Robert Read

Robert Read 2017-04-23T23:02:16-08:00

Robert Read

Rob serves part-time as strategist, consultant, and Agile mentor at CivicActions. He brings a rich blend of experience in both computer programming and methodology coaching, and particularly enjoys working at the intersection of software development and human interactions.

Rob also devotes much of his time to the open-source hardware and software innovation platform, Public Invention For All Humanity (PIFAH), which he created as a contribution to the public good in hopes that some of the projects will become valuable tools to make the world a better place.

Rob loves programming and is best known for his aptly-titled essay “How to be a Programmer” — but he also plays well as a scientist, inventor, entrepreneur, Agile coach, and software team manager. Prior to joining CivicActions, he co-founded 18F, a team of innovators and developers within the GSA focused on improving digital development processes for Federal agencies. Rob also created 18F Consulting, a division of 18F helping agencies adopt modern approaches to managing and delivering digital services. An evangelist for Agile methodology in government, Rob currently leads the Agile Gov Leadership Live program to highlight pioneers of the movement.

Honored to be chosen as a Presidential Innovation Fellow in 2013, Rob founded and serves as treasurer for the Presidential Innovation Fellows Foundation. He has led Agile workshops for the GSA, the SSA, and many other agencies, in addition to the third class of Presidential Innovation Fellows.

Before joining the government, Rob was the Director of New Product Development at Planview, Inc., leading agile development teams for six years. He also served as Principal Engineer at, where he had the pleasure of working with Agile pioneer Kent Beck, who strongly influenced his approach to building software.

Rob has a PhD in Computer Science, two patents in optics and solar energy, and several published peer-reviewed articles. He speaks Esperanto fluently and has served on the board of Esperanto USA. He lives in Austin, Texas with his family, where he is currently trying to master the soldering iron.