a great way to make you feel a little surer about your own abilities. With the constant change in our industry, you are always falling behind somewhere. With the JavaScript framework wars of the last few years, it always felt that you were behind the number eight ball all the time.

But when you see how far you have come by looking at other people at the start of their journey. It puts your own abilities in a much rosier perspective.

I must confess however that even though I can build a system on Linux I am definitely on the more solid ground in the Microsoft world, and given a clean start I’ll start with C# most of the time.

As a scrum master/scrum coach

Scrum started in software development and has grown year by year and now dominates the Industry. But it isn’t as easy as it may look from the outside. That is why so many implementations quickly turn into faux Agile.

The only way to avoid that huge trap is to ensure you have someone that really knows the ropes. The importance of getting a professional scrum master cannot be overstated.

Getting back from a false start takes twice as long and costs five times more. Ask any of the companies that took the plunge on their own only to find none of the benefits of adopting Scrum. Then after great pain and struggle finally relenting and confessing they never really understood it.

Without deep understanding, teams drop the retrospectives at the first sign of conflict and they are unable to get themselves out of the hole by themselves. Then they spend all their time convincing themselves it never really added value and Scrum really doesn’t change anything. Which for them proves only to be a self for filling prophecy.

Scrum done right creates astounding results.