The Origins of the Agile Solution for Team Foundation Server: Urban Turtle

It all started with a question

“Why are we so bad at creating software?”. Behind this question was disappointment, failure even! The industry in the early 2000s made no sense. Software was built by people who did not care much about end users. So what we had was ugly and unusable. They just had no vision.

At the end of summer 2001, three guys decided that they had enough. They wanted to do better, to build software that matters; to do something meaningful. So they dropped everything. In their search for a new meaning to their work, they were soon hit by the potential of Agility. Pyxis, Urban Turtle’s mother company, was born.

Pyxis Technologies

Sometimes we fail, sometimes we win

It would not be a great story without failure. And fail they did. Multiple times. But they learned. Every time. When you combine this learning with brain power, devoted employees and awesome partners, success is sure to follow. Pyxis became a leader of Agile practices in Canada, France, Belgium, and Switzerland. Pyxis had the first french-speaking Scrum trainer in the world, and has since trained thousands of developers, Scrum Masters and POs in applying Agile principles. With the help of Pyxis’ Agile coaching staff, an infinite number of VPs, directors, project managers, developers started smiling when they went to work.

Aren’t you guys Urban Turtle?

Last time we checked, yes. Since you want to know all of it, the birth of Urban Turtle is tightly linked to the astonishing success of Greenhopper (now Jira Agile): the first ever electronic planning board. During the process of selling Greenhopper to Atlassian, the development team was struggling with Agile project management on a .NET product in Visual Studio 2008. It was hard; heck it was impossible. So they thought: “Why not do it ourselves again?”.

Becoming the first Agile project management tool for Microsoft Team Foundation Server, Urban Turtle was born in 2008.

And why Urban Turtle you ask?

At first we chose “Urban Cheetah”. As french-speaking people, we thought the name was pretty cool. Then, when we asked around for opinion, we realized that the term cheetah had, well, a dubious meaning. Urban Dictionnary defines a Cheetah as "an older man who only dates much younger women." Like the man version of a Cougar... So we killed the cheetah and started rooting for the turtle.
We really liked the concept of unexpected with this name. Since it’s not everyday that you see a turtle in the middle of a city, at least not in the province of Quebec, we LOVED the name. And it sounded way better than Urban Cheetah!
Urban Cheetah