A recent toot on Mastodon reminded me of a phenomenon I believe is pretty common these days: An unusual event causes us to reconsider our habits and assumptions in some way.
The toot was this one from Benji Weber, posted on February 9, 2023:
The blog post he references is here: I Was Saved By Test Driven Development.
The toot and blog post explain what happened clearly enough; there’s no need to reiterate the details.
The angle I’d like to bring out is the pattern: We operate in domain X in a certain way based on our established habits and our assumptions about the best way to do X. Then something unexpected and/or unusual happens that causes our habitual way of doing X to be uncomfortable, clumsy, expensive, or unworkable. At that point we reconsider our habits and assumptions, and possibly change the way we do X.
Continue reading Of Cockroaches and Kings
The relative effectiveness of collaborative work over individual work for many (not all) activities has become well-enough established by now that hardly anyone questions it. No one establishes an “agile” work space in such a way as to maximize disconnected, individual work and to minimize direct communication. That would be absurd.
And yet, people are determined to defend their comfort zones. A popular way to avoid working collaboratively is to say, “I’m an introvert.” Often, this is stated flatly, with a tone of finality, as if the word “introvert” completely explains why it is impossible for the individual to collaborate with others. Obviously, an introvert has to work alone all the time. They are hard-wired that way. It’s innate. It’s an immutable trait. There are no variations or nuances. End of argument. Now I’m going to turn my back on you and put my headphones back on. Go away.
There are a couple of problems with the way people typically throw the word “introvert” around.
Continue reading Introversion and Agile
Why are your socks on the floor again?
I don’t know.
Don’t say “I don’t know!”
How many times have I told you to turn off the light when you leave a room?
I don’t know.
Don’t say “I don’t know!”
Continue reading I don’t know
I came across a post by Damian Synadinos, dating from August 2017, entitled Thinking about Beliefs. He explores the idea of belief systems; how they come to be, how people interpret them, how adopters implement them, various things that can go right or wrong when people apply them, and what can happen when we question our belief systems.
After presenting a general model of belief systems, Damian goes on to illustrate his ideas by describing how he set out to question his beliefs regarding software testing; that is, his belief system around his work. He discovered that some of his previously-held beliefs about software testing seemed sound while others had room for improvement, once he began to question them systematically.
Continue reading Scrum as a belief system
This tweet resonated with me:
The comment applies to the author’s area of focus, but the pattern she observes occurs broadly in our field. How is it possible circa 2019 that the majority of people in the software field are not routinely using:
- rolling-wave planning to avoid premature investment in undeveloped ideas and to enable business flexibility/agility?
- flexible funding models to avoid locking up funds in early, long-term budget allocations?
- product-oriented experiments to steer development work toward target capabilities, as opposed to a portfolio of projects with rigid, predefined objectives and timelines?
- collaboration with stakeholders, Specification by Example, Personas, Story Mapping, etc. to understand user needs?
- cross-disciplinary collaboration to build solutions, including cross-functional teams, sitting together, swarming, mobbing, pairing, etc.?
- development techniques that yield multiple forms of value for a single effort, such as test-driven development and test automation, both for infrastructure and for applications?
- general automation to reduce errors and ensure consistency, such as continuous integration, static code analysis, dynamic infrastructure management, etc.?
…and, of course…
- observability rather than monitoring?
Do people actually prefer
Continue reading For the love of stress
Do people resist change? The consensus appears to be that they do.
Well, with all that consensus floating around, I guess resistance to change must be a Thing. It’s hard to argue with a million articles that all say the same things.
On the other hand…not everyone sees it that way.
Continue reading Beyond resistance