Saturday, June 23, 2012

I Would Ask 500 Whys

'I would ask 500 Whys'

When I stand up yeah I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who stands up next to you
When I unit test yeah I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who tests along with you

The Proclaimers - I Would Walk 500 Miles by nex3uk

If I get drunk yes I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who gets drunk next to you
And if I haver yeah I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who's havering to you

But I would ask 500 whys
And I would ask 500 more
Just to be the man who asked 1000 whys
To help your process improve.

When I'm working yes I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who's working hard for you
And when the praise comes in for the work I'll do
I'll pass almost every accolade on to you

When I program yeah I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who pair programs with you
And if I falter well I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who's learning with you

But I would ask 500 whys
And I would ask 500 more
Just to be the man who asked 1000 whys
To help your process improve.

When I'm lonely yes I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man whose lonely without you
When I'm dreaming yes I know I'm gonna dream
Dream about the coding we could do.

But I would ask 500 whys
And I would ask 500 more
Just to be the man who asked 1000 whys
To help your process improve.

Original Lyrics source:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Agile Software Development Timeline

A Timeline by definition is an iterative document - it is incrementally built minute by minute with no known completion point. However the historical entries on the time line might be elaborate also. This is a rough draft... please comment with new (better - more important, more accurate) events. Or point me to better resources - other historical time lines etc.  Thanks!

Watch Earth's history on a 100yd football field timeline.

1202 Fibonacci introduces Arabic numerals (0-9 and place value) to the West via book “Liber Abaci” (Book of Abacus or Calculation).  The Zero is born!

1950s Demining teaches in Japan

1960s NASA’s Project mercury uses test-first development and micro-increments

1971 The Psychology of Computer Publishing by Gerald Weinberg - largely ignored

1976 EVO Methodology by Tom Gilb

1980s Japanese car companies expand into Europe & Americas

1986 New New Product Development by Takeuchi & Nonaka

1986 No Silver Bullet by Fred Brooks - advantages of Incremental & Iterative Development

1987 Peopleware by deMarco & Lister

1988 Iterative delivery described by Tom Gilb in Principles of Software Engineering Management

Software Patterns

Pair Programming - organizational patterns described by James Coplien

1990 The Machine that Changed the World by Womack & Jones

1990s Object-oriented Programming

1990s Schwaber uses early Scrum at Advanced Development Methods
1990s Sutherland uses early Scrum at Easel Corporation
1990s Internet
1990s Dot-Com Boom

1994 Book:  Agile Competitors and Virtual Organization: Strategies for Enriching the Customer

1995 DSDM consortium publishes version 1.

1995 Scrum Methodology paper by Sutherland & Schwaber

1996 Lean Thinking  by Womack & Jones

1996 Journey of the Software Professional: The Sociology of Software Development
By Hohmann

1996 Beck creates XP at Chrysler Comprehensive Compensation System (C3)

1997 Feature-Driven Development (FDD) by Jeff De Luca

1998 Extreme Programming by Kent Beck on wiki

1998 Crystal family of methodologies by Alistair Cockburn

1999 Java Modeling in Color with UML by Peter Coad  - Ch 6 describes FDD.

1999, Extreme Programming Explained by Beck

1990s Crystal Clear by Alistair Cockburn

1999 The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master by Hunt & Thomas

2000 Adaptive Software Development: A Collaborative Approach to Managing Complex Systems by Highsmith

2001 Agile Manifesto Signed - Feb in Snowbird Utah

2001 Agile-Testing Yahoo! Group started

2001 Agile Software Development with Scrum by Schwaber & Beedle

2003 Lean Software Development by Poppendieck

2004  Watir released

2004 Agile Project management with Scrum by Schwaber

2005 Fit for Developing Software  by Mugridge & Cunningham

2006 BDD article by Dan North in Better Software Magazine

2006 RSpec released

2006 Selenium released

2007 Kanban introduced

2007 Scaled Agile Framework by Dean Leffingwell

2008 Cucumber released

2008 Robot Framework open sourced

2008 Slim update to Fitnesse

2009 The RSpec Book by Chelimsky & Astels

2009 Software Craftsmanship Conference

2011 PMI introduces Agile Certified Practitioner

2014 Schism in community of Scrum over techniques of scaling to enterprise

2016 Manifesto for Agile Company Development by Matt the Agile Coach

See Also:
The timeline in the Evolution of Scrum - 3Back

Timeline of Long Distance Communication

A Perspective on Time by
51 Most Popular Tech Gadgets through the Years - Popular Mechanics


Elisabeth Hendrickson, Quality Tree Software, Inc.
Agile, Testing, and Quality: Looking Back, Moving Forward.  Oct 28, 2009
History of Agile S/W Development
Timeline of Computer Science  150 major events (via MIT) from 300BC to now

Friday, June 8, 2012

Tyranny of the Clock Face

Why do people schedule meetings and work-session into an arbitrary constraint of one hour blocks? Are we not capable of looking at the purpose and expected outcomes of the gathering and then estimating the appropriate duration needed to achieve the outcome? Do we not account for the cost and waste of having to reset context each time we meet and get to a partially finished state.

It is the tyranny of the clock face, broken into one hour increments. The clock is just a human abstraction of time, an arbitrary measuring instrument. It is not a prescription for scheduling. I think we are misunderstanding the purpose of the clock. One doesn't drive a car by the speedometer.

This obsession of one hour increments of work is ridiculous. I wonder where we learn it. Oh - yeah, school, where we learn many bad habits.

See Also:
HBR article Yes, You Can Make Meetings More Productive

The Hummingbird Effect: How Galileo Invented Timekeeping and Forever Changed Modern Life
by Maria Popova.  How the invisible hand of the clock powered the Industrial Revolution and sparked the Information Age.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How do you find a Word?

I'm wondering if there are better techniques or resources for finding new interesting useful words than the techniques I'm currently using. My current technique is to just happen upon a good word - either in print/web/conversation. I have to admit, however, that few happen in conversation, fewer still in print such as news (typically a 5th or 6th grade reading level) - most new words are sourced via books and web articles. How do you look up a word that means, what you want it to mean - yet you don't know the meaning of? The inversion of the Humpty Dumpty quip in Through the Looking Glass.
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master — that's all."

The web has a few unDictionaries (reverse dictionary) - haven't found a useful non-trivial one.

How do you find just the right word - a $1.50 word (with inflation - maybe a $1375 word)?

I'm looking for word - phrase for the concept: Using discreet physical objects to represent thoughts and concepts (modeling) that have many "affordances" (Don Norman's "The Design of Everyday Things" concept) as a way to build a shared distributed cognitive mental model. A model that can be manipulated in real time, instantly perceived by a group of people, and the affordances of the model, be predicted or inferred within the context of the model.

Could you help me make up such a word? It would be very helpful in my line of work. Maybe it should have a "kinesis" syllable in it. I suppose I could borrow from Bucky ( ); Synergetic-modeling - or something like that.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Internet usage reduces brain function

Here is an info-graphic that while interesting makes me a bit sad.

How the Internet is Ruining Your Brain

I do believe than we have entered into a very volatile micro-evolutionary portion of human history.  I do find that I off-load to various electronic media pieces of information and knowledge that might have years past be committed to memory.  I'm not sure this is a bad thing, yet we may surprise ourselves at the brink of our extinction.   We are in the exponential age - or as some call it the anthropocene.

So there are some controls one could place on the rot of your mind.  Try SelfControl an application that blocks the internet for a period of time - perhaps long enough for you to be productive.  I also tried RescueTime for a while, but found it not very helpful.  It did not motivate me to change my behavior.

I do find that many of us are delusional about our abilities to multitask.  My superpower is a slightly above normal ability to stay in a rut.  Single-Track-Man does not multitask.

So I'm working on getting my white matter back up to snuff - I'm trying to find an off-line interest in life.  Working on boats is a wonderful past time and a hole in the water where time and money just flows endlessly.

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