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RE: [XP] What "The Real-World" really mean...to you?

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  • Kay A. Pentecost
    Hi, Marco, ... There are no stupid questions?? I ve heard, read, and used the real world in all the ways you quoted. I think it s generally used to
    Message 1 of 17 , Apr 29 11:48 AM
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      Hi, Marco,

      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
      > [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
      > Marco Dorantes
      > Sent: Friday, April 29, 2005 1:21 PM
      > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [XP] What "The Real-World" really mean...to you?
      >
      > If you think this is a stupid question, please share with me why do
      > you thing so.

      There are no stupid questions?? <grin>

      I've heard, read, and used "the real world" in all the ways you quoted. I
      think it's generally used to mean "the environment as I <correctly> perceive
      it" as opposed to "the environment as you <incorrectly> perceive it."

      Someone arguing against XP, for example, might say "That's okay in a
      training, but in "the real world" it won't work.

      Does that help?

      Kay Pentecost
    • Marco Dorantes
      Thank you Kay, Yes, that helps. I want to understand if there is more to say about the people who bring the phrase to a conversation than what Andrei
      Message 2 of 17 , Apr 29 1:59 PM
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        Thank you Kay,

        Yes, that helps.

        I want to understand if there is more to say about the people who
        bring the phrase to a conversation than what Andrei Alexandrescu has
        already said:

        "There are people who prefer to anchor themselves in the comfort of a
        limited level of knowledge. They consider themselves practical
        and 'real-world'-ish" -Andrei Alexandrescu


        --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "Kay A. Pentecost"
        <kayp@i...> wrote:
        > Hi, Marco,
        >
        > > -----Original Message-----
        > > From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
        > > [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
        > > Marco Dorantes
        > > Sent: Friday, April 29, 2005 1:21 PM
        > > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
        > > Subject: [XP] What "The Real-World" really mean...to you?
        > >
        > > If you think this is a stupid question, please share with me why
        do
        > > you thing so.
        >
        > There are no stupid questions?? <grin>
        >
        > I've heard, read, and used "the real world" in all the ways you
        quoted. I
        > think it's generally used to mean "the environment as I <correctly>
        perceive
        > it" as opposed to "the environment as you <incorrectly> perceive
        it."
        >
        > Someone arguing against XP, for example, might say "That's okay in a
        > training, but in "the real world" it won't work.
        >
        > Does that help?
        >
        > Kay Pentecost
      • Phlip
        ... Uh, considering Andrei advocates conglomerating the most complex nests of C++ templates that could possibly work, he might look down on those who would
        Message 3 of 17 , Apr 29 2:13 PM
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          Marco Dorantes wrote:

          > I want to understand if there is more to say about the people who
          > bring the phrase to a conversation than what Andrei Alexandrescu has
          > already said:
          >
          > "There are people who prefer to anchor themselves in the comfort of a
          > limited level of knowledge. They consider themselves practical
          > and 'real-world'-ish" -Andrei Alexandrescu

          Uh, considering Andrei advocates conglomerating the most complex nests
          of C++ templates that could possibly work, he might look down on those
          who would rather get by with the occassional 'if' statement...

          --
          Phlip
        • Ian Collins
          ... Provided you get his ideas, you can end up with some remarkably simple implementations, and some equally clear and concise tests, all in the real world!
          Message 4 of 17 , Apr 29 3:36 PM
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            Phlip wrote:

            >Marco Dorantes wrote:
            >
            >
            >
            >>I want to understand if there is more to say about the people who
            >>bring the phrase to a conversation than what Andrei Alexandrescu has
            >>already said:
            >>
            >>"There are people who prefer to anchor themselves in the comfort of a
            >>limited level of knowledge. They consider themselves practical
            >>and 'real-world'-ish" -Andrei Alexandrescu
            >>
            >>
            >
            >Uh, considering Andrei advocates conglomerating the most complex nests
            >of C++ templates that could possibly work, he might look down on those
            >who would rather get by with the occassional 'if' statement...
            >
            >
            >
            Provided you 'get' his ideas, you can end up with some remarkably simple
            implementations, and some equally clear and concise tests, all in the
            real world!

            Ian
          • Michael Feathers
            ... I don t know what it means, really. I do know that when I start working with people they keep talking about this real world thing and how it has so many
            Message 5 of 17 , Apr 29 9:13 PM
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              Marco Dorantes wrote:

              >If you think this is a stupid question, please share with me why do
              >you thing so.
              >
              >I would want to collect thoughts about what "The Real-World" means to
              >you.
              >
              >
              >
              I don't know what it means, really. I do know that when I start working
              with people they keep talking about this "real world" thing and how it
              has so many problems and how things aren't very simple there.
              Eventually, they stop talking about it. We get a lot of work done, so I
              can only conclude that this other place, this "real world" must be
              sorting itself out.

              Michael Feathers
              www.objectmentor.com
            • Larry Brunelle
              A possibly-relevant quote from a good friend s tagline: In theory, theory and practice agree. In practice, they don t. -- Unknown
              Message 6 of 17 , Apr 29 9:20 PM
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                A possibly-relevant quote from a good friend's tagline:

                "In theory, theory and practice agree.
                In practice, they don't." -- Unknown


                Marco Dorantes wrote:
                > If you think this is a stupid question, please share with me why do
                > you thing so.
                >
                > I would want to collect thoughts about what "The Real-World" means to
                > you.
                >
                > My aim is to grasp if there is a sensible use of the phrase or it is
                > just another way people get fuzzy when just don't know how to
                > explain
                > something.
                >
                > I think often the phrase comes to mind as another way to say:
                >
                > "A recurring situation with perceivably insurmountable constrains"
                >
                > Or
                >
                > "A perceivably conventional understanding shared by more than one
                > person on more than one location in the same frame of time and
                > context"
                >
                > Here are more:
                > "The practical world as opposed to the academic world"
                > "The set of real or hypothetical causes and effects that simulation
                > technology attempts to replicate"
                >
              • Ron Jeffries
                Hi Marco, and all, When I hear the phrase the real world , it is usually in a context like this one: What you re saying is all very well in [some other
                Message 7 of 17 , Apr 30 4:14 AM
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                  Hi Marco, and all,

                  When I hear the phrase "the real world", it is usually in a context
                  like this one:

                  "What you're saying is all very well in [some other world], but in
                  the real world it won't work [because]."

                  "Some other world" might be "academia", or "small projects", or
                  "business projects", or anything that the speaker wants to use to
                  distinguish his situation from ones where what you're saying might
                  work.

                  "Because" is often null: "it won't work, period." Or often it will
                  be "because our projects are more complex", or "we have a lot of
                  legacy code", or some other obstacle that the speaker is raising.

                  So I hear the phrase "the real world" almost exclusively in a
                  context of resistance. The speaker is resisting some new idea that
                  has been offered, and does so by declaring the idea to be
                  inapplicable in "the real world", meaning "the world I live in
                  rather than that happy-slappy fantasy that you live in where people
                  work together and write tests and all that other impractical stuff
                  that real men don't have time for."

                  Resistance, that's my diagnosis. Getting past or around it ... it
                  depends. Sometimes I'm good at that, often I'm not. That's when I
                  wish I knew more about what our good friend Dale Emery knows, and
                  did more of what he does.

                  Ron Jeffries
                  www.XProgramming.com
                  Will Turner: This is either madness or brilliance.
                  Captain Jack Sparrow: It's remarkable how often those two traits coincide.

                  Around Friday, April 29, 2005, 1:21:19 PM, Marco Dorantes wrote:

                  > If you think this is a stupid question, please share with me why do
                  > you thing so.

                  > I would want to collect thoughts about what "The Real-World" means to
                  > you.

                  > My aim is to grasp if there is a sensible use of the phrase or it is
                  > just another way people get fuzzy when just don't know how to
                  > explain
                  > something.

                  > I think often the phrase comes to mind as another way to say:

                  > "A recurring situation with perceivably insurmountable constrains"

                  > Or

                  > "A perceivably conventional understanding shared by more than one
                  > person on more than one location in the same frame of time and
                  > context"

                  > Here are more:
                  > "The practical world as opposed to the academic world"
                  > "The set of real or hypothetical causes and effects that simulation
                  > technology attempts to replicate"

                  Around Friday, April 29, 2005, 4:59:32 PM, Marco Dorantes wrote:

                  > I want to understand if there is more to say about the people who
                  > bring the phrase to a conversation than what Andrei Alexandrescu has
                  > already said:

                  > "There are people who prefer to anchor themselves in the comfort of a
                  > limited level of knowledge. They consider themselves practical
                  > and 'real-world'-ish" -Andrei Alexandrescu
                • alanofredpale
                  I ve been researching how personality affects pair programming and have found the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to be helpful. Most developers are of a
                  Message 8 of 17 , May 1, 2005
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                    I've been researching how personality affects pair programming and
                    have found the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to be helpful. Most
                    developers are of a particlar type drawn from a very small part of the
                    population (INTJ, Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Judging). When you
                    look at the descriptions of Ns (Intuitives) phrases such as "head in
                    the clouds", "not in the real world" are used. The opposite of N is S
                    (Sensing), these probably make up the majority of your customers (75%
                    of the population are S), S's like concrete rather than abstract
                    ideas. I've found that understanding how to successfully communincate
                    between different types to be one of the key factors to success.

                    If your interested to find out what type you are a good start is to
                    take a free test at http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes1.htm

                    Regards
                    Alan
                  • Laurent Bossavit
                    Marco, It s a fascinating question. Maybe we could look for real world examples of how people use the phrase. :) Here s a real quote: XP suffers from [...]
                    Message 9 of 17 , May 1, 2005
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                      Marco,

                      It's a fascinating question. Maybe we could look for "real world"
                      examples of how people use the phrase. :)

                      Here's a real quote:

                      XP suffers from [...] inadequate estimation methods based on
                      "points" that have no consistent relevance to the real world.

                      What does "real world" mean in that sentence ?

                      Here's another real quote:

                      There is a natural temptation to look at any development process
                      as a checklist, guaranteeing success for those disciplined enough
                      to tick the boxes in the right order. The real world does not work
                      like that.

                      What does "real world" mean in that sentence ? The same as above, or
                      different ?

                      More personal thoughts to follow under separate enclosure.

                      Cheers,

                      -[Laurent]-
                      If a program is useless, it will have to be documented.
                    • Laurent Bossavit
                      Marco, The most generous interpretation I can come up for the use of that phrase - which, after a quick search through my outbox archives, I must confess I
                      Message 10 of 17 , May 1, 2005
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                        Marco,

                        The most generous interpretation I can come up for the use of that
                        phrase - which, after a quick search through my outbox archives, I
                        must confess I have used myself - is that it serves the purpose of
                        "grounding" some aspect a conversation.

                        If you're saying something and I make a reference to the "real
                        world", my intent is to advise you to become aware of your feet
                        pressing on the floor, of a huge ball of dirt somewhere beneath, of
                        gravity quietly working to keep the whole thing together, and so on.

                        You may take the advice, or disregard it. It's all one world - your
                        ideas in it are no less real than the floor or the earth. Ideas can
                        have a pretty big influence on the world. Impractical ideas even.

                        Cheers,

                        -[Laurent]-
                        You want to know how to write a perfect program ? It's easy. Make
                        yourself perfect and then just code naturally.
                        Robert Pirsig (nearly)
                      • yahoogroups@jhrothjr.com
                        From: Marco Dorantes To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                        Message 11 of 17 , May 1, 2005
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                          From: "Marco Dorantes"
                          <dorantesmarco.at.terra.com.mx@...>
                          To: "extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com"
                          <extremeprogramming.at.yahoogroups.com@...>
                          Sent: Friday, April 29, 2005 12:21 PM
                          Subject: [XP] What "The Real-World" really mean...to you?


                          > I would want to collect thoughts about what "The Real-World" means to
                          > you.

                          IME, "in the real world" is a euphemism for "your suggestion
                          is hopelessly idealistic."

                          John Roth
                        • Phlip
                          ... That is one of our Official Myths these days... (But I m Sensing, not iNtuiting!!;) -- Phlip
                          Message 12 of 17 , May 1, 2005
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                            Laurent Bossavit wrote:

                            > It's all one world

                            That is one of our Official Myths these days...

                            (But I'm Sensing, not iNtuiting!!;)

                            --
                            Phlip
                          • Ramon Leon
                            ... coincide. ... I have to totally agree with Ron here, every time I hear the phrase real world , it s the signal that the wall just went up and
                            Message 13 of 17 , May 2, 2005
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                              > Hi Marco, and all,
                              >
                              > When I hear the phrase "the real world", it is usually in a context
                              > like this one:
                              >
                              > "What you're saying is all very well in [some other world], but in
                              > the real world it won't work [because]."
                              >
                              > "Some other world" might be "academia", or "small projects", or
                              > "business projects", or anything that the speaker wants to use to
                              > distinguish his situation from ones where what you're saying might
                              > work.
                              >
                              > "Because" is often null: "it won't work, period." Or often it will
                              > be "because our projects are more complex", or "we have a lot of
                              > legacy code", or some other obstacle that the speaker is raising.
                              >
                              > So I hear the phrase "the real world" almost exclusively in a
                              > context of resistance. The speaker is resisting some new idea that
                              > has been offered, and does so by declaring the idea to be
                              > inapplicable in "the real world", meaning "the world I live in
                              > rather than that happy-slappy fantasy that you live in where people
                              > work together and write tests and all that other impractical stuff
                              > that real men don't have time for."
                              >
                              > Resistance, that's my diagnosis. Getting past or around it ... it
                              > depends. Sometimes I'm good at that, often I'm not. That's when I
                              > wish I knew more about what our good friend Dale Emery knows, and
                              > did more of what he does.
                              >
                              > Ron Jeffries
                              > www.XProgramming.com
                              > Will Turner: This is either madness or brilliance.
                              > Captain Jack Sparrow: It's remarkable how often those two traits
                              coincide.
                              >

                              I have to totally agree with Ron here, "every" time I hear the phrase
                              "real world", it's the signal that the wall just went up and
                              communication just stopped. The "real world" to me means "I don't
                              understand and I don't want too". It's a signal to back off; I'm
                              probably pushing a little too hard, better to retreat and try another
                              tactic later when the wall is back down.
                            • Dale Emery
                              Hi Ramon, ... Maybe stopped, maybe just paused for a moment. I think it s possible, in many cases, to resume the communication. I think that the key is to
                              Message 14 of 17 , May 11, 2005
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                                Hi Ramon,

                                > I have to totally agree with Ron here, "every" time I hear the
                                > phrase "real world", it's the signal that the wall just went
                                > up and communication just stopped.

                                Maybe stopped, maybe just paused for a moment. I think it's
                                possible, in many cases, to resume the communication. I think
                                that the key is to listen with curiosity and empathy.

                                > The "real world" to me means "I don't understand and I don't
                                > want too". It's a signal to back off; I'm probably pushing a
                                > little too hard, better to retreat and try another tactic
                                > later when the wall is back down.

                                I think that "real world" very likely means that I'm pushing too
                                hard. I've found that there's a very good chance that the wall
                                is of my own making, and that it's keeping me from listening
                                deeply. If I'm listening mostly for information that I can use
                                to press my idea, then I've put up a wall. In those cases, it's
                                usually best to back off until I can find curiosity and empathy.

                                Dale

                                --
                                Dale Emery, Consultant
                                Inspiring Leadership for Software People
                                Web: http://www.dhemery.com
                                Weblog: http://www.dhemery.com/cwd

                                All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they
                                really happened. --Ernest Hemingway
                              • Dale Emery
                                Hi Ron and all, ... When this conversation started, I understood the real world the same way. It means something like my world . If someone tells me that
                                Message 15 of 17 , May 12, 2005
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                                  Hi Ron and all,

                                  > So I hear the phrase "the real world" almost exclusively in a
                                  > context of resistance. The speaker is resisting some new idea
                                  > that has been offered, and does so by declaring the idea to be
                                  > inapplicable in "the real world", meaning "the world I live
                                  > in rather than that happy-slappy fantasy that you live in
                                  > where people work together and write tests and all that other
                                  > impractical stuff that real men don't have time for."

                                  When this conversation started, I understood "the real world" the
                                  same way. It means something like "my world". If someone tells
                                  me that my ideas won't work in the real world, my initial
                                  interpretation is that they don't think my ideas will work in
                                  /their/ world. With that interpretation, I want to know more
                                  about their world, and about the differences and similarities
                                  between their world and mine. Maybe there are salient
                                  differences that I don't know about. Maybe there are salient
                                  similarities that they don't know about.

                                  My usual response to "that won't work in the real world" is to
                                  ask some form of, "What would keep it from working?"

                                  As I've thought about this over the past few weeks, I get the
                                  feeling that there's something more going on in the phrase "the
                                  real world". If "the real world" means nothing more than "the
                                  world as I see it", why wouldn't the person say "that won't work
                                  for me" (and perhaps continue with "because ...") instead of
                                  "that won't work in the real world"?

                                  I'm thinking that "the real world" is saying something more. My
                                  best guess at the moment is that the something more is "you
                                  aren't hearing the frustrations that I'm dealing with". If
                                  that's close to right, then this is not just about the
                                  frustrations (which I will want to learn about), but also about
                                  my hearing and acknowledging those frustrations. And also that
                                  the person is frustrated in the conversation about my lack of
                                  acknowledgment. And I'll bet that it's that lack of
                                  acknowledgment that's the primary block in the conversation.

                                  If that's what "the real world" means, then I might be able to
                                  further the conversation by saying something like, "It sounds as
                                  if you're frustrated because I'm not acknowledging the concerns
                                  that you're facing." It might be helpful to end with "... that
                                  you're facing in the real world" to acknowledge their reality.

                                  I don't remember who started this thread, but thank you, and all
                                  who have contributed, for nudging me to think more deeply about this.

                                  Dale

                                  --
                                  Dale Emery, Consultant
                                  Inspiring Leadership for Software People
                                  Web: http://www.dhemery.com
                                  Weblog: http://www.dhemery.com/cwd

                                  Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but
                                  getting what you have, which once you have it you may be smart
                                  enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known.
                                  --Garrison Keillor
                                • Steve Bate
                                  ... Hi Dale, In the real world, the real world phrase might have quite different meanings depending on the context. I ve seen it used in the negative sense
                                  Message 16 of 17 , May 12, 2005
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                                    > Dale Emery wrote:
                                    > When this conversation started, I understood "the real world" the
                                    > same way. It means something like "my world". If someone tells
                                    > me that my ideas won't work in the real world, my initial
                                    > interpretation is that they don't think my ideas will work in
                                    > /their/ world. With that interpretation, I want to know more
                                    > about their world, and about the differences and similarities
                                    > between their world and mine. Maybe there are salient
                                    > differences that I don't know about. Maybe there are salient
                                    > similarities that they don't know about.

                                    Hi Dale,

                                    In the real world, "the real world" phrase might have quite
                                    different meanings depending on the context. I've seen it used
                                    in the negative sense that many people here have described. I've
                                    also seen it used to highlight real and important issues that
                                    have nothing to do with frustration or lack of acknowledgement
                                    of one's personal world view.

                                    It's not uncommon for people to base their decisions and actions
                                    on a theoretical or hypothetical model of the world. As you
                                    know, models often neglect certain real world considerations
                                    and that can potentially be a problem. For example, a project
                                    plan is an activity model. Generally speaking, a manager who
                                    refuses to acknowledge any uncertainty in a plan or that the
                                    plan might need modification over time is not operating with
                                    a good grasp of "the real world" and its complexities. It's
                                    not my intent to communicate that this strategy won't work
                                    in /my/ world (implying it might work in their world,
                                    whatever that means). Of course, I'd back up my assertion
                                    that uncertainty exists in the real world by providing
                                    specific examples and encouraging further discussion.

                                    > My usual response to "that won't work in the real world" is to
                                    > ask some form of, "What would keep it from working?"

                                    I believe that's a good response. It keeps the conversation
                                    active.

                                    > As I've thought about this over the past few weeks, I get the
                                    > feeling that there's something more going on in the phrase "the
                                    > real world". If "the real world" means nothing more than "the
                                    > world as I see it", why wouldn't the person say "that won't work
                                    > for me" (and perhaps continue with "because ...") instead of
                                    > "that won't work in the real world"?

                                    I believe the phrase sometimes means what you describe above,
                                    but not always. It's sometimes an appeal to ground decisions
                                    in actual experience, presumably in shared experience.

                                    >...
                                    >
                                    > If that's what "the real world" means, then I might be able to
                                    > further the conversation by saying something like, "It sounds as
                                    > if you're frustrated because I'm not acknowledging the concerns
                                    > that you're facing." It might be helpful to end with "... that
                                    > you're facing in the real world" to acknowledge their reality.

                                    This will either work or make the other person very annoyed. :-)

                                    Steve
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