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Blog Entry - Agile, circa 1988

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  • Dave Rooney
    Hi folks, I just posted a new blog entry entitled Agile, circa 1988 : http://mayford.ca/blog/?p=19 I met an old manager of mine over coffee this morning to
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 21, 2006
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      Hi folks,

      I just posted a new blog entry entitled "Agile, circa 1988":

      http://mayford.ca/blog/?p=19

      "I met an old manager of mine over coffee this morning to talk about how
      our team back in the early 90's was co-located with its Customer. I
      didn't expect to find out that we were doing Agile about 10 years before
      the term was coined!"

      Comments and criticisms welcome, either here on on my blog site.

      Dave Rooney
      Mayford Technologies
      http://www.mayford.ca
    • Andrew McDonagh
      ... This rings so true for me too.... I m introducing Agile at my new job, where again and again, I get the comments from our customer (all internal) Oh we
      Message 2 of 7 , Feb 21, 2006
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        Dave Rooney wrote:

        >Hi folks,
        >
        >I just posted a new blog entry entitled "Agile, circa 1988":
        >
        >http://mayford.ca/blog/?p=19
        >
        >"I met an old manager of mine over coffee this morning to talk about how
        >our team back in the early 90's was co-located with its Customer. I
        >didn't expect to find out that we were doing Agile about 10 years before
        >the term was coined!"
        >
        >Comments and criticisms welcome, either here on on my blog site.
        >
        >Dave Rooney
        >Mayford Technologies
        >http://www.mayford.ca
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >

        This rings so true for me too....

        I'm introducing Agile at my new job, where again and again, I get the
        comments from our customer (all internal) 'Oh we used to sit with the
        devs and tell them what we wanted as they made it'.

        Ok, they did it in a more (early) RAD way rather than the disciplined
        way we do XP, but the mentality was there.
      • Dave Rooney
        ... This stuff predated RAD by a few years! And the developers weren t the typical SmallTalk folks from whom the now common agile practices originated - these
        Message 3 of 7 , Feb 21, 2006
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          Andrew McDonagh wrote:
          > This rings so true for me too....
          >
          > I'm introducing Agile at my new job, where again and again, I get the
          > comments from our customer (all internal) 'Oh we used to sit with the
          > devs and tell them what we wanted as they made it'.
          >
          > Ok, they did it in a more (early) RAD way rather than the disciplined
          > way we do XP, but the mentality was there.
          >

          This stuff predated RAD by a few years! And the developers weren't the
          typical SmallTalk folks from whom the now common agile practices
          originated - these were big-iron COBOL and PowerHouse programmers and
          analysts used to the traditional way of building systems. In fact, two
          of the original developers came directly from a billing system project,
          and another came from the General Ledger system.

          What astounded me was how forward-thinking - almost visionary - this
          manager was, without being what you would consider a management guru.
          The one trait I did notice in him is that he had a knack for connecting
          with the people who worked for him, and making them _want to work for
          him_. The funny thing is that he doesn't really believe that he did
          anything all that terribly special. To him, he did what worked. Of
          course, that's how Kent Beck came up with XP, isn't it?

          Dave Rooney
          Mayford Technologies
          http://www.mayford.ca
        • Andrew McDonagh
          ... oh if only more managers were like that!
          Message 4 of 7 , Feb 21, 2006
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            Dave Rooney wrote:

            >Andrew McDonagh wrote:
            >
            >
            >>This rings so true for me too....
            >>
            >>I'm introducing Agile at my new job, where again and again, I get the
            >>comments from our customer (all internal) 'Oh we used to sit with the
            >>devs and tell them what we wanted as they made it'.
            >>
            >>Ok, they did it in a more (early) RAD way rather than the disciplined
            >>way we do XP, but the mentality was there.
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >
            >This stuff predated RAD by a few years! And the developers weren't the
            >typical SmallTalk folks from whom the now common agile practices
            >originated - these were big-iron COBOL and PowerHouse programmers and
            >analysts used to the traditional way of building systems. In fact, two
            >of the original developers came directly from a billing system project,
            >and another came from the General Ledger system.
            >
            >What astounded me was how forward-thinking - almost visionary - this
            >manager was, without being what you would consider a management guru.
            >The one trait I did notice in him is that he had a knack for connecting
            >with the people who worked for him, and making them _want to work for
            >him_. The funny thing is that he doesn't really believe that he did
            >anything all that terribly special. To him, he did what worked. Of
            >course, that's how Kent Beck came up with XP, isn't it?
            >
            >Dave Rooney
            >Mayford Technologies
            >http://www.mayford.c
            >
            >

            oh if only more managers were like that!
          • Charlie Poole
            Hi Dave, Back in the late 70s I worked on a CICS application written in PLI. We used a more traditional requirements-gathering approach for the high-level
            Message 5 of 7 , Feb 21, 2006
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              Hi Dave,

              Back in the late 70s I worked on a CICS application written in PLI. We used
              a more traditional requirements-gathering approach for the high-level
              requirements, but for the details of what fields were needed to perform
              various operations, how screens should be laid out, what the work flow
              needed to be, etc. we used actual users of the application.

              Temps were hired so they could leave there jobs and they moved into our
              area, where they worked for the duration of the project. We always had at
              least two of these folks, expanding to four at crucial times.

              In terms of customer satisfaction, this was one of the most successful
              projects of my early career. Unfortunately, the managers who were also users
              of the system couldn't be spared to work with us, so the management
              reporting functions were never quite as good as the customer service
              transactions.

              One interesting aspect of this is was how we designed the overall flow of
              the app from screen to screen. Rather than using any established
              data-processing diagrams, the programmers and customers invented their own,
              mildly idiosyncratic, notation. It was an enormous success. Anybody could
              learn the conventions in a half hour and the loaned customers eventually
              went back to their sections and used the same diagrams to train the folks
              who had to use the system.

              Charlie

              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
              > [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Dave Rooney
              > Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2006 1:28 PM
              > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: [XP] Blog Entry - Agile, circa 1988
              >
              > Hi folks,
              >
              > I just posted a new blog entry entitled "Agile, circa 1988":
              >
              > http://mayford.ca/blog/?p=19
              >
              > "I met an old manager of mine over coffee this morning to
              > talk about how our team back in the early 90's was co-located
              > with its Customer. I didn't expect to find out that we were
              > doing Agile about 10 years before the term was coined!"
              >
              > Comments and criticisms welcome, either here on on my blog site.
              >
              > Dave Rooney
              > Mayford Technologies
              > http://www.mayford.ca
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
              >
              > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
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            • William Pietri
              ... Heh. Some people look at agile methods and say, That s how we ve always done it. Why are you making a big deal about this? Others say, That would never
              Message 6 of 7 , Feb 22, 2006
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                Andrew McDonagh wrote:
                > This rings so true for me too....
                >
                > I'm introducing Agile at my new job, where again and again, I get the
                > comments from our customer (all internal) 'Oh we used to sit with the
                > devs and tell them what we wanted as they made it'.
                >

                Heh. Some people look at agile methods and say, "That's how we've always
                done it. Why are you making a big deal about this?" Others say, "That
                would never work! You people are dangerous!"

                I wish we could get them together to sort things out.

                William
              • Andrew McDonagh
                ... That would be like Matter & Anti-Matter coming together!
                Message 7 of 7 , Feb 22, 2006
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                  William Pietri wrote:

                  >Andrew McDonagh wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >>This rings so true for me too....
                  >>
                  >>I'm introducing Agile at my new job, where again and again, I get the
                  >>comments from our customer (all internal) 'Oh we used to sit with the
                  >>devs and tell them what we wanted as they made it'.
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >
                  >Heh. Some people look at agile methods and say, "That's how we've always
                  >done it. Why are you making a big deal about this?" Others say, "That
                  >would never work! You people are dangerous!"
                  >
                  >I wish we could get them together to sort things out.
                  >
                  >William
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  <Geek mode>

                  That would be like Matter & Anti-Matter coming together!
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