Developer Profile: Carl Rogers | Enterprise Agile Coach

Meet Carl Rogers, focused on enabling our engineering workforce's AWOW transformation.
Discover Technology Staff
February 16, 2023

Bringing Agile practices to life at Discover

As a senior manager in the Agile Enablement team at Discover®, Carl develops training, engagement frameworks, resources, and learning pathways for product families to understand and configure for their right-fit agility. Carl is tasked with enabling a cohesive and connected community of engaged agile practitioners to perform at the best of their ability, while also ensuring that Discover leadership supports embracing agile principles and advocating for agility in their organizations.

A proponent of social technologies that help colleagues collaborate more effectively, Carl is a big fan of decision-making patterns from Sociocracy 3.0. THese patterns focus on evolving effective collaboration at any scale. "This excites me because it provides patterns for human interactions that help us navigate complexity and make good enough decisions to keep moving forward," says Carl.

While at Discover, Carl has developed a collaboration pattern model for helping teams of teams (i.e. product families) determine and choose their right-fit agility. It is completely non-prescriptive, draws on patterns from many different inspirations, and is configurable to focus on the minimum necessary scaling or overhead required for the teams to work together.

Discover has presented opportunities for growth and development at the speed that the next challenge could be identified and addressed. "When I joined Discover in 2018, I did not imagine the scope of opportunity that has been presented," notes Carl.

He joined as a Scrum Master for one team and was able to impact beyond this sphere into the eWallets Agile Release Train and the UK office Agile community. After a year, Carl was asked to launch a new Agile Release Train as a Release Train Engineer, where he was able to create a distinct culture bubble within Payment Services. Nine months later, Carl was able to nurture and grow more as the Solution Train Engineer for Digital Payments. When Discover's agile way of working transformation began, Carl was able to influence design and adoption across Payment Services. His focus now is on evolving what Agile ways of working looks like across the entire organization. Carl's training and enablement resources are now being used across Discover to train teams and leadership about how to effectively create an agile culture.

Get to know more about Carl

What are your favorite hobbies?

I enjoy mountaineering and rock climbing. I spent a few years after university as a climbing bum, and I met my wife at a climbing gym. My wife and I now play heavy Euro-style board games most evenings. I also enjoy walking in the country. The village I moved to in the Surrey hills has great access to wonderful countryside.

What is your caffeine of choice?

Soda pop

What is your favorite movie?

Lord of the Rings trilogy

Tell us about your tech origin story

As a teenager and university student, I spent hours building web pages and learning web languages. With a degree in Marketing and the legacy of 100% in one English Language A-level exam on Shakespeare, I joined a data analytics and market research firm as an editor of a technology newsletter. The team I sat with had just taken over a forecasting product that required input from a global network of analysts, and they didn't have the technology to make that happen. I told them they needed a website to collect the data, and when they asked if I could build that I said yes (they should have asked some pertinent follow up questions on security, testing, backups, etc.).

Two years later, I had developed an entire online platform for our high-growth business that included interactive dashboards for exploring end-market forecasts across hundreds of product categories, a content library, and bespoke survey tools. As the technical debt (I didn't know what this was at the time) spiraled out of control, my stakeholders' needs kept changing. I needed a better way to manage the work than a project plan, and I discovered Agile and Scrum. Very soon, I saw the professional career that I wanted to develop (that didn't involve servers that kept crashing every few days). Fortunately for me, leaders at Discover saw the potential in growing agility in how we worked.

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