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  • Adrian Mowat
    Hi all, 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 In
    Message 1 of 9 , Aug 1, 2007
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      Hi all,

      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

      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?

      Cheers

      Adrian


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • George Dinwiddie
      ... I don t think imprinting has anything to do with it, nor do I think that imprinting is a straightforward and simple as you suggest above. (I haven t read
      Message 2 of 9 , Aug 1, 2007
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        On Wed, August 1, 2007 07:10, Adrian Mowat wrote:
        > Hi all,
        >
        > 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
        >
        > 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?

        I don't think imprinting has anything to do with it, nor do I think that
        imprinting is a straightforward and simple as you suggest above. (I
        haven't read the blog post.)

        In any event, people get stuck on things other than the first thing they do.
        Virginia Satir said, "Familiarity exerts a powerful pull. What we have
        observed and experienced day after day exerts a powerful influence. Most
        people will choose the familiar, even though uncomfortable, over the
        unfamiliar, because of that power."

        - George

        --
        ----------------------------------------------------------------------
        * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
        Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
        Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
        ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      • gregbalajewicz
        Well, people are busy. Why learn a new IDE (for the same platform/language!) if the one I already know works well? I spent years learning how to be eficient in
        Message 3 of 9 , Aug 1, 2007
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          Well, people are busy.

          Why learn a new IDE (for the same platform/language!) if the one I
          already know works well? I spent years learning how to be eficient in
          it, why do it all over again?

          that I think is the major factor.

          --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "Adrian Mowat"
          <mowat27@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi all,
          >
          > 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
          >
          > 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?
          >
          > Cheers
          >
          > Adrian
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • William Pietri
          ... That s sure the truth. At the same time I ve been teaching myself the whole Ruby on Rails thing, I ve been teaching a friend Java and TDD. Both of us have
          Message 4 of 9 , Aug 1, 2007
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            George Dinwiddie wrote:
            > In any event, people get stuck on things other than the first thing they do.
            > Virginia Satir said, "Familiarity exerts a powerful pull. What we have
            > observed and experienced day after day exerts a powerful influence. Most
            > people will choose the familiar, even though uncomfortable, over the
            > unfamiliar, because of that power."
            >

            That's sure the truth.

            At the same time I've been teaching myself the whole Ruby on Rails
            thing, I've been teaching a friend Java and TDD. Both of us have years
            of programming experience, and we're both used to being highly
            productive. Jumping into an entirely new toolset can be terribly
            frustrating: nothing is comfortable, and it feels like it takes a
            million years to get anything done.

            Because I've been observing him learning stuff I know well, I can see
            that he's not actually being so unproductive, especially given his pairs
            keep him moving along pretty well. But I can see why he feels so slow.
            He never gets into a flow state, and every damned little thing is a
            struggle instead of a joy.

            For both of us, the pain is worth it, as we're trying to achieve
            something. But the experience has given me new appreciation for how hard
            agile adoptions are, especially when somebody's motivation is external,
            not internal.

            William

            --
            William Pietri - william@... - +1-415-643-1024
            Agile consulting, coaching, and development: http://www.scissor.com/
            Can you see the future? Prove it at http://www.longbets.org/
          • J. B. Rainsberger
            ... 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
            Message 5 of 9 , 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
            • David Carlton
              ... I liked the bit in QSM v.4 where Weinberg was talking about the Satir change model, and basically recommended (if I m remembering correctly) never staying
              Message 6 of 9 , Aug 1, 2007
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                On Wed, 1 Aug 2007 09:52:27 -0400 (EDT), "George Dinwiddie" <lists@...> said:

                > In any event, people get stuck on things other than the first thing
                > they do. Virginia Satir said, "Familiarity exerts a powerful
                > pull. What we have observed and experienced day after day exerts a
                > powerful influence. Most people will choose the familiar, even
                > though uncomfortable, over the unfamiliar, because of that power."

                I liked the bit in QSM v.4 where Weinberg was talking about the Satir
                change model, and basically recommended (if I'm remembering correctly)
                never staying too long in a mastery phase: "New Status Quo", when
                you've become comfortable and productive with a new skill, is great,
                but when it turns into "Old Status Quo", it's not so great. Not only
                does that specific skill lose its freshness and adaptiveness, but your
                skill at change in general will atrophy if it doesn't get used.

                On the same vein, the pragmatics recommend learning a new programming
                language every year.

                David Carlton
                carlton@...
              • George Dinwiddie
                ... Yeah, the difference between a rut and a grave is the depth. ... Good advice (anyone remember Computer Language magazine?), but there s other stuff to
                Message 7 of 9 , Aug 1, 2007
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                  David Carlton wrote:
                  > On Wed, 1 Aug 2007 09:52:27 -0400 (EDT), "George Dinwiddie" <lists@...> said:
                  >
                  >> In any event, people get stuck on things other than the first thing
                  >> they do. Virginia Satir said, "Familiarity exerts a powerful
                  >> pull. What we have observed and experienced day after day exerts a
                  >> powerful influence. Most people will choose the familiar, even
                  >> though uncomfortable, over the unfamiliar, because of that power."
                  >
                  > I liked the bit in QSM v.4 where Weinberg was talking about the Satir
                  > change model, and basically recommended (if I'm remembering correctly)
                  > never staying too long in a mastery phase: "New Status Quo", when
                  > you've become comfortable and productive with a new skill, is great,
                  > but when it turns into "Old Status Quo", it's not so great. Not only
                  > does that specific skill lose its freshness and adaptiveness, but your
                  > skill at change in general will atrophy if it doesn't get used.

                  Yeah, the difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.

                  > On the same vein, the pragmatics recommend learning a new programming
                  > language every year.

                  Good advice (anyone remember Computer Language magazine?), but there's
                  other stuff to learn than just programming languages. Learning just one
                  type of new thing is another stuckness.

                  - George

                  --
                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                  * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
                  Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
                  Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                • Ilja Preuss
                  Hi Joe! ... Without having read the blog entry, it seems to me that the analogy is too simplistic to be helpful in this regard. There are a lot of potential
                  Message 8 of 9 , Aug 4, 2007
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                    Hi Joe!

                    > I don't know how to
                    > help someone else see past their own imprinting, except to make them
                    > aware it's happening, then wait.

                    Without having read the blog entry, it seems to me that the analogy is
                    too simplistic to be helpful in this regard. There are a lot of
                    potential reasons to not try something new, and if we understand which
                    ones apply, we might be in a better position to decide what to do about it.

                    Some reasons might include:

                    - I feel that I can't afford to have my effectiveness reduced even for a
                    short moment, which trying a new tool certainly will,

                    - my learning capacity is limited, and there are other things that look
                    more intersting to me,

                    - using the current tool is just fine, and I don't feel like I need
                    something better,

                    - my experience with this kind of tools in the past hasn't been good,

                    - people I trust don't use those tools, either,

                    - etc. pp.

                    I'm sure you can come up with more.

                    Regards, Ilja
                  • Simon Jones
                    Well... I still use vi (albeit gvim) ... might ... creature ... that ... example used is ... the one ... productivity using ... organisation ... benefits.
                    Message 9 of 9 , Aug 4, 2007
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                      Well... I still use vi (albeit gvim)



                      --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "Adrian Mowat"
                      <mowat27@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Hi all,
                      >
                      > 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
                      >
                      > 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?
                      >
                      > Cheers
                      >
                      > Adrian
                      >
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
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