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Agile Manifesto Signatories

Manifesto for Agile Software Development

"We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation.
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.
  • Responding to change over following a plan.

That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more."


Needs of the One

(Spock) "Why would you do this?"
(Kirk) "Because the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many."


Tower Of Babel (Genesis 11:4-6)

“(4) And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
(5) And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
(6) And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”

  • Source: Genesis 11:4-6, King James Version of the Bible

House On Sand (Matthew 7:24-27)

“(24) Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
(25) And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
(26) And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
(27) And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.'

  • Source: Matthew 7:24-27, King James Version of the Bible


Murphy's Law Corollary 6

"Whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first."

Iles's Law

"There is always an easier way to do it. When looking directly at the easier way, especially for long periods, you will not see it."

Finagle's Fourth Law

"Once a job is fouled up, anything done to improve it only makes it worse."


Did Not Know

"What I didn't know then was that I didn't know what I was doing."


Money Versus Business

"So as a practical matter we need management with the businesses that we buy and three times out of four thereabouts the manager is the owner and is receiving tens of millions maybe hundreds of millions of dollars so they don't have to work and we have to decide in that time when we meet them whether they love the business or love money... I'm not making a moral judgment about whether it's better to love the business or love money but it's very important for me to know which which of the two is the primary motivator with them... so all all we have to do is avoid anything that on our part that diminishes that love of the business or makes other conditions so intolerable that they overcome that love of the business. We have a number of people working for us that have no financial need to work at all and they probably outwork 95 percent or more of the people in the world and they do it because they just they love smacking the ball."


Chisholm's 3rd Law of Human Interaction

“Chisholm's 3rd Law of Human Interaction. Purposes, as understood by the purposer, will be judged otherwise by others.
Corollary 1: If you explain so clearly that nobody can misunderstand, somebody will.
Corollary 2: If you do something which you are sure will meet with everybody’s approval, somebody won’t like it.
Corollary 3: Procedures devised to implement the purpose won’t quite work.
Corollary 4: No matter how long or how many times you explain, no one is listening.”


Handicapped by the System

"The supposition is prevalent the world over that there would be no problems in production or service if only our production workers would do their jobs in the way that they were taught. Pleasant dreams. The workers are handicapped by the system, and the system belongs to the management."


Ordering Others About

"It does not follow from the separation of planning and doing in the analysis of work that the planner and the doer should be two different people. It does not follow that the industrial world should be divided into two classes of people: a few who decide what is to be done, design the job, set the pace, rhythm and motions, and order others about; and the many who do what and as they are told."

What a Manager Does

"A manager sets objectives - A manager organizes - A manager motivates and communicates - A manager, by establishing yardsticks, measures - A manager develops people."

Implementing and Doing

"The moment people talk of 'implementing' instead of 'doing,' and of 'finalizing' instead of 'finishing,' the organization is already running a fever."

A Better Tool

"A tool is not necessarily better because it is bigger. A tool is best if it does the job required with a minimum of effort, with a minimum of complexity, and with a minimum of power."


Experts Know Why

“Experts know why they do what they do.”

  • Source: Original source is unknown.


Engineering Stars

“A scientist can discover a new star but he cannot make one. He would have to ask an engineer to do it for him.”


Lazy Progress

“Progress doesn't come from early risers — progress is made by lazy men looking for easier ways to do things.”

  • Source: Written by Robert A. Heinlein in the book “Time Enough for Love”, published in 1973 by Putnam's Sons, ISBN: 0-399-11151-4. Variations on a Theme I: Affairs of State, page 53. Character: Lazarus Long.


“Never do today what you can put off till tomorrow if tomorrow might improve the odds.”.

  • Source: Written by Robert A. Heinlein in the book “Time Enough for Love”, published in 1973 by Putnam's Sons, ISBN: 0-399-11151-4. ISBN: 9781101503072 (ebook). Page 346 (Kindle edition).



“Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.”

  • Source: Steve Jobs in “Motivating Thoughts of Steve Jobs”, published by Prabhat Prakashan in 2020. ISBN: 9789351869191.



“If you wanted to build a factory, the thing to do was to make a layout of your machinery, and the flow of material, and then build a building around it.”

  • Source: Words spoken by William S. Knudsen as recorded in the book “Knudsen: A Biography” written by Norman Beasley. Published in 2017 by Papamoa Press. Originally published in 1947. Page 54.


Murphy's Law

Popular Version:
"If anything can go wrong, it will."
Original Version First Report:
"If there are two or more ways to do something and one of those results in a catastrophe, then someone will do it that way" Original Version Second Report:
"If there is any way to do it wrong, he will."


Technically Sweet

“When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you've had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

World Going to Hell

“It is perfectly obvious that the whole world is going to hell. The only possible chance that it might not is that we do not attempt to prevent it from doing so.”

  • Source: Attributed to Oppenheimer by Alan Watts in Play to Live: Lectures of Alan Watts (1982) by Alan Watts [Author], Mark Watts [Editor, Photographer]Robert Oppenheimer


How You Do It

“It isn't what you do but how you do it that shows whether you are clever or not.”

  • Source: Chapter XVII. Pavese (1949/1950). A book. Entitled The Moon and the Bonfires. Written by Cesare Pavese. Published during 1950. Published by New York Review. Translated from Italian to English. Translated by R.W. Flint. ISBN 1590170210. Translated using a book.


Iterative Simulation Design

“1. A software system can best be designed if the testing is interlaced with the designing instead of being used after the design.
2. A simulation which matches the requirements contains the control which organizes the design of the system.
3. Through successive repetitions of this process of interlaced testing and design the model ultimately becomes the software system itself.
I think that it is the key of the approach that has been suggested, that there is no such question as testing things after the fact with simulation models, but that in effect the testing and the replacement of simulations with modules that are deeper and more detailed goes on with the simulation model controlling, as it were, the place and order in which these things are done.”

Human Communication Limits

“A man can communicate with about five colleagues on a software project without too much difficulty. Likewise he can supervise about five people and know pretty well what they are doing. One would structure 120 people in three levels, in which no man is talking to more than about eight people, both across his level and up and down”

Programming Special Cases

“In programming, everything we do is a special case of something more general - and often we know it too quickly.”

Programming Language Wish

“When someone says 'I want a programming language in which I need only say what I wish done,' give him a lollipop.”

Programming Impossible for Most

Most people find the concept of programming obvious, but the doing impossible.”


Mind and Brain

“The mind is what the brain does.”

  • Source: Steven Pinker (1997). How the Mind Works. New York, NY: W. W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-06973-0; eISBN 978-0-393-06973-0. Chapter 1 Section Reverse-Engineering the Psyche.


“But learning is not a surrounding gas or force field, and it does not happen by magic. It is made possible by innate machinery designed to do the learning... To understand learning, we need new ways of thinking to replace the prescientific metaphors — the mixtures and forces, the writing on slates and sculpting of blocks of marble.”

  • Source: Steven Pinker (1997). How the Mind Works. New York, NY: W. W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-06973-0; eISBN 978-0-393-06973-0. Chapter 1 Section Reverse-Engineering the Psyche.


Requirements Prespecification

“The most deadly thing in software is the concept, which almost universally seems to be followed, that you are going to specify what you are going to do, and then do it. And that is where most of our troubles come from. The projects that are called successful, have met their specifications. But those specifications were based upon the designers’ ignorance before they started the job.”


Changing Opinion

“In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.”

  • Source: Carl Sagan, Keynote address at CSICOP conference, 1987


Pair Programming

“...not everyone likes pair programming. As a typical introvert, I personally find the activity exhausting. It also leaves little room for contemplation, and it requires synchronization of schedules... it’s hardly practical or desirable to do it all the time.”

  • Source: Mark Seemann, “Code That Fits in Your Head: Heuristics for Software Engineering”. Published in 2021 by Pearson Education, Kindle Edition, ISBN: 978-0-13-746440-1. Page 190.


Human Limitations

“What a person cannot do he or she will not do, no matter how strong the urge to do it.”


Greatest Thrill

“The greatest real thrill that life offers is to create, to construct, to develop something useful. Too often we fail to recognize and pay tribute to the creative spirit. It is that spirit that creates our jobs. There has to be this pioneer, the individual who has the courage, the ambition to overcome the obstacles that always develop when one tries to do something worthwhile, especially when it is new and different.”

  • Source:
    • Alfred P. Sloan in his book “Adventures of a White-Collar Man”, published in 1941 by Doubleday Press, New York, NY. First edition.
    • Alfred P. Sloan. quoted in: John Bourne (2000), Learning Effectiveness and Faculty Satisfaction. p. 11.


Free Will and Hidden Causes

“Herefrom it follows, first, that men think themselves free inasmuch as they are conscious of their volitions and desires, and never even dream, in their ignorance, of the causes which have disposed them so to wish and desire. Secondly, that men do all things for an end, namely, for that which is useful to them, and which they seek.”


Greatest Mistake

“There is but one safe way to avoid mistakes: to do nothing or, at least, to avoid doing something new. This, however, in itself, may be the greatest mistake of all.”


Amateur and Professional Programmers

“The amateur... is looking for a way to get the job done. If he runs into difficulty, all he wants is to surmount it — the manner of doing so is of little consequence. Not so, however, for the professional. She may well be aware of numerous ways of circumnavigating the problem at hand. She may even employ one of them for the immediate purpose of getting the job done. But her work does not stop there; it begins there. It begins because she must understand why she did not understand, in order that she may prepare herself for the programs she may someday write which will require that understanding. The amateur, then, is learning about his problem... The professional, conversely, is learning about her profession — programming — and the problem being programmed is only one incidental step in her process of development.”

  • Source: Chapter 7. Weinberg, G. M. (2011). The Psychology of Computer Programming (Silver anniversary edition) | 1971. Weinberg & Weinberg.


Abstract Work

“As the work that people do becomes more abstract, the need for positive motivation and internal commitment becomes all the more crucial.”

  • Source: Zuboff, S. (1988). In The Age Of The Smart Machine: The Future Of Work And Power. New York, NY: Basic Books, p. 291. ISBN:0465032125.