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133909Re: [XP] Blog post for discussion

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  • J. B. Rainsberger
    Aug 1, 2007
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      Adrian Mowat wrote:

      > I just read this article on a blog I subscribe to and I think it might
      > interest this group...
      > http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000921.html
      > <http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000921.html>
      > In summary, if has been found that animals "imprint on the first creature
      > they see shortly after birth" and the author of the post argues that
      > developers have a similar reaction to trying new tools. The example used is
      > that we might be reluctant to try a new IDE because we are used to the one
      > we have always used and are still trying to maximise our productivity using
      > it.
      > I believe we often see a similar effect when trying to get an organisation
      > to try new Agile ideas - no matter how hard we work to explain the benefits.
      > Thoughts?

      Yes. I can't get past a fallacy in his argument, specifically:

      "It's impossible to understand the alternatives when you can't muster
      the energy to get past your own software imprinting. You can't
      rationally compare alternatives with no experience in the alternatives,
      and software imprinting robs you of that vital experience."

      Software imprinting does not necessarily rob me of the experience of
      alternatives. I may have to work harder to overcome my own imprinting,
      but that's a long way different from being robbed of the experience of
      alternatives. Moreover, the tendency to stay with what's familiar is a
      personality type, not a universal tendency. Some people are the
      opposite, choosing change for its own sake. Those folks have a tougher
      time settling down with any one experience.

      So while I agree that we need to be aware of our own imprinting, I don't
      think it represents a roadblock we can't overcome. I don't know how to
      help someone else see past their own imprinting, except to make them
      aware it's happening, then wait.

      Take care.
      J. B. (Joe) Rainsberger :: http://www.jbrains.ca
      Your guide to software craftsmanship
      JUnit Recipes: Practical Methods for Programmer Testing
      2005 Gordon Pask Award for contribution Agile Software Practice
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