My name is Paolo Sammicheli, Sammy to my friends. I was born in Siena, Italy. I am a computer scientist. Technology has always been my passion. I was eleven when I first tried to program a computer, my Commodore 64. When, in the late 1990s, I discovered the Free Software, it was love at first sight. All those programs developed by volunteers, which you could legally copy, study and modify, represented a technology plus volunteering combination that I sensed particularly close to my understanding of the world.
The free operating system that was spreading most rapidly in 2000s was Ubuntu. I joined the project in 2006 and thanks to my volunteering I quickly earned the esteem and friendship of the Italian community.
When, in 2008, I started contributing to the international community and traveling every year to the US to attend the Ubuntu Developer Summit, I was employed by an Italian Software company as the Technical Directory of the central Italy branch.
Thanks to the Ubuntu International community, I first glanced at how an Agile Organization would look. From the technical point of view, the organization was impressive: we had 3000 remote contributors worldwide, developing, testing, and releasing software with automated tests and continuous integration on daily basis. The operating system's stable release had a cycle of six months, less than one-quarter of any other commercial operative system at that time. From the cultural point of view, the community was an incredibly welcoming and collaborative environment. The morale was exceptionally high, and even though there were incredibly talented people, the ego was usually low. I fell in love with Agility, and I started applying to the company I was employed in, even though the culture was not so welcoming and the results very different. I didn't give up and enrolled in a Certified Scrum Master and a Product Owner class to learn more.
In 2014 I was not too fond of my employer's politics, so I decided to resign and started my career change, moving from Silicon to Carbon. In other words, I moved from working with computers to working with people. I founded my own company with Alessandro, an ex-colleague that left the company just after me.
My company was supposed to be mainly a Software Firm, but we also started offering Agile coaching and training, given my previous experiences in Ubuntu and my former employer. The same year Agile became very popular in Italy, so client after client, I found myself working as a full-time Agile Business Coach and leaving my company's software development side to my business partner Alessandro.
From 2016 I had the opportunity to implement Scrum in an Industrial context. In the journey of learning more, I met Joe Justice, a Scrum Trainer founder of the Wikispeed project and other pioneers of the Scrum applied to Hardware development. This experience gave me the incredible opportunity to speak in a TEDx about this topic. Since then, Joe and I became close friends, and I have been lucky enough to co-train with him multiple times in the US and Europe. In 2017 I transformed my diaries of these fantastic experiences with him in my first book, Scrum for Hardware. The fate was nice to me: this book has been recognized as the first significant publication on the topic in the world and received a considerable exposition in the US, Europe, and Japan.
My book's success led me to meet and co-train with Jeff Sutherland, co-author of Scrum and founder of Scrum Inc. After some training together, Jeff asked me if I was interested in becoming a Scrum Trainer for his company. My career took a boost: as a Scrum Inc's licensed Scrum Trainer, I taught and coached Scrum Teams in successful companies in a wide range of industries: Machinery, Construction, Oil&Gas, IoT, Pharmaceutical, Banking, Food and Beverage, Aeronautics, and Aerospace.
In 2019, I got interested in Artificial Intelligence thanks to a random beer with a former GoogleX Engineer who was spending his holidays in Tuscany. The same year, AI's interest increased within my clients, and they started developing Artificial Intelligence applications. From that point, I've been asked to coach teams developing AI multiple times.
I don't consider myself an expert at all on the topic of Artificial Intelligence. I am writing this book because I decided to put in order and publish all the notes and the learning I am having in this never-ending journey.
The book is written iteratively, following the Agile approach. In this way, I hope to bring the best I know about the subject to the public in the shortest time and receive feedback to create the best book on how to develop an Ai-based application with Agile.
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