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Ego or hive mind? (was RE: [XP] Re: justifying XP design principl es)

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  • Blum, Robert
    ... That s a pretty harsh judgment. In my experience, people don t just become egoless drones when they do XP. ... Having an ego is not automatically a
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 1, 2001
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      > From: Jason Rogers [mailto:jason.rogers@...]
      > > > Some things XP promotes (intentionally or not) is to
      > deny the self,
      > > > assume the best of others, play well with others -- in general
      > > > better social skills.
      >
      > > In what way does XP promote denying the self? I
      > haven't seen anything
      > > like that.
      >
      > There is no "My", "Mine" or "I" in team. There is no room
      > for egos in XP.

      That's a pretty harsh judgment. In my experience, people don't just become
      egoless drones when they do XP.

      > If anyone on the team has an ego problem, the team will
      > quickly recognize it
      > and its mal-effects! It will most likely be diffused quickly.

      Having an ego is not automatically a problem. Having an inflated ego is a
      problem. I am glad my team members do have egos. They believe in their
      ideas, and they fight for them. If one of them believes their approach is
      the right approach, we actually have to disprove them. It's not enough to
      just team-vote the uncomfortable solution out.

      That leads to a more sound design, and to a better sense of ownership.
      Everybody feels the project is 'his' project - he invested serious work. Yet
      we have shared ownership, since _everybody_ invested work.

      > The fact that "I" can sign up for some task is misleading.
      > Sure I choose
      > what "I" would like to work on, but "I" don't work on it
      > alone. "I" always
      > have to have someone with me as my other half, therefore it
      > isn't "I" it is
      > "we". Even at sign-up time it is a potential "we."

      But "I" am still responsible for getting it done. If it's not finished, "I"
      can't blame it on my partners - "I" have to decrease my velocity for the
      next iteration.

      As nice as the concept of a hive mind is, I don't think it will work with
      human beings.

      As a sidenote - so far I've personally seen (read: no insult to the poster
      following!) one 'ego-less' XP team. It was mostly just a playground for a
      manager with a very big ego. After all, he can shut down every opponent with
      the complaint that they have too much ego - pretty convenient....

      I am NOT saying that is necessarily so - just personal experience so far.

      > Again, these are my obsevations on XP. I am more than
      > willing to be proved
      > incorrect. However, I will say that my observations (which
      > are constantly
      > developing and emerging - much like the system in XP) have
      > made XP eXtremely
      > effective for me.

      Same here - but I believe ego is a crucial part of the process. But maybe
      it's a personality thing. I know I _need_ a productive sort of conflict.
      There's nothing worse for me than people just accepting my ideas silently,
      nodding (or nodding off?)


      Given the fact that I don't really have seen too much XP in action, our team
      might be the odd case out. What are other peoples' XPeriences? Ego or hive
      mind?

      Bye,
      Robert
    • azami@speakeasy.net
      ... maybe ... conflict. ... silently, ... I agree 100%. I don t know how many meetings (e.g., design reviews) I ve been in where all the reviewers just nodded
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 1, 2001
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        --- In extremeprogramming@y..., "Blum, Robert" <rblum@m...> wrote:
        > Same here - but I believe ego is a crucial part of the process. But
        maybe
        > it's a personality thing. I know I _need_ a productive sort of
        conflict.
        > There's nothing worse for me than people just accepting my ideas
        silently,
        > nodding (or nodding off?)

        I agree 100%. I don't know how many meetings (e.g., design reviews)
        I've been in where all the reviewers just nodded or said, "Uh-huh,
        looks okay to me." If it's my work being reviewed, that gives me no
        extra confidence. Withstanding strong opposition - or getting
        strong allegiance - gives me confidence.

        As a result, I'm always very vocal when reviewing others' work. I get
        plenty of ribbing for it, too - I'm the one who makes the meetings
        really long! :-) But I do think it's important to seriously hunt for
        holes!

        -Matthew
        azami@...
      • dmitry@yahoo.com
        ... become ... I think the problem here is that the word ego means different things to different people. There are at least two mutually opposed definitions
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 1, 2001
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          > > There is no "My", "Mine" or "I" in team. There is no room
          > > for egos in XP.
          >
          > That's a pretty harsh judgment. In my experience, people don't just
          become
          > egoless drones when they do XP.

          I think the problem here is that the word "ego" means different
          things to different people. There are at least two mutually opposed
          definitions for it: "an exaggerated sense of self-importance;
          conceit" and "appropriate pride in oneself; self-esteem".
          (http://www.dictionary.com/cgi-bin/dict.pl?term=ego).

          If you use the first definition, "ego" is definitely something XP
          doesn't tolerate. If you use the second one, it would seem to be
          something that XP practices would encourage and foster in team
          members.

          Dmitry
        • bchambless@nrlssc.navy.mil
          ... Absolutely! I ve known programmers whose biggest flaw was the lack of the second for of ego . Put them in a team with people who have too much of the
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 4, 2001
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            --- In extremeprogramming@y..., dmitry@y... wrote:


            > I think the problem here is that the word "ego" means different
            > things to different people. There are at least two mutually opposed
            > definitions for it: "an exaggerated sense of self-importance;
            > conceit" and "appropriate pride in oneself; self-esteem".
            > (http://www.dictionary.com/cgi-bin/dict.pl?term=ego).

            > If you use the first definition, "ego" is definitely something XP
            > doesn't tolerate. If you use the second one, it would seem to be
            > something that XP practices would encourage and foster in team
            > members.

            Absolutely!

            I've known programmers whose biggest flaw was the lack of the
            second for of "ego". Put them in a team with people who have
            too much of the first form, and things get really interesting.
            it almost requires a coach/moderator/leader to draw out the
            more timid team members (and to chill out the otheres!).
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