Re: [scrumdevelopment] Question
- Greetings all,
I've been hanging around the OpenBSD mailing lists for years, and
this sort of issues is a massively recurring one there. And the answer
that group had was, "read the %*@$ FAQs and manual pages before
posting and then we won't abuse you for asking dumb questions" (and I'm
not exaggerating here). Three things have happened as a result.
1. With the exception of tangents on legal issues of software
development, the quality of the discussion is very very high, as far as
technical and design content, which, for most lists, is the point.
2. A culture of excellence has emerged, but with a large group of
3. New users are initimidated, and tend to not post unless they're
brave, foolish, or have exhausted all documentation in their search for
This approach has worked for that group, especially since there are
alot of chickens among the intimidated folk, and I think that fact
sparked the whole snarky arrogance thing. Chickens in this case are
users who are not involved with adding features, but who request lots of
them. When you get chickens in with the pigs, the pigs get really
really irate. It shows up more in that forum, because the chickens
don't have the kind of power in an open-source project that they do when
they control budgets, so the pigs feel free to heap slop on the
chickens. What I would hate is for pigs to get intimidated in THIS
forum. On one hand, the intensity of the discussions, even about
nit-pickety details, can often lead to new plateaus of function and
awareness. "From the clash of differing opinions, the spark of truth
can shine". But this is also about empowerment, so we can't leave
people in the dust.
So how do we deal with it? Well, I do think that a regularly
circulated FAQ would be valuable. I aknowledge the previous post that
mentioned the non-answerability of many frequently asked questions.
However, one can answer unanswerable questions with a context, rather
than a fact. Ken does this in class. I heard more "it depends" answers
to questions in the CSM training than in any other class I've been in.
I started thinking it was aversion therapy, but in truth, I think I get
it. We're controlling complex processes, and there are no single right
answers. However, in a FAQ, we can (since this whole web-thingy is so
linkable) put references to anecdotes that are instructive, or examples
of people solving that problem, and keep re-iterating the mantra: "Your
context may vary - use your intuition, your awareness of your
circumstance, and learn."
As for nit-pickety detailed tangents, I agree, these can probably
be curtailed after a certain depth. If some less shy person can pipe up
when it gets rediculous and say "take it offline, bubs" then we can keep
the list leaner.
Calling "SCRUM" could also work.
Lastly, for those who are shy or retiring on lists like this, or
intimidated... we're all human. There are no "sages" here. Having
spent time with expert technical lists, or with other high-falutin'
academic mailing lists with triple-Ph.D.s on it, I can assure you that
we/they all make stupid mistakes, we/they all have prejudices. Even
experts are limited by their experiences unless their minds are open. A
new practitioner might have fresh insights that their newness and
openness will give them. So to the shy ones, please say something. If
you have a view, please don't feel like you can't share it. Sometimes
it will be brililant beyond the boundaries of those with more
experience. Sometimes it'll be embarassingly obvious. Sometimes,
others will learn something. A moderator would be useful here in cases
where people are shamed for offering an innocent observation or asking a
>My name is Dawn Bauleke, and I'm a lurker. (Hi, Dawn!)
>I attended the San Jose class and heck YES I'm intimidated by the list - mainly because so many are the contributors I have read, perused the sites of, marveled at the knowledge of, but have not (yet) MET. But you just called me on it, so here I am, answering.
>Having said that, now I'm going to retreat into the lurker's alley for awhile more...
Christian E. Gruber President, Israfil Consulting Services Corp.
(905) 640-1119 (office) cgruber@...
(416) 930-6023 (cell) http://www.israfil.net
- --- Dawn <dawn@...> wrote:
>A number of people have mentioned the confusion and balkanization that
> Dividing into multiple forums as was suggested does feel unnatural
> and, as
> somebody pointed out, would result in confusion as to what list would
> the best experience. AND would result in a lot of good information
would result from multiple forums. I disagree.
Confusion as to the appropriate forum is essentially the same problem
as with confusion as to what keyword to put into the subject. People
who are using the keywords as filters are in the same situation as
people who only subscribe to a subset of the lists/forums.
The (bad) balkanization problem is a result of both divisions that
aren't well defined and the technology. Mailing lists and news groups
are particularly prone to this problem, but other online forums can
reduce or even eliminate the problem. Many bboards allow discussions
to be moved from one forum (really a subforum) to another.
Personally, my favorite is the Propsero technology, use by many
services and available at DelphiForums for individuals and groups.
See, for example, Inifinite Loops (general programming discussion) at
http://forums.delphiforums.com/infinite_loops/messages or the About
Linux forum at http://forums.about.com/ab-linux/messages .
My point is that these are all problems that can be solved. To borrow
from Ken Schwaber's first exercise at the Scrum class, we should be
looking at this issue from the "yes, and..." perspective, not the "yes,
but ..." perspective.
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