don't just talk agile - walk agile!


Welcome to my personal blog on agile software development!

About me

My name is Peter Häfliger (sometimes spelt Haefliger when the dots are not available).

speaking at the DevOpsDays Zurich 2024

I hold a Master’s Degree in Computational Science and Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in DevOps Leadership and Agile Methods from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. I have been working in the software industry since 2001.

Since 2008, I have been with Avaloq (since 2020 part of NEC), a leading financial technology and service provider, in various roles such as software developer, project manager, team lead, business analyst and scrum master. I currently serve as product owner of our Business Process Automation.

I hold the following certificates from

scrum certificates

If you are interested in more details about my education or my professional career, please see my profile on linkedin.

About this blog

I have created this blog as a repository of thoughts and ideas written down for later reference and discussion. Sometimes the act of writing it down already helps me structure a thought or shape an idea.

All views expressed are my personal opinion and I do take the liberty to update posts as I learn more.

Topics and interests

As a former scrum master and current product owner, I have great interest in #agilepractices and software development #culture but also in more technical #programming and software engineering (#swe) topics. That’s why I like the holistic approach of #devops.

I am passionate about #language(s) and literature. With German mother tongue and living in a German-speaking country but working in an international company and married to a Brazilian wife, I move back and forth between German, English and Portuguese on a daily basis. I read a lot, not only agile and technical literature, but also novels and short stories, mostly in English but also in German and less frequently in Portuguese.

In the summer of 2021, I took a fiction writing class with Maria Alejandra Barrios Vélez organized by the Gotham Writers but did not pursue fiction writing any further after that. I came to the conclusion that I am a reader, not a writer. At least not a fiction writer. Maybe a bit of a technical writer / essayist. Let’s see in what direction this blog eventually develops.

My working days are mostly spent sitting, reading, writing, thinking and discussing ideas. I try to balance this with running, conscious breathing and stretching. Again, for its holistic approach, I like the concept of chi running which incorporates the principles of Tai Chi into running. It also provides a lot of inspiration for my daily work. As in agile and devops, it’s all about alignment (of feet, legs, upper body, arms and head) to eliminate waste of effort, feedback (“body sensing”) and adaptation (of posture and running form), sustainable rhythm and flow.

Tools and technologies

This site is created with HUGO, an open-source static site generator. I run it in replit which allows me to edit my files from any machine without local installation. Using HUGO allows me to exclusively focus on content written in markdown and not worry about formatting or styling. I use github for back-up and version control and netlify for building, deploying and hosting the site. I use Caio Lente’s Bear Cub theme because I like its elegant simplicity and the author’s design philosophy as explained here and here.

The pilgrim icon and avatar

Some years ago when I needed to choose an avatar for a JIRA profile, I first thought of the usual characters with which we try to identify ourselves as developers, like the ninja or the samurai. But then I remembered the scrum guide and started reflecting on the scrum values of commitment, courage, focus, openness and respect, and suddenly a very different character came to my mind: the pilgrim.

The pilgrim has a vision and decides to embark on a journey to an important goal. Just think of the Wise Men from the East in the Gospel of Matthew: When they suddenly detect a new star in the sky, they know that an old prophecy has been fulfilled. They immediately want to go see the Messiah. They don’t know how to get there or how long it will take them. They just follow the star.

The pilgrim is completely committed to their goal and focused on their mission and has enormous courage: They leave their comfort zone without knowing the exact route to the goal nor the challenges ahead. They are agile and open-minded – able and willing to learn on the way. They are humble and respect the people who share or cross their path.

That’s why I decided to create my own pilgrim icon:


I have used it in most of my profiles since.

Every software project is a pilgrimage. Most of the time, not only the path to the goal is unknown, but even the goal itself is moving. That’s why we constantly need to experiment, inspect and adapt1:

evidence-based management

  1. The picture is taken from’s Evidence-Based Management Guide where credit is given to Mike Rother from whose Improvement Kata the figure seems to have been adapted. ↩︎