Agile Means Community, and Community Means Success

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Slides from the talk I gave at Prizcon 2010.

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  • * contrast two kinds of developer
    * different attitudes, different goals, and,
    * more often than not, they work in different environments.
  • typical developer
  • * early 20th century
    * efficiency came from careful observation by mgmnt and enforced application of standards;
  • * Taylor consultant at Bethlehem Steel; time and motion study
    * some success at Bethlehem Steel: created “high speed steel”
    * left 1901 after some antagonism with other mgrs
    * low opinion of worker intelligence;
    * long-term effect: decisions removed from the work & command-control management
  • What does early 20th century steel making processes have to do with software developers?
    * cmd&ctrl --from factories to ASMechEngrs to Business school (harvard, sloan/MIT)
    * compartmentalization/departmentalization of larger enterprises
    * enterprises increasingly information based
    * cubicles began replacing offices
  • when decisions are separated from work, decision makers tend to become overly cautious and conservative. controlling the information with silos...protecting your bailywick, and covering your butt
    unshared information leads to waste
  • waste leads to frustrated information workers (developers)
  • leads to cynicism in the workplace (leads to Dilbert)
  • * recognize advantages in collaboration/sharing info
    * love solving problems
    * love learning
    * believe employers *do* pay them to think, and to deliver solutions that work
  • * 2001 a group of devs like this met at snowbird, ut
    * met to vacation and to discuss/clarify their thinking on best ways to develop software
    * initially coined as “light” methodologies
    * a Manifesto for Agile Software Development was born
  • * present tense: agile learning is ongoing
    * learning by doing and helping others do (contrast Taylorism)
    * the values have a working definition of community embedded into them
  • before Adelphus biz as usual vs “my business is people”
    experience at Adelphus
    * pair program constantly ** minimalistic process ** community involvement led to work! ** my coding skills grew faster than they ever have in my life. ** “Never decline an opportunity to speak” ** met terrific people/lifelong friends
  • -- user groups: CLErb, CRB, linux user groups, COJUG, NEOAUG, python, haskel, java
    -- conf: showcase SDTConf -- code retreat -- technology startup/entrepreneur events -- EdgeCase, Leandog, Obtiva, Eden software, -- givecamp: CLE CBS, Ann Arbor --coding competitions: rails rumble --opensource: github; read, fork, contribute to OS projects


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