In my first post we talked about the top three things you didn’t know about agile in 2002, and the ways I’ve personally experienced an evolution within VersionOne, our product and the adoption of agile within the industry. Now for the fun part – a few things you may not have known about VersionOne as a company.
I’ve really enjoyed being part of VersionOne this past decade as we ‘Turned it up to 10’ (if I may borrow a principle from XP). Our philosophy was this: if testing is good, and code review is good, and integrating often is good, and customer feedback is good… What if we turned up all those knobs up to 10? As we did, everything got better across the board.
And you know what? What we then thought was a ‘10,’ innovators such as David Hussman showed us that it can go even higher. This has supported scale: in the last 10 years we have grown exponentially as a company; our product has grown exponentially in terms of features and users; and likewise, the adoption of agile within the industry has exploded in terms of the number and sizes of teams doing it.
In honor of our anniversary, I’d like to close with a few things you may not have known about VersionOne.
- In the first year we worked out of the Executive Suites (or should I say “Suite” since we were just a few people and our desks crammed into a tiny ‘hotel room’ office?). We were not ‘fire marshal-friendly,’ but our productivity per square foot was off the charts! Andy Powell, now VP Customer Success, dug up this raw video footage of the “office” Suites on moving day.
- Our corporate phone numbers were Robert’s home/cell numbers
- When we grew to a staff of eight, we got a second Suite; then about five years ago, grew a big enough sales team to move into the smaller section of our current building. We quickly reached 50 employees and expanded into the full space we occupy today with approximately 100, plus satellite space in Midtown Atlanta.
- One of the first paying customers: Dan Gilkerson. He was a consultant at the time, but is now a VersionOne developer. Dan liked the product and put three licenses on his personal credit card.
- We had very little agile-focused competition until another tooling company previewed our Pre-Release Beta 1.0 and then copy-catted our key feature, drag-and-drop Iteration Scheduling.
- Maggie Bullington was the first woman hired at VersionOne (not sure how she survived sharing ONE bathroom with a bunch of dev dudes in the Suite)!