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Quality Code - People or Process (WAS XP for startups (WAS: Open source/closed source))

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  • Gary Brown
    Hey, Cory, Some thoughts from your last two posts. In your travels with Microsoft, how much quality code did you see? What is the genesis of quality code? How
    Message 1 of 22 , Apr 19, 2008
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      Hey, Cory,

      Some thoughts from your last two posts.

      In your travels with Microsoft, how much quality code did you see?

      What is the genesis of quality code? How is that quality maintained over
      time?

      Is it the people or the process?

      I have worked through the eras of Structured, Object-Oriented, Waterfall,
      Spiral, Iterative, Incremental, and Agile, to name a few. In my experience,
      the majority of people claimed to follow those ideas, a small minority
      actually did. Most people just just hack out code. It takes great skill to
      hack out code that actually works. It takes great discipline to write
      quality code that works. To me, XP makes quality code accessible to the
      majority, if they can muster the discipline. Sadly, discipline remains in
      short supply!

      GB.
    • Mike Hill
      Gary... I m not Cory, of course, but I thought I d kick in an answer anyway. My experience has been that code-quality is built by way of a complex interlocking
      Message 2 of 22 , Apr 19, 2008
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        Gary...

        I'm not Cory, of course, but I thought I'd kick in an answer anyway.

        My experience has been that code-quality is built by way of a complex
        interlocking of the people *and *the process, with each pillar supporting
        and enhancing the other.

        For instance, XP's pairing technique is an element of process, but it only
        works to make high code-quality when the pair in question *expands *the
        'letter' of the process to encourage talking, thinking, and acting with a
        strong sense of excellence.

        I am a big advocate (inventor?) of 'random lunch and learn': spin the
        spinner at 11:45, and at 12:00 the winner (or loser, depending on how its
        seen), projects the code they've been working on during the week. The
        attendees have no other agenda than to talk and learn about code quality. I
        have used this technique fairly often, with fair success, and it suggests
        that it should be a process element. Nevertheless, I've seen it fail. If
        the team is insufficiently healthy, *as individuals, *such sessions can
        become nightmarish 'self-criticism' sessions, a kind of silicon re-education
        camp.

        Is there any real way to separate people from what people do? I'm not sure
        there is.

        Just my nickel,
        Hill
        <mike@...>
        Wanna grok TDD? Try <http://www.industriallogic.com/elearning>



        On Sat, Apr 19, 2008 at 6:52 PM, Gary Brown <glbrown@...> wrote:

        > Hey, Cory,
        >
        > Some thoughts from your last two posts.
        >
        > In your travels with Microsoft, how much quality code did you see?
        >
        > What is the genesis of quality code? How is that quality maintained over
        > time?
        >
        > Is it the people or the process?
        >



        >
        >
        > I have worked through the eras of Structured, Object-Oriented, Waterfall,
        > Spiral, Iterative, Incremental, and Agile, to name a few. In my
        > experience,
        > the majority of people claimed to follow those ideas, a small minority
        > actually did. Most people just just hack out code. It takes great skill to
        >
        > hack out code that actually works. It takes great discipline to write
        > quality code that works. To me, XP makes quality code accessible to the
        > majority, if they can muster the discipline. Sadly, discipline remains in
        > short supply!
        >
        > GB.
        >
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Gary Brown
        Hello, Michael, ... From: Mike Hill To: Sent: Saturday, April 19, 2008 6:09 PM Subject: Re:
        Message 3 of 22 , Apr 19, 2008
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          Hello, Michael,

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Mike Hill" <mike@...>
          To: <extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Saturday, April 19, 2008 6:09 PM
          Subject: Re: [XP] Quality Code - People or Process (WAS XP for startups
          (WAS: Open source/closed source))


          > Gary...
          >
          > I'm not Cory, of course, but I thought I'd kick in an answer anyway.
          >
          > My experience has been that code-quality is built by way of a complex
          > interlocking of the people *and *the process, with each pillar supporting
          > and enhancing the other.

          Yes, people having the discipline to follow the process!

          >
          > For instance, XP's pairing technique is an element of process, but it only
          > works to make high code-quality when the pair in question *expands *the
          > 'letter' of the process to encourage talking, thinking, and acting with a
          > strong sense of excellence.

          Excuse me, Sir, but pairing requires both parties to be engaged. Of course,
          that takes discipline from two people! What are the odds on that?!?

          >
          > I am a big advocate (inventor?) of 'random lunch and learn': spin the
          > spinner at 11:45, and at 12:00 the winner (or loser, depending on how its
          > seen), projects the code they've been working on during the week. The
          > attendees have no other agenda than to talk and learn about code quality.
          > I
          > have used this technique fairly often, with fair success, and it suggests
          > that it should be a process element. Nevertheless, I've seen it fail. If
          > the team is insufficiently healthy, *as individuals, *such sessions can
          > become nightmarish 'self-criticism' sessions, a kind of silicon
          > re-education
          > camp.

          I love the idea. I don't have your courage to put the average
          un-disciplined developer on the hot seat!

          >
          > Is there any real way to separate people from what people do? I'm not
          > sure
          > there is.

          I think we agree. People need to follow processes, if they and the
          processes are to be successful. My assertion is that too many of our peers
          don't have the self-discipline needed to write quality code. I'm not saying
          that they can't write quality code. I'm saying that they won't write
          quality code.

          There is your failing test, partner, make it pass!

          GB.
        • Ron Jeffries
          Hello, Gary. On Saturday, April 19, 2008, at 7:35:29 PM, you ... I d suggest that engagement is not solely, nor even primarily a matter of discipline. It
          Message 4 of 22 , Apr 19, 2008
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            Hello, Gary. On Saturday, April 19, 2008, at 7:35:29 PM, you
            wrote:

            >> For instance, XP's pairing technique is an element of process, but it only
            >> works to make high code-quality when the pair in question *expands *the
            >> 'letter' of the process to encourage talking, thinking, and acting with a
            >> strong sense of excellence.

            > Excuse me, Sir, but pairing requires both parties to be engaged. Of course,
            > that takes discipline from two people! What are the odds on that?!?

            I'd suggest that engagement is not solely, nor even primarily a
            matter of discipline. It doesn't take discipline to be interested
            in your favorite TV program. So there must be another way to get
            engagement besides discipline.

            Ron Jeffries
            www.XProgramming.com
            If you want to garden, you have to bend down and touch the soil.
            Gardening is a practice, not an idea.
            -- Thich Nhat Hanh
          • Cory Foy
            ... Flashy commercials? -- Cory Foy http://www.cornetdesign.com
            Message 5 of 22 , Apr 19, 2008
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              Ron Jeffries wrote:
              > I'd suggest that engagement is not solely, nor even primarily a
              > matter of discipline. It doesn't take discipline to be interested
              > in your favorite TV program. So there must be another way to get
              > engagement besides discipline.

              Flashy commercials?

              --
              Cory Foy
              http://www.cornetdesign.com
            • Cory Foy
              ... Hi Gary! ... It s a good question. I saw good code at places with crappy practices. And I saw crappy code at places with good practices. But in almost all
              Message 6 of 22 , Apr 19, 2008
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                Gary Brown wrote:
                > Hey, Cory,

                Hi Gary!

                > In your travels with Microsoft, how much quality code did you see?

                It's a good question. I saw good code at places with crappy practices.
                And I saw crappy code at places with good practices.

                But in almost all of the places, I saw code that was on par with the
                motivation of the teams in place. In other words, teams that were
                excited about what they were doing, and kept up with trends, etc, often
                had code they were proud of. Teams that liked their job, but basically
                were just there had code that worked and had issues, but they didn't
                mind. And teams that were just in a crappy place had code that was crappy.

                We had one customer where if we were on site for a CritSit, and the code
                was discovered to be yours, you were pretty much fired on the spot.
                Turnover was something like 70%. Not a little customer either.

                > What is the genesis of quality code? How is that quality maintained over
                > time?
                >
                > Is it the people or the process?

                It's really a sliding scale. There are multiple factors at play - how
                motivated the developers are, how engaged the customers are (or want to
                be), what language they are programming in, how they are treated by
                management, and what kinds of politics are at play.

                In each case, certain low ends of one area can be overcome by higher
                ends of others. For example, crappy management can be overcome by highly
                motivated developers. But when it stays out of balance, it eventually tips.

                > To me, XP makes quality code accessible to the
                > majority, if they can muster the discipline. Sadly, discipline remains in
                > short supply!

                You can learn a lot by dropping a napkin on the floor. See how many
                people walk past it.

                --
                Cory Foy
                http://www.cornetdesign.com
              • Steven Gordon
                Cory, I would be curious as to how much correlation you have observed between code quality and product success. Steve
                Message 7 of 22 , Apr 19, 2008
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                  Cory,

                  I would be curious as to how much correlation you have observed
                  between code quality and product success.

                  Steve

                  On Sat, Apr 19, 2008 at 5:42 PM, Cory Foy <usergroup@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Gary Brown wrote:
                  > > Hey, Cory,
                  >
                  > Hi Gary!
                  >
                  >
                  > > In your travels with Microsoft, how much quality code did you see?
                  >
                  > It's a good question. I saw good code at places with crappy practices.
                  > And I saw crappy code at places with good practices.
                  >
                  > But in almost all of the places, I saw code that was on par with the
                  > motivation of the teams in place. In other words, teams that were
                  > excited about what they were doing, and kept up with trends, etc, often
                  > had code they were proud of. Teams that liked their job, but basically
                  > were just there had code that worked and had issues, but they didn't
                  > mind. And teams that were just in a crappy place had code that was crappy.
                  >
                  > We had one customer where if we were on site for a CritSit, and the code
                  > was discovered to be yours, you were pretty much fired on the spot.
                  > Turnover was something like 70%. Not a little customer either.
                  >
                  >
                  > > What is the genesis of quality code? How is that quality maintained over
                  > > time?
                  > >
                  > > Is it the people or the process?
                  >
                  > It's really a sliding scale. There are multiple factors at play - how
                  > motivated the developers are, how engaged the customers are (or want to
                  > be), what language they are programming in, how they are treated by
                  > management, and what kinds of politics are at play.
                  >
                  > In each case, certain low ends of one area can be overcome by higher
                  > ends of others. For example, crappy management can be overcome by highly
                  > motivated developers. But when it stays out of balance, it eventually tips.
                  >
                  >
                  > > To me, XP makes quality code accessible to the
                  > > majority, if they can muster the discipline. Sadly, discipline remains in
                  > > short supply!
                  >
                  > You can learn a lot by dropping a napkin on the floor. See how many
                  > people walk past it.
                  >
                  >
                  > --
                  > Cory Foy
                  > http://www.cornetdesign.com
                • Gary Brown
                  Hi, Ron! ... From: Ron Jeffries To: Sent: Saturday, April 19, 2008 7:21 PM Subject: Re:
                  Message 8 of 22 , Apr 19, 2008
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                    Hi, Ron!

                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "Ron Jeffries" <ronjeffries@...>
                    To: <extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Saturday, April 19, 2008 7:21 PM
                    Subject: Re: [XP] Quality Code - People or Process (WAS XP for startups
                    (WAS: Open source/closed source))


                    > Hello, Gary. On Saturday, April 19, 2008, at 7:35:29 PM, you
                    > wrote:
                    >
                    >>> For instance, XP's pairing technique is an element of process, but it
                    >>> only
                    >>> works to make high code-quality when the pair in question *expands *the
                    >>> 'letter' of the process to encourage talking, thinking, and acting with
                    >>> a
                    >>> strong sense of excellence.
                    >
                    >> Excuse me, Sir, but pairing requires both parties to be engaged. Of
                    >> course,
                    >> that takes discipline from two people! What are the odds on that?!?
                    >
                    > I'd suggest that engagement is not solely, nor even primarily a
                    > matter of discipline. It doesn't take discipline to be interested
                    > in your favorite TV program. So there must be another way to get
                    > engagement besides discipline.

                    It takes discipline to turn on your favorite TV program.

                    GB.
                  • Ron Jeffries
                    Hello, Gary. On Saturday, April 19, 2008, at 9:31:30 PM, you ... OK ... Ron Jeffries www.XProgramming.com Design is the thinking one does before, during, and
                    Message 9 of 22 , Apr 19, 2008
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                      Hello, Gary. On Saturday, April 19, 2008, at 9:31:30 PM, you
                      wrote:

                      >> I'd suggest that engagement is not solely, nor even primarily a
                      >> matter of discipline. It doesn't take discipline to be interested
                      >> in your favorite TV program. So there must be another way to get
                      >> engagement besides discipline.

                      > It takes discipline to turn on your favorite TV program.

                      OK ...

                      Ron Jeffries
                      www.XProgramming.com
                      Design is the thinking one does before, during, and after
                      implementation. It works best for me with a little up front, most of
                      it during implementation, and very little after it's too late.
                    • Cory Foy
                      Hi Steven, ... One merely has to browse the archives of The Old New Thing http://blogs.msdn.com/oldnewthing/ to see that code quality and product success
                      Message 10 of 22 , Apr 19, 2008
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                        Hi Steven,

                        Steven Gordon wrote:
                        > I would be curious as to how much correlation you have observed
                        > between code quality and product success.

                        One merely has to browse the archives of "The Old New Thing"
                        http://blogs.msdn.com/oldnewthing/ to see that code quality and product
                        success don't have to go hand in hand.

                        I've seen some pretty awful code that was "good enough" to work, or get
                        the funding, or whatever. At one startup in North Carolina, our mail
                        server for our entire company was a single Perl script. And the only
                        reason we moved off of it was that the devs we got the script from used
                        int's or something, so we ran out of numbers and it crashed. They simply
                        hadn't planned for anyone to do that. The code was buggy as all get out
                        (not that moving to Exchange made it much better ;))

                        But, if you need to scale with limited resources, then code quality
                        becomes important. If you don't have 1000 people to throw at getting
                        features in - and usually you have more like 2 people - then being able
                        to understand, modify, and test the code is critical to being able to
                        stay agile. And for a startup, that can be the difference between life
                        and death.

                        --
                        Cory Foy
                        http://www.cornetdesign.com
                      • Gary Brown
                        ... From: Ron Jeffries To: Sent: Saturday, April 19, 2008 9:02 PM Subject: Re: [XP]
                        Message 11 of 22 , Apr 19, 2008
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                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "Ron Jeffries" <ronjeffries@...>
                          To: <extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Saturday, April 19, 2008 9:02 PM
                          Subject: Re: [XP] Quality Code - People or Process (WAS XP for startups
                          (WAS: Open source/closed source))


                          > Hello, Gary. On Saturday, April 19, 2008, at 9:31:30 PM, you
                          > wrote:
                          >
                          >>> I'd suggest that engagement is not solely, nor even primarily a
                          >>> matter of discipline. It doesn't take discipline to be interested
                          >>> in your favorite TV program. So there must be another way to get
                          >>> engagement besides discipline.
                          >
                          >> It takes discipline to turn on your favorite TV program.
                          >
                          > OK ...

                          You have to do something. Turn on the TV, change the channel. Or perhaps,
                          watch 100 things that you don't like until your favorite program comes on.
                          Maybe that's the perfect metaphor for lack of discipline!

                          GB.


                          >
                          > Ron Jeffries
                          > www.XProgramming.com
                          > Design is the thinking one does before, during, and after
                          > implementation. It works best for me with a little up front, most of
                          > it during implementation, and very little after it's too late.
                          >
                          >
                          > ------------------------------------
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                          > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
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                          >
                          >
                          >
                        • Phlip
                          ... The best codebase I ever worked with; it got brought down by executive malfeasance. It was a technical success. The worst codebase benefited from dumb
                          Message 12 of 22 , Apr 20, 2008
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                            Steven Gordon wrote:

                            > I would be curious as to how much correlation you have observed
                            > between code quality and product success.

                            The best codebase I ever worked with; it got brought down by executive
                            malfeasance. It was a technical success.

                            The worst codebase benefited from dumb mistakes among the competition.

                            Between those two extremes, the better the codebase, the faster and more agile
                            we were.

                            --
                            Phlip
                          • Michael and Diana Finney
                            For workaholics. It takes discipline to remember to have fun; to refuel the passion which got us here in the first place. Michael -- Michael Finney - Always
                            Message 13 of 22 , Apr 20, 2008
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                              For workaholics. It takes discipline to remember to have fun; to refuel the
                              passion which got us 'here' in the first place.

                              Michael

                              --
                              Michael Finney - "Always Striving To Serve You Better Every Day"
                              finney@...
                              http://www.SmilingSoftwareSolutions.com

                              >> It takes discipline to turn on your favorite TV program.
                              >
                              > OK ...

                              You have to do something. Turn on the TV, change the channel. Or perhaps,
                              watch 100 things that you don't like until your favorite program comes on.
                              Maybe that's the perfect metaphor for lack of discipline!

                              GB.



                              No virus found in this outgoing message.
                              Checked by AVG.
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                              11:31 AM
                            • John A. De Goes
                              Hi Gary, ... I think it s possible to increase engagement by allowing both parties to edit the code at the same time. ... Is it about discipline, or is it
                              Message 14 of 22 , Apr 20, 2008
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                                Hi Gary,

                                On Apr 19, 2008, at 5:35 PM, Gary Brown wrote:
                                > Excuse me, Sir, but pairing requires both parties to be engaged. Of
                                > course,
                                > that takes discipline from two people! What are the odds on that?!?
                                >

                                I think it's possible to increase engagement by allowing both parties
                                to edit the code at the same time.

                                > I think we agree. People need to follow processes, if they and the
                                > processes are to be successful. My assertion is that too many of our
                                > peers
                                > don't have the self-discipline needed to write quality code. I'm not
                                > saying
                                > that they can't write quality code. I'm saying that they won't write
                                > quality code.
                                >

                                Is it about discipline, or is it about the environment in which
                                developers are working? How many developers receive mixed signals from
                                management? How many are stripped of intrinsic motivation and pride in
                                their work by management practices such as forced rankings,
                                performance reviews, impossible deadlines, and the like?

                                Regards,

                                John A. De Goes
                                N-BRAIN, Inc.
                                http://www.n-brain.net
                                [n minds are better than n-1]
                              • Gary Brown
                                Hi, John, ... From: John A. De Goes To: Sent: Sunday, April 20, 2008 3:30 PM Subject: Re: [XP]
                                Message 15 of 22 , Apr 20, 2008
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                                  Hi, John,

                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                  From: "John A. De Goes" <john@...>
                                  To: <extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com>
                                  Sent: Sunday, April 20, 2008 3:30 PM
                                  Subject: Re: [XP] Quality Code - People or Process (WAS XP for startups
                                  (WAS: Open source/closed source))


                                  >
                                  > Hi Gary,
                                  >
                                  > On Apr 19, 2008, at 5:35 PM, Gary Brown wrote:
                                  >> Excuse me, Sir, but pairing requires both parties to be engaged. Of
                                  >> course,
                                  >> that takes discipline from two people! What are the odds on that?!?
                                  >>
                                  >
                                  > I think it's possible to increase engagement by allowing both parties
                                  > to edit the code at the same time.

                                  I agree. That's how we do it.

                                  >
                                  >> I think we agree. People need to follow processes, if they and the
                                  >> processes are to be successful. My assertion is that too many of our
                                  >> peers
                                  >> don't have the self-discipline needed to write quality code. I'm not
                                  >> saying
                                  >> that they can't write quality code. I'm saying that they won't write
                                  >> quality code.
                                  >>
                                  >
                                  > Is it about discipline, or is it about the environment in which
                                  > developers are working? How many developers receive mixed signals from
                                  > management? How many are stripped of intrinsic motivation and pride in
                                  > their work by management practices such as forced rankings,
                                  > performance reviews, impossible deadlines, and the like?

                                  I must have an unusual understanding of the word discipline. One possible
                                  definition is punishment. That is not what I am talking about. I mean
                                  self-discipline, doing the right thing every time to the best of my ability,
                                  not being lazy, always giving my best effort. It comes from within. I
                                  think it is the difference between being good and being great.

                                  One of Ron's .sigs, "How good do you want to be? When?

                                  GB.
                                • John A. De Goes
                                  ... Simultaneously, or separately? Separately, and you revert to solo coding, which has none of the benefits of pairing. ... I come from the point of view that
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Apr 20, 2008
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                                    On Apr 20, 2008, at 5:04 PM, Gary Brown wrote:
                                    > > I think it's possible to increase engagement by allowing both
                                    > parties
                                    > > to edit the code at the same time.
                                    >
                                    > I agree. That's how we do it.
                                    >

                                    Simultaneously, or separately? Separately, and you revert to solo
                                    coding, which has none of the benefits of pairing.

                                    > > Is it about discipline, or is it about the environment in which
                                    > > developers are working? How many developers receive mixed signals
                                    > from
                                    > > management? How many are stripped of intrinsic motivation and
                                    > pride in
                                    > > their work by management practices such as forced rankings,
                                    > > performance reviews, impossible deadlines, and the like?
                                    >
                                    > I must have an unusual understanding of the word discipline. One
                                    > possible
                                    > definition is punishment. That is not what I am talking about. I mean
                                    > self-discipline, doing the right thing every time to the best of my
                                    > ability,
                                    > not being lazy, always giving my best effort. It comes from within. I
                                    > think it is the difference between being good and being great.
                                    >

                                    I come from the point of view that employees are extremely adept at
                                    figuring out and delivering whatever it is that the company wants from
                                    them. Which is seldom what the company says it wants.

                                    For example, many companies say they want quality. But they don't
                                    spend the time or money necessary to train their employees. They set
                                    deadlines for work. They reward people who crank out volumes of code
                                    in a short amount of time. The actions of management do not proclaim
                                    loudly and consistently of a culture dedicated to quality. As a
                                    result, the quality mandate is lost in a field of contradicting signals.

                                    Granted, I think it's possible for individuals to deliver what they
                                    value, in spite of mixed signals from the company. But you can't
                                    expect them to do so.

                                    Regards,

                                    John A. De Goes
                                    N-BRAIN, Inc.
                                    http://www.n-brain.net
                                    [n minds are better than n-1]
                                  • Gary Brown
                                    ... From: John A. De Goes To: Sent: Sunday, April 20, 2008 7:04 PM Subject: Re: [XP] Quality Code -
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Apr 20, 2008
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                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                      From: "John A. De Goes" <john@...>
                                      To: <extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com>
                                      Sent: Sunday, April 20, 2008 7:04 PM
                                      Subject: Re: [XP] Quality Code - People or Process (WAS XP for startups
                                      (WAS: Open source/closed source))


                                      > On Apr 20, 2008, at 5:04 PM, Gary Brown wrote:
                                      >> > I think it's possible to increase engagement by allowing both
                                      >> parties
                                      >> > to edit the code at the same time.
                                      >>
                                      >> I agree. That's how we do it.
                                      >>
                                      >
                                      > Simultaneously, or separately? Separately, and you revert to solo
                                      > coding, which has none of the benefits of pairing.

                                      If I write a failing test, and you make it pass, is that simultaneously or
                                      separately?

                                      GB.
                                    • Chris Dollin
                                      ... Commercials, flashy or not, are /disengagers/. IME. Hence eg the value of the Boxed Set. -- Some of these , Hazleton had said, looking at a /A
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Apr 21, 2008
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                                        On Sunday 20 April 2008 01:34:23 Cory Foy wrote:
                                        > Ron Jeffries wrote:
                                        > > I'd suggest that engagement is not solely, nor even primarily a
                                        > > matter of discipline. It doesn't take discipline to be interested
                                        > > in your favorite TV program. So there must be another way to get
                                        > > engagement besides discipline.
                                        >
                                        > Flashy commercials?

                                        Commercials, flashy or not, are /disengagers/. IME. Hence eg the value
                                        of the Boxed Set.

                                        --
                                        "Some of these", Hazleton had said, looking at a /A Clash of Cymbals/
                                        just-completed tangle of wires, lenses, antennae and
                                        kernels of metal with rueful respect, "ought to prove pretty potent in the
                                        pinch. I just wish I knew which ones they were."

                                        Hewlett-Packard Limited registered office: Cain Road, Bracknell,
                                        registered no: 690597 England Berks RG12 1HN
                                      • Gary Brown
                                        Hi, John, ... From: John A. De Goes To: Sent: Sunday, April 20, 2008 7:04 PM Subject: Re: [XP]
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Apr 21, 2008
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                                          Hi, John,

                                          ----- Original Message -----
                                          From: "John A. De Goes" <john@...>
                                          To: <extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com>
                                          Sent: Sunday, April 20, 2008 7:04 PM
                                          Subject: Re: [XP] Quality Code - People or Process (WAS XP for startups
                                          (WAS: Open source/closed source))


                                          > On Apr 20, 2008, at 5:04 PM, Gary Brown wrote:
                                          >> I must have an unusual understanding of the word discipline. One
                                          >> possible
                                          >> definition is punishment. That is not what I am talking about. I mean
                                          >> self-discipline, doing the right thing every time to the best of my
                                          >> ability,
                                          >> not being lazy, always giving my best effort. It comes from within. I
                                          >> think it is the difference between being good and being great.
                                          >>
                                          >
                                          > I come from the point of view that employees are extremely adept at
                                          > figuring out and delivering whatever it is that the company wants from
                                          > them. Which is seldom what the company says it wants.
                                          >
                                          > For example, many companies say they want quality. But they don't
                                          > spend the time or money necessary to train their employees. They set
                                          > deadlines for work. They reward people who crank out volumes of code
                                          > in a short amount of time. The actions of management do not proclaim
                                          > loudly and consistently of a culture dedicated to quality. As a
                                          > result, the quality mandate is lost in a field of contradicting signals.
                                          >
                                          > Granted, I think it's possible for individuals to deliver what they
                                          > value, in spite of mixed signals from the company. But you can't
                                          > expect them to do so.

                                          Been there, done that, don't work there anymore.

                                          Companies don't create jobs for our pleasure, they create jobs for their
                                          profit.

                                          There are companies that do the right things. There are employees who do
                                          the right things. Good things happen when those two come together!

                                          GB.
                                        • John A. De Goes
                                          Sequentially and separately, not simultaneously. However, that seems to be a good technique to keep both parties engaged (as long as the pair switches roles
                                          Message 20 of 22 , Apr 24, 2008
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                                            Sequentially and separately, not simultaneously.

                                            However, that seems to be a good technique to keep both parties
                                            engaged (as long as the pair switches roles every once in a while).

                                            Regards,

                                            John A. De Goes
                                            N-BRAIN, Inc.
                                            http://www.n-brain.net
                                            [n minds are better than n-1]

                                            On Apr 20, 2008, at 8:35 PM, Gary Brown wrote:
                                            >
                                            > ----- Original Message -----
                                            > From: "John A. De Goes" <john@...>
                                            > To: <extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com>
                                            > Sent: Sunday, April 20, 2008 7:04 PM
                                            > Subject: Re: [XP] Quality Code - People or Process (WAS XP for
                                            > startups
                                            > (WAS: Open source/closed source))
                                            >
                                            > > On Apr 20, 2008, at 5:04 PM, Gary Brown wrote:
                                            > >> > I think it's possible to increase engagement by allowing both
                                            > >> parties
                                            > >> > to edit the code at the same time.
                                            > >>
                                            > >> I agree. That's how we do it.
                                            > >>
                                            > >
                                            > > Simultaneously, or separately? Separately, and you revert to solo
                                            > > coding, which has none of the benefits of pairing.
                                            >
                                            > If I write a failing test, and you make it pass, is that
                                            > simultaneously or
                                            > separately?
                                            >
                                            > GB.
                                            >
                                          • John A. De Goes
                                            ... I think the two are related. The company s long-term profit is tied to the psychological debt (or profit) of its employees. Which is yet another reason why
                                            Message 21 of 22 , Apr 24, 2008
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                                              On Apr 21, 2008, at 4:57 PM, Gary Brown wrote:
                                              > Companies don't create jobs for our pleasure, they create jobs for
                                              > their
                                              > profit.
                                              >

                                              I think the two are related. The company's long-term profit is tied to
                                              the psychological debt (or profit) of its employees. Which is yet
                                              another reason why the aim of every company should be for everyone to
                                              gain.

                                              As Deming says in /The New Economics/,

                                              "The aim proposed here for any organization is for everybody to gain
                                              -- stockholders, employees, suppliers, customers, community, the
                                              environment -- over the long term. For example, with respect to
                                              employees, the aim might be to provide for them good management,
                                              opportunities for training and education for further growth, plus
                                              other contributors to joy in work and quality of life."

                                              Regards,

                                              John A. De Goes
                                              N-BRAIN, Inc.
                                              http://www.n-brain.net
                                              [n minds are better than n-1]
                                            • Osias Jota
                                              ... Blondie cheerleaders with Wolverine s regeneration powers? [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                              Message 22 of 22 , May 14 1:30 PM
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                                                >> I'd suggest that engagement is not solely, nor even primarily a
                                                >> matter of discipline. It doesn't take discipline to be interested
                                                >> in your favorite TV program. So there must be another way to get
                                                >> engagement besides discipline.

                                                >Flashy commercials?


                                                Blondie cheerleaders with Wolverine's regeneration powers?


                                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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