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Showing posts from June, 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
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
An…

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.




1202Fibonacci 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

1971The 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 &am…

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.  H…

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 unD…

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 …