People who practice various forms of agile software development often make distinctions between capital-A “Agile” as a set of defined practices and methodologies, and “agile” as a broader philosophy of how to approach software. Bill Pietri sums it up best:

It’s important to note that they weren’t saying that they had an exclusive lock on agility, or even what made software development agile. As with the naming of Grand Rapids, they were pointing at a particular spot in the landscape of ideas and naming it. The word agile has a variety of meanings, and there are a lot of aspects to software development to which you could apply those meanings. They weren’t trying to lay claim to agility as a whole, any more than Grand Rapids is claiming all the rapids in the world, especially the grand ones.

Yesterday, the organization called Obtiva by those who worked there was acquired by Groupon. Just as agile practitioners differentiate between “Agile” and “agile” though, a similar distinction must be made here. While it’s true that this chapter in the history of Obtiva ends, it’s equally true that lowercase-o “obtiva” will continue to exist beyond this organization and even the people who comprised it.

This obtiva is present each time we build software with an empathetic view towards those in need of it. When one developer invests in another at the cost of their personal time and productivity, this obtiva is at work. Engaging with the larger community when there’s no personal gain is totally obtiva.

While I will stop calling myself an Obtivian, I have been extremely fortunate to practice obtiva daily with my friends and colleagues for nearly two years, and I look forward to many more. This is an opportunity to create and find much more obtiva in the world, and I am certain I will continue to share in obtiva with friends both old and new.

It has always been and will always be a great time to be obtiva.

Thank you to everyone who made it possible for me to share in all things Obtiva. I especially appreciate Kevin Taylor, Kat Nelson-Reid, Dave Hoover, and Todd Webb for deciding to take a chance on me and my “top-secret plan” to join them. This company has been a second family to me in times both tremendous and terrible, and I will always value that.