First Known Agile Development Textbook is Authored by Female Technology Leaders

WEST DES MOINES, IA – Ripples of excitement about the female-authored – and first-known – collegiate-level Agile textbook co-authored by Sondra Ashmore, Ph.D., and Businessolver’s Vice President of Product Development Kristin Runyan have reached as far as Apple Inc. co-founder and technology leader Steve Wozniak.

Wozniak expressed enthusiasm and excitement for a formal Agile textbook to the authors following the release of the book. Ashmore and Runyan developed the book after recognizing a growing gap between college graduates’ understanding of Agile and the quick adoption of Agile methodologies in many organizations. To bridge the gap, the two female information technology (IT) development executives co-authored a textbook aimed at helping college students understand the practices and principles of Agile software development.

“The Agile textbook I wrote with my co-author, Sondra Ashmore, was specifically targeted at a unique market,” Runyan says. “As IT executives, Sondra and I found that our college graduate new hires were entering the workforce with no real knowledge of Agile, its practices or its principles. There is not a true Agile textbook designed for a college audience with relevant workplace examples. Sondra and I were excited to bridge that gap in Computer Science, Software Engineering and Business departments in universities so their students graduate with the applicable Agile knowledge many organizations expect.”

This book was a unique opportunity for the two IT executives to showcase the value that females add to the IT industry. According to a recent study by Industry body CompTIA, only 24% of IT professionals in the United States are female, a figure that is trending downward.

“It is rare for two females to co-author an engineering book,” Ashmore says. “We insisted that a female was featured on the cover. Additionally, we strategically profiled both female and male thought leaders in the industry to emphasize that software engineering is a field in which both females and males can thrive.”

Ashmore and Runyan have developed an impressive list of accolades as female innovators in the IT development industry. Ashmore is certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP), Project Management Institute Agile Certified Professional (PMI-ACP) and Stanford Certified Project Manager (SCPM). In 2012, she was recognized as a “Forty Under 40” business leader by the Des Moines Business Record and won the Women of Innovation award from the Technology Association of Iowa.

Runyan is a Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Pragmatic Marketing Product Manager, and Project Management Professional (PMP). In 2011, she was awarded the Women of Innovation award from the Technology Association of Iowa.

Ashmore and Runyan met during the Women of Innovation awards and began to discuss their passion for Agile principles and practices and the lack of training that college students receive. As more organizations adopt Agile, they saw a need to bridge the gap in order to help newly hired college graduates be positioned for success.

Their book, Introduction to Agile Methods, was published in early July 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. and is currently available on and


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