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Hunter-gatherers          &software development    Joseph E. Johnston, Lucasfilm, Ltd.     http://www.thepatentdesk.com
(20 years in software development and still learning)         Hass Chapman         @hasschapman
Disclaimer:  All my knowledge, opinions and  theories are built upon years of making mistakes and many manyhours of readin...
What is this talk   about?
What is this talk   about?   Evolution  Behaviours  Your Brain
Human   Evolution(Or, we are what we were)
We aren’t very old    HomoSapiens Sapiens 200.000 years     ago                  10.000 generations
We aren’t very old    Homo                            NeolithicSapiens Sapiens                    revolution 200.000 years...
We aren’t very old    Homo               NeolithicSapiens Sapiens       revolution 200.000 years       12.000 years     ag...
I refer to “band” hunter-gatherers, also known as“immediate-return” or“egalitarian” hunter-gatherers
Examplesof such groups are theJu/‘hoansi, Hazda, MbutiAka, Efé, Batek, Agta,Nayaka, Aché, Parakana,and Yiwara.
Most hunter-gatherers,wherever they have beenstudied, live in bands ofabout 20 to 50 people.
You’ve beenmisled!
Agriculture offeredsignificant advantagesover that which could beprovided by the huntingand gathering lifestyle
Agriculture offeredsignificant advantagesover that which could beprovided by the huntingand gathering lifestyle  Not true!
Freedom
FreedomAgricultural societies werethe first to employ slaves todo the backbreaking workof planting and harvesting.
HealthCassidy CM. Nutrition and health in agriculturalists and hunter-gatherers.
Health“Overall, the agriculturalHardin Villagers wereclearly less healthy than theIndian Knollers, who livedby hunting and...
So, what wasworklife like for hunter- gatherers?
Work
WorkThe opposite  of PLAY
Work"Any productive or usefulactivity, regardless of itspleasantness orunpleasantness."        Peter Gray, “Play makes us ...
TOILAny unpleasant   activity.    Peter Gray, “Play makes us Human”
In general, hunter-gatherers have noconcept of TOIL.   Gowdy, J. (1999). Hunter-gatherers and the mythology of the market.
Play“Children play andgradually, as their playbecomes increasinglyskilled, the activitiesbecome productive.”Peter Gray (20...
“Individual hunter-gatherersare free, on any day, to join ahunting or gathering party”   Tim Ingold (1999) The Cambridge e...
“or to stay at camp and rest,”   Tim Ingold (1999) The Cambridge encyclopedia of hunters and gatherers, 399-410
“depending on their ownpreference.”Tim Ingold (1999) The Cambridge encyclopedia of hunters and gatherers, 399-410
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Russell
“The group decidescollectively where theywill go and how they willapproach their task.”       Thomas, E. M. (2006). The ol...
“Anyone unhappy aboutthe decision is free toform another party, or tohunt or gather alone,”       Thomas, E. M. (2006). Th...
“or to stay at camp all day.”         Thomas, E. M. (2006). The old way.
Compare this to the modern workplace                http://www.primaloft.com
http://merryfarmer.net
We mostly     TOILPlay is almost non-existent in many of today’s workplaces
The modern workplaceWe should eliminate TOIL.
The modern  workplaceWe should make work, and the     workplace, playful.
Affluence
Hunter gatherers work for anaverage of just15 - 20 hours  per week      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_affluent_soci...
Including food preparation,housework, etc.      40-45     hours/w       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_affluent_soci...
In most western countrieswe work for an average ofabout        35-40       hours/w  http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablo...
In most western countrieswe work for an average ofabout        35-40       hours/wExcluding food preparation,housework, et...
Not only that...
Not only      that... Worker output does not riseor fall in direct proportion tothe number of hours worked.
1848
1848The English parliamentpassed the ten-hours lawand total output per-worker, per-dayincreased.
1890’sEmployers experimentedwidely with the eight hourday and repeatedly foundthat total output per-workerincreased.
1900’sFrederick W. Taylor,prescribed reduced worktimes and attainedremarkable increases inper-worker output.
37signals                    4 day workweek                    (May - October)http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/opinion/su...
37signals                     4 day workweek                     (May - October)“better work gets done in 4 days than in 5...
The modern  workplace     More hours != more         productivity(except for very short periods)
The modern workplaceWe should work smarter,      not harder!
The modern  workplaceWhy prescribe working hours          at all?
Behaviours(Human rationality - or lack thereof)
Carrots and   sticksdo not work!
Israeli   daycareUri Gneezy and Aldo Rustichini                    http://www.jstor.org/pss/10.1086/468061
NY taxidrivers
Rainy days    vssunny days
We are not rational beings!
Behavioraleconomics
AutonomyThe desire to be involved indecisions about when, howand with whom you work.
MasteryThe desire to learn andimprove at what you do.
PurposeThe desire to contribute tosomething meaningful.
How do the hunter-gatherers  score?
AutonomyWork is comprised ofoptional and collaborativeventures involving a largedegree of autonomy.
MasteryHunter gatherers work theirwhole lives to become betterat hunting and trackinganimals.
MasteryThey practise their skills intool-making every day andtest them rigorously in thefield.
PurposeHunter-gatherers get noextrinsic reward for theirwork!
PurposeHunter-gatherers work toget food for their group.A very important purpose!
The modern workplaceAutonomy means no micro     management.
The modern  workplaceIt means allowing employees to   structure their own work.
The modern  workplaceIt means allowing them where possible to decide themselves      what they work on.
GreatexamplesValve. Github.  Semco. W.L. Gore.
The modern workplaceMastery means developing       your skills.
The modern workplaceIt means training but alsohaving challenging work.
The modern workplace Give employees a reasonto try that little harder, to    care about success.
The modern workplaceThe best companies want to     change the world.
Groups
Groupintelligenceis the ability to solvecomplex cognitiveproblems effectively,across domains andover time.
Groupintelligence is only weakly correlated to the average IQ of the group members.
your smartestpeople != yoursmartest team!
Groupintelligence  is strongly correlated to:http://hbr.org/2011/06/defend-your-research-what-makes-a-team-smarter-more-wo...
Groupintelligence  is strongly correlated to:         The conversational        equality of the grouphttp://hbr.org/2011/0...
Groupintelligence  is strongly correlated to:     The number of females          in the grouphttp://hbr.org/2011/06/defend...
Groupintelligence  is strongly correlated to:       The average EQ of the         group membershttp://hbr.org/2011/06/defe...
The modern workplaceRockstar teams do not guarantee success.
The modern workplace Humility > arrogance.
The modern workplaceWe need more women insoftware development!
Your Brain(A little bit of neuroscience)
Oxytocinhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Oxytocin_with_labels.png
OxytocinOxytocin is a hormonethat is produced mainly inthe hypothalamus.
The love    hormoneOxytocin seems to have a keyrole in maternal bonding andsocial affiliation.       http://www.apa.org/mon...
The success hormoneOxytocin induces feelingsof optimism and increasesself-esteem.   http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2...
The trust   hormoneOxytocin enhances trust,creating increased levels ofgenerosity, and promotingincreased empathy.        ...
ImplicationIncreased levels of trustand empathy should lead tohigher group intelligence.
BecauseGroup intelligence dependsupon the empathy of groupmembers.
So...If we want higherperformance we shouldwant higher levels ofOxytocin.
ThereforeWe should reducebehaviors and eliminatesituations that inhibitthe production ofoxytocin.
StressStress and/or pressureinhibit the production ofoxytocin.http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/endocrine/hypo...
UnhappinessUnhappiness inhibit theproduction of oxytocin.
A stress-free environmentwith happy employees isnot just a nice thing to do;it also makes good businesssense!
And...We should also try toencourage behaviors andsituations that increasethe production of oxytocin!
Physical      contact Massage or physical contact with someone you care about.http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphy...
ExerciseExercise such as swimmingor brisk walking releaseoxytocin.  http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/endocrin...
In conclusion
Work shouldbe play not    toil.
Work shouldbe optional.
Developersshould make  their own    tools.
Employeesshouldn’t feel rushed, or pressured.
Focus onvalue created  not time   served!
KKokosz @ DeviantArt
Work should      be autonomous     andcollaborative.
Work should  have a purpose!
Be, think,  breatheAgile values
Thanks:        Carol Dweck,         Dan Pink,        Daniel Coyle         Peter Gray for their truly inspirational andeduc...
Please evaluate mypresentation by using the   evaluation booklets  which you can find in  your conference bag.       Thank ...
?
Hunter gatherers & software development - Agile Dev Practices 2013
Hunter gatherers & software development - Agile Dev Practices 2013
Hunter gatherers & software development - Agile Dev Practices 2013
Hunter gatherers & software development - Agile Dev Practices 2013
Hunter gatherers & software development - Agile Dev Practices 2013
Hunter gatherers & software development - Agile Dev Practices 2013
Hunter gatherers & software development - Agile Dev Practices 2013
Hunter gatherers & software development - Agile Dev Practices 2013
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Hunter gatherers & software development - Agile Dev Practices 2013

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From 200.000 years ago until the Neolithic revolution 12.000 years ago humans had a different concept of work. How can we use our knowledge of hunter gatherer culture and modern neuroscience to form a modern workplace which best matches our species disposition?

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  1. 1. Hunter-gatherers &software development Joseph E. Johnston, Lucasfilm, Ltd. http://www.thepatentdesk.com
  2. 2. (20 years in software development and still learning) Hass Chapman @hasschapman
  3. 3. Disclaimer: All my knowledge, opinions and theories are built upon years of making mistakes and many manyhours of reading about research thatother really hard-working and very smart people have done. (And I borrowed the idea for this from Michael Pranikoffs presentation on emerging media held in Stockholm, Sweden in Sept 2011) Jorge Bassy@flickr
  4. 4. What is this talk about?
  5. 5. What is this talk about? Evolution Behaviours Your Brain
  6. 6. Human Evolution(Or, we are what we were)
  7. 7. We aren’t very old HomoSapiens Sapiens 200.000 years ago 10.000 generations
  8. 8. We aren’t very old Homo NeolithicSapiens Sapiens revolution 200.000 years 12.000 years ago ago 10.000 generations 600 generations
  9. 9. We aren’t very old Homo NeolithicSapiens Sapiens revolution 200.000 years 12.000 years ago ago For 94% of our history we were hunter gatherers.
  10. 10. I refer to “band” hunter-gatherers, also known as“immediate-return” or“egalitarian” hunter-gatherers
  11. 11. Examplesof such groups are theJu/‘hoansi, Hazda, MbutiAka, Efé, Batek, Agta,Nayaka, Aché, Parakana,and Yiwara.
  12. 12. Most hunter-gatherers,wherever they have beenstudied, live in bands ofabout 20 to 50 people.
  13. 13. You’ve beenmisled!
  14. 14. Agriculture offeredsignificant advantagesover that which could beprovided by the huntingand gathering lifestyle
  15. 15. Agriculture offeredsignificant advantagesover that which could beprovided by the huntingand gathering lifestyle Not true!
  16. 16. Freedom
  17. 17. FreedomAgricultural societies werethe first to employ slaves todo the backbreaking workof planting and harvesting.
  18. 18. HealthCassidy CM. Nutrition and health in agriculturalists and hunter-gatherers.
  19. 19. Health“Overall, the agriculturalHardin Villagers wereclearly less healthy than theIndian Knollers, who livedby hunting and gathering.” Cassidy CM. Nutrition and health in agriculturalists and hunter-gatherers.
  20. 20. So, what wasworklife like for hunter- gatherers?
  21. 21. Work
  22. 22. WorkThe opposite of PLAY
  23. 23. Work"Any productive or usefulactivity, regardless of itspleasantness orunpleasantness." Peter Gray, “Play makes us Human”
  24. 24. TOILAny unpleasant activity. Peter Gray, “Play makes us Human”
  25. 25. In general, hunter-gatherers have noconcept of TOIL. Gowdy, J. (1999). Hunter-gatherers and the mythology of the market.
  26. 26. Play“Children play andgradually, as their playbecomes increasinglyskilled, the activitiesbecome productive.”Peter Gray (2009) Play as a Foundation for Hunter-Gatherer Social Existence
  27. 27. “Individual hunter-gatherersare free, on any day, to join ahunting or gathering party” Tim Ingold (1999) The Cambridge encyclopedia of hunters and gatherers, 399-410
  28. 28. “or to stay at camp and rest,” Tim Ingold (1999) The Cambridge encyclopedia of hunters and gatherers, 399-410
  29. 29. “depending on their ownpreference.”Tim Ingold (1999) The Cambridge encyclopedia of hunters and gatherers, 399-410
  30. 30. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Russell
  31. 31. “The group decidescollectively where theywill go and how they willapproach their task.” Thomas, E. M. (2006). The old way.
  32. 32. “Anyone unhappy aboutthe decision is free toform another party, or tohunt or gather alone,” Thomas, E. M. (2006). The old way.
  33. 33. “or to stay at camp all day.” Thomas, E. M. (2006). The old way.
  34. 34. Compare this to the modern workplace http://www.primaloft.com
  35. 35. http://merryfarmer.net
  36. 36. We mostly TOILPlay is almost non-existent in many of today’s workplaces
  37. 37. The modern workplaceWe should eliminate TOIL.
  38. 38. The modern workplaceWe should make work, and the workplace, playful.
  39. 39. Affluence
  40. 40. Hunter gatherers work for anaverage of just15 - 20 hours per week http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_affluent_society
  41. 41. Including food preparation,housework, etc. 40-45 hours/w http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_affluent_society
  42. 42. In most western countrieswe work for an average ofabout 35-40 hours/w http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/dec/08/europe-working-hours
  43. 43. In most western countrieswe work for an average ofabout 35-40 hours/wExcluding food preparation,housework, etc. http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/dec/08/europe-working-hours
  44. 44. Not only that...
  45. 45. Not only that... Worker output does not riseor fall in direct proportion tothe number of hours worked.
  46. 46. 1848
  47. 47. 1848The English parliamentpassed the ten-hours lawand total output per-worker, per-dayincreased.
  48. 48. 1890’sEmployers experimentedwidely with the eight hourday and repeatedly foundthat total output per-workerincreased.
  49. 49. 1900’sFrederick W. Taylor,prescribed reduced worktimes and attainedremarkable increases inper-worker output.
  50. 50. 37signals 4 day workweek (May - October)http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/opinion/sunday/be-more-productive-shorten-the-workweek.html
  51. 51. 37signals 4 day workweek (May - October)“better work gets done in 4 days than in 5” http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/opinion/sunday/be-more-productive-shorten-the-workweek.html
  52. 52. The modern workplace More hours != more productivity(except for very short periods)
  53. 53. The modern workplaceWe should work smarter, not harder!
  54. 54. The modern workplaceWhy prescribe working hours at all?
  55. 55. Behaviours(Human rationality - or lack thereof)
  56. 56. Carrots and sticksdo not work!
  57. 57. Israeli daycareUri Gneezy and Aldo Rustichini http://www.jstor.org/pss/10.1086/468061
  58. 58. NY taxidrivers
  59. 59. Rainy days vssunny days
  60. 60. We are not rational beings!
  61. 61. Behavioraleconomics
  62. 62. AutonomyThe desire to be involved indecisions about when, howand with whom you work.
  63. 63. MasteryThe desire to learn andimprove at what you do.
  64. 64. PurposeThe desire to contribute tosomething meaningful.
  65. 65. How do the hunter-gatherers score?
  66. 66. AutonomyWork is comprised ofoptional and collaborativeventures involving a largedegree of autonomy.
  67. 67. MasteryHunter gatherers work theirwhole lives to become betterat hunting and trackinganimals.
  68. 68. MasteryThey practise their skills intool-making every day andtest them rigorously in thefield.
  69. 69. PurposeHunter-gatherers get noextrinsic reward for theirwork!
  70. 70. PurposeHunter-gatherers work toget food for their group.A very important purpose!
  71. 71. The modern workplaceAutonomy means no micro management.
  72. 72. The modern workplaceIt means allowing employees to structure their own work.
  73. 73. The modern workplaceIt means allowing them where possible to decide themselves what they work on.
  74. 74. GreatexamplesValve. Github. Semco. W.L. Gore.
  75. 75. The modern workplaceMastery means developing your skills.
  76. 76. The modern workplaceIt means training but alsohaving challenging work.
  77. 77. The modern workplace Give employees a reasonto try that little harder, to care about success.
  78. 78. The modern workplaceThe best companies want to change the world.
  79. 79. Groups
  80. 80. Groupintelligenceis the ability to solvecomplex cognitiveproblems effectively,across domains andover time.
  81. 81. Groupintelligence is only weakly correlated to the average IQ of the group members.
  82. 82. your smartestpeople != yoursmartest team!
  83. 83. Groupintelligence is strongly correlated to:http://hbr.org/2011/06/defend-your-research-what-makes-a-team-smarter-more-women/ar/1
  84. 84. Groupintelligence is strongly correlated to: The conversational equality of the grouphttp://hbr.org/2011/06/defend-your-research-what-makes-a-team-smarter-more-women/ar/1
  85. 85. Groupintelligence is strongly correlated to: The number of females in the grouphttp://hbr.org/2011/06/defend-your-research-what-makes-a-team-smarter-more-women/ar/1
  86. 86. Groupintelligence is strongly correlated to: The average EQ of the group membershttp://hbr.org/2011/06/defend-your-research-what-makes-a-team-smarter-more-women/ar/1
  87. 87. The modern workplaceRockstar teams do not guarantee success.
  88. 88. The modern workplace Humility > arrogance.
  89. 89. The modern workplaceWe need more women insoftware development!
  90. 90. Your Brain(A little bit of neuroscience)
  91. 91. Oxytocinhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Oxytocin_with_labels.png
  92. 92. OxytocinOxytocin is a hormonethat is produced mainly inthe hypothalamus.
  93. 93. The love hormoneOxytocin seems to have a keyrole in maternal bonding andsocial affiliation. http://www.apa.org/monitor/feb08/oxytocin.aspx
  94. 94. The success hormoneOxytocin induces feelingsof optimism and increasesself-esteem. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110914101746.htm
  95. 95. The trust hormoneOxytocin enhances trust,creating increased levels ofgenerosity, and promotingincreased empathy. Paul Zak, "The Moral Molecule,"
  96. 96. ImplicationIncreased levels of trustand empathy should lead tohigher group intelligence.
  97. 97. BecauseGroup intelligence dependsupon the empathy of groupmembers.
  98. 98. So...If we want higherperformance we shouldwant higher levels ofOxytocin.
  99. 99. ThereforeWe should reducebehaviors and eliminatesituations that inhibitthe production ofoxytocin.
  100. 100. StressStress and/or pressureinhibit the production ofoxytocin.http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/endocrine/hypopit/oxytocin.html
  101. 101. UnhappinessUnhappiness inhibit theproduction of oxytocin.
  102. 102. A stress-free environmentwith happy employees isnot just a nice thing to do;it also makes good businesssense!
  103. 103. And...We should also try toencourage behaviors andsituations that increasethe production of oxytocin!
  104. 104. Physical contact Massage or physical contact with someone you care about.http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/endocrine/hypopit/oxytocin.html
  105. 105. ExerciseExercise such as swimmingor brisk walking releaseoxytocin. http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/endocrine/hypopit/oxytocin.html
  106. 106. In conclusion
  107. 107. Work shouldbe play not toil.
  108. 108. Work shouldbe optional.
  109. 109. Developersshould make their own tools.
  110. 110. Employeesshouldn’t feel rushed, or pressured.
  111. 111. Focus onvalue created not time served!
  112. 112. KKokosz @ DeviantArt
  113. 113. Work should be autonomous andcollaborative.
  114. 114. Work should have a purpose!
  115. 115. Be, think, breatheAgile values
  116. 116. Thanks: Carol Dweck, Dan Pink, Daniel Coyle Peter Gray for their truly inspirational andeducational writing and research.Thanks also to all of you for listening
  117. 117. Please evaluate mypresentation by using the evaluation booklets which you can find in your conference bag. Thank you!
  118. 118. ?

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