"Johnson is a universe shaper, with a powerful mind careening slightly to self-parody, and a lot of attitude." ~Kirkus


I'm an award-winning journalist, the author of two novels and a book of essays, and co-author of two bestselling books on scrum. I've been editor in chief of a weekly newspaper and was a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times and the LA Weekly. I was a columnist at the late, great Buzz Magazine in Los Angeles, a contributing editor at Worth and Inc., and have written for InStyle, Oprah, The New York Times Magazine, Us Weekly, Harpers Bazaar, Elle, Premiere, Details, Self and many more national publications. I'm currently senior editor at Sactown Magazine


Man. Verses. Nature. is my 2023 profile of OG environmentalist and Beat Generation poet Gary Snyder. Won CRMA, Folio and SPJ awards.

Cast Away in which I attempt to learn the zen art of Tenkara fly fishing.

The Curious Case of William T. Vollmann my profile of the National Book Award winner after the publication of his two volume opus on climate change. Won the 2019 CRMA Award for best profile.

A Mighty Heart. A profile of WNBA star Ruthie Bolton for Sactown magazine. A finalist for a 2017 Maggie Award.

Truth and Consequences. Pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu discovered brain damage in NFL players and paid a heavy price for being the whistle-blower. From Sactown.

The Economy of Modernism. How modern architecture and the visionary philanthropy of one family saved the town of Columbus, Indiana. From Worth magazine.

If At First You Don't Succeed is an essay I wrote for Inc. magazine about growing up with a serial entrepreneur for a dad.

"Only a veteran of Hollywood’s singularly bitchy madness could write a book as weirdly, crazily, wickedly awesome as this."
~David Corbett
Scrum: A Breathtakingly Brief and Agile Introduction
The top selling software project management book on amazon.com. Taught as a textbook at Yale.
Physical Culture: A Novel by Hillary Louise Johnson
"The single most shattering novel I’ve read since Jerzy Kosinski’s The Painted Bird." ~Harry Crews

Coding & Design

As principal at Dymaxicon for six years and Creative Director at Agile Learning Labs for seven, I designed for print, developed web properties and produced promotional videos, creating workflows along the way.

  • HTML, CSS, JQuery
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Wordpress Theme Development
  • Agile Project Management

The advantage of being a writer, designer and coder is that I understand how the parts fit together to tell a story. On a small project I can wear all of those hats; on a large project I can manage the people wearing those hats, with empathy. I'm an agilist: I aim for the smallest set of features that can accomplish the task. This website, for instance, is plain old HTML.

I'm also a conservationist. I believe time is an endangered resource, and want to preserve it for everyone, especially the reader or viewer, but also for the people building the product or paying for it. If a website can be one page, it should be. If a book can be fifty pages, it should be. Better that resources should be spent on refactoring and documentation. Lots of documentation!


I taught basic keelboat at UCLA Extension; have raced in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay and Antigua.

  • Santana 35, Ahi, Andy Newell
  • Wyliecat 30, Nancy, Pat Broderick
  • Bailey 26, Cinnamon Girl, Mariellen Stern
  • Beneteau 40.7, Spirit of Venus, Sue Glenny
  • Ranger 23, Roadrunner, Greg Demetrulias
  • Murray Peterson Schooner, Lifee P Baker, Verna Vanis
  • Olson 30, Insanity, Frank Mendez