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JavaOne 2014 – Day 4 – The Seven Evil (Er, Agile) Skills You Need to Succeed

Peter van de Voorde from Belgium led us with a super villain inspired presentation through 7 skills that are related to agile development. The following bullets sum up these skills and what it concerns


  • Invest in your team
  • Invest in yourself
  • Invest in the future (5 years, 10 years)


  • Be open to what people tell you
  • You have 2 ears and 1 mouth, so listen twice as much as you talk
  • Listen to body language


  • Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, think about what it’s like to be be that someone, what’s his or her history, background etc.
  • Be aware of cultural differences
  • Everybody is different
  • Know your strengths and weaknesses


  • Always be ready to adapt
  • Get out of your comfort zone, so you will learn and enlarge your comfort zone
  • If it’s broken, Fix it
  • Embrace change, opportunity ahead


  • Know the people who you coach, or those who coach you
  • Take time to do it right
  • Be a leader, don’t be a boss
  • Autonomy, mastery, purpose: motivate people to work, give people purpose, explain what you want to achieve WITH them. (book “Drive” from Daniel H. Pink)
  • Coach the coach
  • Do the beer test


  • Be assertive, not aggressive (don’t yell, listen and respond, stand your ground, but do it without being aggressive)
  • Don’t be afraid
  • Know your options (don’t be afraid to talk about and solve the issues)
  • Have a plan


  • Say: “Yes and” instead of “Yes, but” (this nurtures creativity)
  • Do some improvisational theatre
  • Play (let yourself be coached by children playing)
  • Read

See for his presentation