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Re: [XP] Blog post for discussion

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  • 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 1 of 9 , Aug 1 2:04 PM
      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 2 of 9 , Aug 1 2:59 PM
        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 3 of 9 , Aug 1 5:41 PM
          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 4 of 9 , Aug 4 10:23 AM
            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 5 of 9 , Aug 4 1:22 PM
              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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