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Showing posts from April, 2018

Bob Dorough - you're my Hero!

I'm also a big fan of ZERO.

Heard today that Bob Dorough died at 94.  Few people know Bob... but everyone has heard his work... he's slightly famous for his writing and singing of School House Rock, the 1970s educational interstial cartoons.  I learned so much from Bob, and I've never gotten to thank him.  Perhaps I will go download some of his songs on iTunes.


My Hero - Zero
Here's what Apple has to say of Bob Dorough:
Although neglected and underexposed most of his life, Bob Dorough is an adventurous, risk-taking master of vocalese (the process of writing and singing lyrics to instrumental jazz solos) and scat singing who has directly or indirectly influenced Mark Murphy, Michael Franks, Mose Allison, and Kurt Elling. The Arkansas native started out on piano in the 1940s, then took up singing in the early '50s (when he played for boxer Sugar Ray Robinson, an entertainer at the time). From 1954-1955, Dorough lived in Paris, where he recorded with singer Blossom De…

Exercise:: The mythical benefits of Multi-Tasking

Many people are great multitaskers... why isn't everyone?  Well it may come down to the perceptions of the actor - not the observer.  I've been asked for exercises that will demonstrate this benefit perception dissonance.

Quick Overview

Time three people perform simple tasks (sequential): recite the alphabet, count to 100 by 3s, name the colors of the rainbow in order 3 times.  (one sequencing task at a time - measure the cumulative time of all 3 tasks)

Now introduce a Switcher (4th volunteer) when they call out "SWITCH" the people change task (the person reciting the alphabet, switches to pick up the counting by 3s, who switches to naming the colors, who switches to the alphabet, etc.  The Switcher should have at least 4 switches before the crew finishes all tasks.  Measure the cumulative time.

I suggest they perform the task visibly in front of the observers, by writing on a whiteboard their task.  This allows for the whole group to share the experience, and observe…

The 3 Laws of Clown Nose

Agile Games conference is a laboratory of  experiential experimental education - also know by the name learning.

Having supplied the clown noses to the conference for a few years now, I'm setting down the laws - the behaviors one can commonly observe in correlation to the clown nose phenomenon.

The  (3)  Laws of Clown Nose

1- Clown Nose has Inertia, people desire for our clown nose (culture) to remain the same, to stay consistent - why?  I feel it's because "fitting in", that desire that many of us have is going to be easier if the cultural expectations remain constant.

2 - Once applied - one does not discuss Clown Nose.  This law comes from deep within the Matrix, "there is no spoon" - not from Fight Club. [ hat tip to Richard Kasperowski ]

3 - Clown Nose results in oppositional forces to unique and challenging behaviors.  Not always equal and opposite as in physics, yet the stronger the clown nose (cultural norm), the more equal - your results may vary.



New…

Committed Sardines Game

The Committed Sardine By Ian Jukes 
A blue whale is the largest mammal on earth. The adult blue whale is the length of 2½ Greyhound buses and weighs more than a fully loaded 737. A little known fact is that a blue whale is so large that when it decides to turnaround, it can take 3 to 5 minutes to turn 180 degrees in the opposite direction.

As a result, some people have drawn a strong parallel between blue whales and our school system. It just seems to take forever to turn them around. There as some people who just don’t believe the public school system can be turned around.

But compare the way a blue whale turns around (slowly) with how a school of. . . Sardines – which is the same or even greater mass than a blue whale. . . A school of sardines can almost turn instantly around – how do they do it?

The answer is simple. If you take a careful look at a school of sardines you will notice that although all the fish appear to be swimming in the same direction, at any one time, there will b…

Team Performance vs CI Check-in

What - if any - is the correlation of the frequency and style of Continuous Integration "check-in" and team performance in Software Development?

Should these two behaviors be linked in any way?  I believe there will be a high correlation - pondering if it has been studied.

Why should these two behaviors have a positive correlation?  Because they both reflect collaboration, and commitments to the goal.

Dave Farley's post
Continuous Integration and Feature Branching got me pondering this...  read it and let's discuss.
See Also:
2017 State of DevOps Report authors Dr. Nicole Forsgren, Gene Kim, Jez Humble, Alanna Brown and Nigel Kersten

Trunk Based Development - a style of CI that works for Agile.

A Game of Experience - Scrum

Presented in OpenSpace at Agile Games 2018 for FUN and Feedback.


This game design is not focused where you might assume - at training people how to "do" Scrum.  The inventors of the game, Tim Snyder and Derek Lane, are focused upon the experience of Scrumming, the group dynamics of being a scrum team.  The game has been designed, and is being refined with the objective of allowing groups of people that know how to do Scrum, to experience some of the Ah-HA moments that mature Scrum team learn after many, laborious retrospectives.  By compressing the group dynamic into a game with the glorious "happen-chance" cards causing random, yet all too common software development events, playing this game for a few hours can give you the deep insights that may only be achieved after months or years of real-life time developing products.  Learning doesn't require time... * Al Shalloway.

One of the core questions Tim & Derek have been pondering:  How does one gain experi…