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Play time suggestions (was: Re: Velocity)

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  • John Brewer
    ... this ... each week ... Probably ... were ... we have ... this one. Some suggestions: * Are you doing play time yourself? * Are you recognizing
    Message 1 of 20 , Sep 30 3:17 PM
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      --- In extremeprogramming@egroups.com, "Jim Little" <jiml@i...> wrote:
      > 3) Play time! I couldn't believe the amount of resistance I got to
      this
      > one. I really liked Jera Design's approach of giving a half day
      each week
      > for self-directed learning, so I instituted the same practice.
      Probably
      > because I didn't try to get programmer buy-in first, the reactions
      were
      > luke-warm at best and negative at worst. I get reactions like "Do
      we have
      > to?" and "I've got more important things to do." Still working on
      this one.

      Some suggestions:

      * Are you doing play time yourself?

      * Are you recognizing contributions made during play time? For
      example "Joe hacked together a new Ant-based build system for our
      product during play time. I'm thinking we should look at replacing
      our '.bat' file based build system with it." Or, "Bob set up a Wiki
      during play time last week. Be sure to check it out -- there's
      already a lot of great stuff up on it."

      * Are you encouraging people to play? If you see a developer
      violating YAGNI, try suggesting that he spike his idea during play
      time, instead of telling him he can't do it at all.

      * Do you have a fixed time each week for play time? If everyone else
      on the team is doing play time at the same time, there's positive
      peer pressure. I like Friday afternoons, since people are usually
      in the mood for a little change of pace by then.

      * Are you taking play time seriously? Treat it like any other
      important appointment. If you have to miss it, reschedule it.

      * Are you taking play time _too_ seriously? It really is "play
      time", not "self-directed learning". If some of the developers need
      to have a Half-Life tournament, that's cool too. Sometimes the best
      way to resolve interpersonal conflicts is with a rocket launcher.

      Hope this helps,

      John Brewer
      Jera Design
    • Kent Beck
      Jim- I instituted the same practice I m not familiar with the verb instituted . What does it mean in this context? Kent
      Message 2 of 20 , Oct 2, 2000
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        Jim-

        "I instituted the same practice"

        I'm not familiar with the verb "instituted". What does it mean in this
        context?

        Kent
      • Lea
        ... To take a practice and turn it into a standard enforced practice for the team/department/company. Can be a good thing or a bad thing, dependant on both the
        Message 3 of 20 , Oct 2, 2000
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          > Jim-

          > "I instituted the same practice"

          Kent Beck asked:
          > I'm not familiar with the verb "instituted". What does it mean in this
          > context?

          To take a practice and turn it into a standard enforced practice for
          the team/department/company.

          Can be a good thing or a bad thing, dependant on both the practice and
          the people.

          Lea mailto:leal@...
          ~ I told *Kent* something? Wadya mean his tongue was firmly in his
          cheek?!?!
        • Jim Little
          From: Kent Beck ... I meant put into place. In this case, I talked to the project manager about the idea, she agreed that it was a good
          Message 4 of 20 , Oct 2, 2000
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            From: "Kent Beck" <kentbeck@...>
            > "I instituted the same practice"
            >
            > I'm not familiar with the verb "instituted". What does it mean in this
            > context?

            I meant "put into place." In this case, I talked to the project manager
            about the idea, she agreed that it was a good one, and I told the other
            programmers the good news later that week.

            As I said before, I think my big mistake was not discussing it with the team
            first. I honestly thought it was a great opportunity, one that would make
            work more enjoyable and valuable. To me the appeal was so "obvious" that I
            didn't even consider that they might not like it.

            There's a lesson here, somewhere, isn't there. :)

            Jim

            ---
            Contractors wanted for January 2001 project in Portland, OR.
            We'll be utilizing full XP and Java. Experience with Java & XP is
            optional. Email background and bill rate if you're interested.
          • rkwilcox@thoughtworks.com
            Jim I can attest to all your points... #5 & 6 were especially interesting to me. I am not actually on the development team, but on the QA team. It is
            Message 5 of 20 , Oct 6, 2000
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              Jim

              I can attest to all your points... #5 & 6 were especially interesting to
              me. I am not actually on the development team, but on the QA team. It is
              understood that we are not following XP to a "T" but use many of its
              practices.

              My point : we have been rolling out these (XP) practices over time, and
              these two points you raised, caused the best and biggest increases in not
              only time to develop, but quality in _what_ was being developed. At one
              point, the testing team actually had to verify that the same developers
              were working on our project, things improved that much...

              just my 2 cents


              >From: Jim Little

              [....]

              >5) Pair-programming. This seems to be another tough one to get people to
              >try. I pushed it as a way of cross-training, not as a way of increasing
              >quality, and gradually introduced the quality argument later. Now they're
              >hooked.
              >6) Test-first programming. Testing, sure. Testing first? I don't know
              how
              >I ever got anybody to do this. Sheer force of will, I think. Or maybe it
              >was the two-by-four hanging on my office door. ;)
              >
              >Overall, both teams were composed of high-quality people. They can be
              >skeptical, but they're willing to give new ideas a chance. More than
              >anything else, I think that's what's made my job easy.
              >
              >What areas of XP have you seen the most resistance to?

              >Jim




              Ryan K. Wilcox
              ThoughtWorks, Inc.
              www.thoughtworks.com
              (312)373-8522
            • Robert Martin UncleBob
              ... I consider spikes to be outside the plan, and outside many of the rules. For example, I would not enforce TDD or PP in a spike. The only thing about a
              Message 6 of 20 , Sep 19 10:11 PM
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                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: Bryan Glennon [mailto:bryan.glennon@...]
                > Sent: Thursday, September 19, 2002 8:34 AM
                > To: 'extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com'
                > Subject: [XP] Velocity
                >
                >
                > Hey -
                > Should time spent spiking a solution or doing research be
                > counted as
                > being directed towards the task at hand? For example, if I
                > spend 2 ideal
                > days doing a spike and looking for existing solutions, does
                > that count as
                > 2/3 of my 3 ideal day task?

                I consider spikes to be outside the plan, and outside many of the rules.
                For example, I would not enforce TDD or PP in a spike. The only thing about
                a spike that I would enforce is a time-box.

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