Thursday, 4 March 2010

Do developers dream of agile sheep?

Circumstances being what they are I’m currently working in a very small team. That would be the team of one, starring Chuck Norris. There are some advantages, besides the ability to fight off terrorists with my bare hands, such as worrying less about reviews whilst maintaining quality. I still review; it was the memory of past conflicts that always had me worried. I’ve been lucky to have worked with some personable people for several years, thus the process was relatively untroubled, but have been around long enough to remember a few toxic environments; where failure was less an opportunity to learn and more a chance for one-upmanship and the establishment of hierarchy.

Somewhat behind the curve I’ve been thinking a lot about Agile, this despite the mention of daily stand-ups. I didn’t pay much attention to this element at first but recently it’s occurred to me that far from being a euphemism there are probably some who interpret this literally – who require it. Having no first hand experience I’m ill-placed to comment, but who’d have thought keeping a meeting on-point would require something so prescriptive? Certainly not me; anyone who’s been in a meeting with sales knows that standing up won’t help… though running away might.
agile development explained cartoon
However I’m still fascinated, I always liked rapid application development. It’s the potential of seeing it done well that grabs the imagination; to interact with others on a regular basis with constructive comment given and taken, driving the project forward, continually improving the outcome. Only I’m not sure how the more ‘robust’ personalities are encouraged to value others as much as they value themselves. Perhaps this isn’t in the remit; yet I’ve read a blog or two that hint at the possibility. Wouldn’t it be great if a methodology enabled better product and better people? Or should I just go and hug a tree?


  1. "Anyone who's been in a meeting with sales knows that standing up won't help...though running away might."
    Very funny.

    Agree with your comments on "one-upmanship and the establishment of hierarchy."

    Workplaces seem to have become downwardly mobile as far as people's behavior. At first I thought it was one particular workplace, then thought workplaces just in town where I live, then thought state...You get the drift. I'm writing from America; you're in Wales, observing similar unproductive behavior, so maybe it's throughout the nations who shipped their jobs oversees with N-A-F-T-A.

    I have a theory people are angry because they no longer see the possibility (or hold the belief, at least) that they can succeed in a meaningful way financially, by hard work and talent. It's like a "lid" has been put on, and people are mad. The less thoughtful ones take it out on each other.
    Don't know if there's anything to this idea...
    thanks for your excellent blog. like it.