Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

What shouldn't have worked, but did?

Expand Messages
  • George Paci
    All, In the ten years I ve been doing XP, the same thing keeps happening: First, I get so attached to a particular practice (large or small) that I mistakenly
    Message 1 of 13 , Jun 8, 2011
    • 0 Attachment
      All,

      In the ten years I've been doing XP, the same thing keeps happening:
      First, I get so attached to a particular practice (large or small)
      that I mistakenly think it's absolutely necessary. Second, I see a
      team that doesn't use that practice (or adds some strange practice),
      and figure they're making a mistake. Third, their customization
      (omission or addition) works out well for them.

      I've got a little list, but I'd like to make it bigger. So here's the
      question:

      What have you seen teams do that couldn't possibly work,
      but ended up working anyway? Why?


      Thanks,
      --George <gpaci at tiac dot net>

      PS: Check out Bob Payne's Agile Toolkit podcasts:
      http://agiletoolkit.libsyn.com/


      By-the-book XP is like an off-the-rack suit: it's not likely to fit
      you perfectly, but you'd better try it on before you make alterations.
    • JeffGrigg
      ... A skilled and motivated team will be successful almost regardless of what barriers you put in their way. If needed, they ll lie, defy authority, violate
      Message 2 of 13 , Jun 8, 2011
      • 0 Attachment
        --- George Paci <gpaci@...> wrote:
        > What have you seen teams do that couldn't possibly work,
        > but ended up working anyway? Why?

        A skilled and motivated team will be successful almost regardless of what barriers you put in their way. If needed, they'll lie, defy authority, violate rules and procedures to succeed. You can stop them by firing the members, but if they ignore empty threats, what are you gonna' do? >;->
      • paul
        ... Automated testing and continuous integration (i.e. lack of) Ive seen a project where they managed to develop software without any substantial ability to
        Message 3 of 13 , Aug 19, 2011
        • 0 Attachment
          --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, George Paci <gpaci@...> wrote:
          >
          > All,
          >
          > In the ten years I've been doing XP, the same thing keeps happening:
          > First, I get so attached to a particular practice (large or small)
          > that I mistakenly think it's absolutely necessary. Second, I see a
          > team that doesn't use that practice (or adds some strange practice),
          > and figure they're making a mistake. Third, their customization
          > (omission or addition) works out well for them.
          >
          > I've got a little list, but I'd like to make it bigger. So here's the
          > question:
          >
          > What have you seen teams do that couldn't possibly work,
          > but ended up working anyway? Why?
          >

          Automated testing and continuous integration (i.e. lack of)

          Ive seen a project where they managed to develop software without any substantial ability to test changes before they checked code in. They a had a prinkling of unit tests but in a heavily layered SOA Web app you need a decent amount of automated functional/acceptance style tests which they completely lacked.

          Progress was excrutiatingly slow as you would expect but by some miracle they actually managed to get a working build every week or so :-). The primary mitigation strategy was for individual developers never to change code outside what they were immediately working on.

          Its a constant source of wonder to me what you can make work if you devote enough energy to it. But then an awful lot of software was written before agile came on the schene.
        • paul
          ... No collective code ownership. Counless times I ve seen projects and teams with heavy specialisms at all levels and in many cases it worked reasonably well.
          Message 4 of 13 , Aug 19, 2011
          • 0 Attachment
            --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, George Paci <gpaci@...> wrote:
            >
            > All,
            >
            > In the ten years I've been doing XP, the same thing keeps happening:
            > First, I get so attached to a particular practice (large or small)
            > that I mistakenly think it's absolutely necessary. Second, I see a
            > team that doesn't use that practice (or adds some strange practice),
            > and figure they're making a mistake. Third, their customization
            > (omission or addition) works out well for them.
            >
            > I've got a little list, but I'd like to make it bigger. So here's the
            > question:
            >
            > What have you seen teams do that couldn't possibly work,
            > but ended up working anyway? Why?

            No collective code ownership.

            Counless times I've seen projects and teams with heavy specialisms at all levels and in many cases it worked reasonably well.
          • RonJeffries
            Hi paul ... ... I m not sure I d call that working so much as limping or struggling . Ron Jeffries www.XProgramming.com I try to Zen through it and keep
            Message 5 of 13 , Aug 19, 2011
            • 0 Attachment
              Hi paul ...

              On Aug 19, 2011, at 10:22 AM, paul wrote:

              > Progress was excrutiatingly slow as you would expect but by some miracle they actually managed to get a working build every week or so :-). The primary mitigation strategy was for individual developers never to change code outside what they were immediately working on.


              I'm not sure I'd call that "working" so much as "limping" or "struggling".

              Ron Jeffries
              www.XProgramming.com
              I try to Zen through it and keep my voice very mellow and low.
              Inside I am screaming and have a machine gun.
              Yin and Yang I figure.
              -- Tom Jeffries



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Brad Stiles
              ... As one who s had to work in that type of environment, I d agree with Ron s assessment.
              Message 6 of 13 , Aug 19, 2011
              • 0 Attachment
                > On Aug 19, 2011, at 10:22 AM, paul wrote:
                >
                >> Progress was excrutiatingly slow as you would expect but by some miracle they actually managed to get
                >> a working build every week or so :-). The primary mitigation strategy was for individual developers never to
                >> change code outside what they were immediately working on.
                >
                >
                > I'm not sure I'd call that "working" so much as "limping" or "struggling".
                >
                > Ron Jeffries

                As one who's had to work in that type of environment, I'd agree with
                Ron's assessment.
              • Charlie Poole
                Hi Brad & Ron, I agree as well, but I do think this points out something interesting about adoption. Those of us who have been there in fact have a different
                Message 7 of 13 , Aug 19, 2011
                • 0 Attachment
                  Hi Brad & Ron,

                  I agree as well, but I do think this points out something interesting about
                  adoption.

                  Those of us who have been there in fact have a different definition of a
                  "working"
                  project than those who haven't and it's hard to convince them that there's a

                  whole other level of "working" when they have never seen it.

                  I ran into this with my first experience of XP and wrote about it as the
                  "acceptable
                  level of failure."

                  Charlie

                  On Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 8:07 AM, Brad Stiles <bradley.stiles@...>wrote:

                  > **
                  >
                  >
                  > > On Aug 19, 2011, at 10:22 AM, paul wrote:
                  > >
                  > >> Progress was excrutiatingly slow as you would expect but by some miracle
                  > they actually managed to get
                  > >> a working build every week or so :-). The primary mitigation strategy
                  > was for individual developers never to
                  > >> change code outside what they were immediately working on.
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > I'm not sure I'd call that "working" so much as "limping" or
                  > "struggling".
                  > >
                  > > Ron Jeffries
                  >
                  > As one who's had to work in that type of environment, I'd agree with
                  > Ron's assessment.
                  >
                  >
                  >


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Adam Sroka
                  The entire notion of work being fun is foreign to a large portion of our industry. That doesn t mean that we should put ourselves back in shackles, it only
                  Message 8 of 13 , Aug 19, 2011
                  • 0 Attachment
                    The entire notion of work being fun is foreign to a large portion of
                    our industry. That doesn't mean that we should put ourselves back in
                    shackles, it only means that we need to sing louder and get more of
                    them to come see what the fuss is about.

                    On Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 8:54 AM, Charlie Poole <charliepoole@...> wrote:
                    > Hi Brad & Ron,
                    >
                    > I agree as well, but I do think this points out something interesting about
                    > adoption.
                    >
                    > Those of us who have been there in fact have a different definition of a
                    > "working"
                    > project than those who haven't and it's hard to convince them that there's a
                    >
                    > whole other level of "working" when they have never seen it.
                    >
                    > I ran into this with my first experience of XP and wrote about it as the
                    > "acceptable
                    > level of failure."
                    >
                    > Charlie
                    >
                    > On Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 8:07 AM, Brad Stiles <bradley.stiles@...>wrote:
                    >
                    >> **
                    >>
                    >>
                    >> > On Aug 19, 2011, at 10:22 AM, paul wrote:
                    >> >
                    >> >> Progress was excrutiatingly slow as you would expect but by some miracle
                    >> they actually managed to get
                    >> >> a working build every week or so :-). The primary mitigation strategy
                    >> was for individual developers never to
                    >> >> change code outside what they were immediately working on.
                    >> >
                    >> >
                    >> > I'm not sure I'd call that "working" so much as "limping" or
                    >> "struggling".
                    >> >
                    >> > Ron Jeffries
                    >>
                    >> As one who's had to work in that type of environment, I'd agree with
                    >> Ron's assessment.
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ------------------------------------
                    >
                    > To Post a message, send it to:   extremeprogramming@...
                    >
                    > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                    >
                    > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.comYahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • Kay A Pentecost
                    Hi, Adam, I once asked my boss (the owner of the company) for his definition of work. Anything that isn t fun, he replied. Kay Pentecost ... From:
                    Message 9 of 13 , Aug 21, 2011
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Hi, Adam,

                      I once asked my boss (the owner of the company) for his definition of work.
                      "Anything that isn't fun," he replied.

                      Kay Pentecost

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                      [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Adam Sroka
                      Sent: Friday, August 19, 2011 1:26 PM
                      To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [XP] Re: What shouldn't have worked, but did?

                      The entire notion of work being fun is foreign to a large portion of
                      our industry. That doesn't mean that we should put ourselves back in
                      shackles, it only means that we need to sing louder and get more of
                      them to come see what the fuss is about.
                    • Adam Sroka
                      The idea that there is a dichotomy between work and play, and ultimately that you should do each as hard as you can but at distinct times, is very pervasive in
                      Message 10 of 13 , Aug 21, 2011
                      • 0 Attachment
                        The idea that there is a dichotomy between work and play, and ultimately
                        that you should do each as hard as you can but at distinct times, is very
                        pervasive in our culture. It is unfortunate, because it seems to make us
                        miss opportunities for both.

                        On Sun, Aug 21, 2011 at 5:06 PM, Kay A Pentecost <tranzpupy@...>wrote:

                        > **
                        >
                        >
                        > Hi, Adam,
                        >
                        > I once asked my boss (the owner of the company) for his definition of work.
                        > "Anything that isn't fun," he replied.
                        >
                        > Kay Pentecost
                        >
                        > -----Original Message-----
                        > From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                        > [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Adam Sroka
                        > Sent: Friday, August 19, 2011 1:26 PM
                        > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                        > Subject: Re: [XP] Re: What shouldn't have worked, but did?
                        >
                        >
                        > The entire notion of work being fun is foreign to a large portion of
                        > our industry. That doesn't mean that we should put ourselves back in
                        > shackles, it only means that we need to sing louder and get more of
                        > them to come see what the fuss is about.
                        >
                        >
                        >


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • JeffGrigg
                        ... Work: 1. The use of a force to move an object a certain distance. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_scientific_definition_of_work 2. Work is the curse
                        Message 11 of 13 , Aug 22, 2011
                        • 0 Attachment
                          --- "Kay A Pentecost" <tranzpupy@...> wrote:
                          > I once asked my boss (the owner of the company) for his
                          > definition of work. "Anything that isn't fun," he replied.

                          Work:

                          1. The use of a force to move an object a certain distance.

                          http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_scientific_definition_of_work

                          2. "Work is the curse of the drinking class." >;->


                          If it was all fun, then we shouldn't expect to get paid for it. But if it is not enjoyable, at least some of the time, then it would be pretty sick for us to keep doing it.


                          I went white water rafting down The Rogue River in Oregon. (4 days, 3 nights of camping) Beautiful and fun. They sell a T-shirt that says, "Work Sucks. I'm going on the river." And yet, we paid the guides to take us on the trip. (Run the rafts, set up camp, cook meals, keep us safe, etc.) They only hire people with a passion for it. But still, taking care of tourists is some part work and some part fun for them. If they were completely free to do what they wanted, they might still be rafting down rivers -- but probably not exactly how we were doing it.
                        • Dave Rooney
                          ... In his fantastic book Play , Dr. Stuart Brown says, The opposite of play isn t work, it s depression. Dave Rooney | Agile Coach and Co-founder Westboro
                          Message 12 of 13 , Aug 22, 2011
                          • 0 Attachment
                            > The idea that there is a dichotomy between work and play, and ultimately
                            > that you should do each as hard as you can but at distinct times, is very
                            > pervasive in our culture. It is unfortunate, because it seems to make us
                            > miss opportunities for both.
                            >


                            In his fantastic book "Play", Dr. Stuart Brown says, "The opposite of play isn't work, it's depression."

                            Dave Rooney | Agile Coach and Co-founder
                            Westboro Systems - Agile Coaching, Training, Organizational Transformation.
                            Blog | Twitter | LinkedIn



                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • paul
                            I took the spirit of the question to be what should, on paper, have been a complete train smash but somehow worked albeit in some limited way I m not going
                            Message 13 of 13 , Oct 31, 2011
                            • 0 Attachment
                              I took the spirit of the question to be "what should, on paper, have been a complete train smash but somehow worked albeit in some limited way"

                              I'm not going advocating the situation I described as a model to emulate :-) but its still interesting to note that approaches that appear to be completely disfunctional can sometimes be made to produce something.

                              --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, RonJeffries <ronjeffries@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Hi paul ...
                              >
                              > On Aug 19, 2011, at 10:22 AM, paul wrote:
                              >
                              > > Progress was excrutiatingly slow as you would expect but by some miracle they actually managed to get a working build every week or so :-). The primary mitigation strategy was for individual developers never to change code outside what they were immediately working on.
                              >
                              >
                              > I'm not sure I'd call that "working" so much as "limping" or "struggling".
                              >
                              > Ron Jeffries
                              > www.XProgramming.com
                              > I try to Zen through it and keep my voice very mellow and low.
                              > Inside I am screaming and have a machine gun.
                              > Yin and Yang I figure.
                              > -- Tom Jeffries
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              >
                            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.