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Re: [agile-usability] Re: Today's article on UseIt.com

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  • Adam Sroka
    ... Yes. I can t think of an occupation that wouldn t benefit from some form of collaboration. I can even think of some where remote might be nearly as good as
    Message 1 of 76 , Jan 2, 2009
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      On Thu, Jan 1, 2009 at 5:50 AM, Owen Thomas <owen.paul.thomas@...> wrote:
      > Hi Adam
      >
      > --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Adam Sroka" <adam.sroka@...>
      > wrote:
      >>
      >> [T]he military
      >> has developed technology for doing exactly what you suggest (Fighting
      >> fires remotely)[.]
      >
      > Yes, I have heard about that. I may, as you suggest, not have given an
      > ideal analogy. My impressions are that no occupation wouldn't benefit to
      > some degree if virtual or remote collaboration were employed. Would you
      > agree?
      >

      Yes. I can't think of an occupation that wouldn't benefit from some
      form of collaboration. I can even think of some where remote might be
      nearly as good as actual, face-to-face collaboration, but I'm still
      not convinced that software is one of those.

      >> On the other hand, I am not aware of many professions, fire-fighters
      >> and soldiers included, where practitioners actually prefer to be
      >> somewhere other than where the action is.
      >
      > True. Indeed, I prefer to be where the action is; in my head. I also
      > find that surrounding myself with those things that I'm familiar with
      > and help me to relax to keep me in my head; where I'm most comfortable
      > and feel most personally productive.
      >
      > About the firefighter/soldier analogy and virtual collaboration. These
      > two occupations would definitely benefit. Both require working in
      > adverse conditions. Both require intimate and accurate knowledge about
      > the working environment. Both require close teamwork to achieve a goal
      > (a mission) which is directed by some point of control who itself, needs
      > intimate and accurate knowledge of the facts as soon as they evolve.
      >

      Yeah. And, to make your point for you, both rely heavily on constant
      radio communication. That way team members can communicate and
      coordinate their actions even when they are separated by significant
      distances.

      In fact, recon soldiers can go days without having a "normal"
      conversation, but would rarely go hours without radio communication.

      On the other hand, recon is also a good example of my point. Despite
      hundreds of orbiting satellites, aircraft with the capability to pick
      out minute details from a safe distance, unmanned aerial drones, etc.
      the military still finds it useful to risk putting men on the ground
      far away from support. Why? Because, no sensor yet devised can equal
      the five senses of a trained observer.

      >> Most of the time it has to
      >> do with saving money and/or lives. Software developers, so far as I am
      >> able to tell, are unique in wanting simultaneously to work and to not
      >> be where the work is happening.
      >
      > Where do you think the action is happening in software development? Not
      > in one's head - the same place as I do?
      >

      "the action" starts with the Customer asking for a feature, then
      proceeds through a conversation about what that feature means, one or
      more tests, and an actual implementation. Usually there is some back
      and forth through that process, and there are multiple points where
      conversation is needed.

      The part that happens in my head is relatively small. Usually starts
      with "How would I test that?" And then later, "Why is that test
      failing?" Often times these questions are answered faster when they
      are spoken aloud. Sometimes, disconcertingly so (My pair has an answer
      before I've fully formulated the question.)

      >> The first example I am aware of in Star Trek was the first movie.
      >
      > I apologise. You do seem to be considerably more learned about sci-fi.
      > I'll try to remember not to make controversial assertions in your
      > presence without prefacing these assertions with a standard disclaimer
      > similar to "I think...".
      >

      LOL. Oh, the power of wikipedia.
    • Desilets, Alain
      ... that ... one ... http://forums.construx.com/blogs/stevemcc/archive/2008/03/27/productivit y- ...
      Message 76 of 76 , Jan 9, 2009
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        > > There are other studies (I don't have the exact quote) that show
        that
        > > the difference between a top-notch developer and a run-of-the-mill
        one
        > > is a factor of 10 or so.
        >
        > The back up for that is here :-
        >
        http://forums.construx.com/blogs/stevemcc/archive/2008/03/27/productivit
        y-
        >
        variations-among-software-developers-and-teams-the-origin-of-quot-10x-qu
        ot.aspx

        Thx James. I always assumed that this was indeed supported by actual
        studies, but still had a small nagging doubt that it might be one of
        those urban legends that start with "studies show that ...." ;-). This
        is a good reference which eliminates that doubt.

        Alain
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