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Fredericksburg’s New Agile Group

By Pete Schatz, David Marshburn, and Taylor Duffy

There is something so special in seeing people’s passions double as their career. When one current and one former employee approached SimV about sponsoring their new Agile meetup, it only made sense to support them. SimV and Excella are excited to now cosponsor the Agile Fredericksburg group.

Agile is a philosophical approach that focuses on delivering value-based outcomes. Agile is not a framework nor does it tell us how to do our jobs; instead, it provides a guiding set of principles that focus on communication, collaboration, the ability to respond to change, and continuous process improvement. Pete Schatz and David Marshburn saw the need for those working in Fredericksburg to learn more about this helpful approach and to have a place to network with local individuals, as the only other Virginia meetups are in Northern VA, Richmond, and Charlottesville.

Pete is a software engineer and program manager at SimV with over 30 years of experience focused mainly on DoD-related efforts. He has had the opportunity to watch the evolution of software development methodologies and continuously improves his skills and processes.

David is a former SimV employee who was a big part of making Agile an integral part of our identity. In his time at SimV, he came to really love his Agile work and went on to pursue his passion full time as an Agile coach at Excella, while also focusing on Agile in his academic research. The creation of Agile Fredericksburg is another outlet for the two engineers to share their passion for and importance of the process with others.

Agile is so important because it helps break the assembly-line mentality of plan-based approaches and focuses on an ability to respond to change, which enables you to provide the right solutions. Responding to change requires iterative development cycles that get working software in front of users as quickly as possible to allow feedback to the development cycle so that you know you are delivering value to the users.

The Agile Fredericksburg meetups are not just for those with a software background. Anyone with an interest in Agile, whether for software development, education, human resources, or any other organizational process that needs to be able to respond to change, is welcome to join. The meetups consist of a presentation from a guest speaker, interactive discussion, and activities that help to reinforce the topic being discussed. There will also be time for a Q&A with the speakers, as well as dedicated networking time so that local Agilists can sync-up with each other.

The two Agilists came together saying, “We are very excited to bring Agile to the community with our monthly meetups. If you’ve never experienced Agile presentations, you are in for a treat, as they bring a passion and undeniable energy that won’t leave you disappointed. Wherever you are on your Agile journey, please come out and join us. If you’ve only just heard of Agile, Scrum, Kanban, SAFe, LeSS, Extreme Programming, or if you consider yourself an expert Agilist, there will be something here for you. There are lots of conversations to be had as we share our Agile experiences for the greater benefit of everyone in the community. Thank you so much to SimVentions and Excella for providing a place to meet, food and drinks, and your support and excitement for this project.”

Click the button below to learn more about Agile Fredericksburg and mark your calendars for the next meetup!