My Agility 1: A Working Formulation

This entry is part [part not set] of 3 in the series Defining Agile

A formulation I’m trying out today: "my agility is an autopoietic community centered around the triple balancing of the made, the making, and the makers." there’s odd terms in it, and also missing ones, so I feel like pushing it around a little out loud. Obviously, the least ordinary term there is the a-word. Autopoeisis is literally "self creation", and when I say that, I say "well why use a big fancy word," and the answer is: because the literal …

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Method’s the Wrong Place To Look

This entry is part [part not set] of 3 in the series Defining Agile

There’s an old joke: A policeman comes across a drunk crawling around under a streetlamp, asks him what’s up. Drunk says he lost his car keys. So the cop helps him look for a while. But no luck, so the cop asks him, "Where’s your car, sir?" and the guy points off in the dark. Cop says, well, why are we looking over here, when your car is over there? Drunk says, "Well, because the light’s better here." There are …

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Building the Wrong Thing

Folks worry a lot about building the wrong thing, that is, making software that does not please the many and different interests of the org, the users, the operators. I’ve certainly seen that. We all have. Government seems particularly consistent at doing it, tho surely there are plenty of commercial orgs that have the same problem. I see this problem differently from most folks. I’d like to take a few tweets and walk through my approach. The key insight for …

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Slinging Advice and Where I Come From With It

So, I’m out there slinging advice about how to change the world of being a professional programmer. Maybe y’all need to hear some things about that, that might not have occurred to you. I am just some schmoe. I am having a successful life in the world of geekery. There are a host of causes for that, among them my dumb luck, and also among them the way I approach and enact the work. I like to talk about this, …

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We’re In TDD For The Money

This entry is part [part not set] of 9 in the series Underplayed Premises

Time, this morning, to return to the underplayed TDD premise called the money premise. In one phrase: "We’re in this for the money." What does that mean? In the software business, like every other business in a long period of very high demand, we make more money when we ship more value faster. Please be careful here. When we say "more value faster", we’re not trying to constrain the possible varieties of value. THIS IS AN INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT THING TO …

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How to Grow and Keep Geeks

So, in recent muses, i’ve tried to establish that our next step is a) restructuring economy to b) grow & keep geeks. How? What changes do I make in my org, assuming that I have restructured the economy to give me space to do so, to increase the org’s ability to grow and keep geeks? In no particular order, then, here are a bunch of ideas about this. 1: Stop hiring people whose chief attribute is their capacious memory for …

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Growing and Keeping Geeks

From yesterday’s dark muse, this: i need stronger geeks. But I can't *get* stronger geeks without attending first and foremost to *growing* them and *keeping* them. — Michael D. Hill (@GeePawHill) August 12, 2018 #### Let’s go there. I believe we are consistently failing in the geek trade. By failing, I mean that we who do the work do not broadly satisfy those for whom we do it. If we were selling some service or commodity that could be substituted …

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Restructuring the Debts In The Geek Trade

It seems to me that a very great deal of "agile" advice has an implicit prefix, "assuming your team is close to healthy," you should … The assumption of reasonable health just — to put it as gently as I can manage — doesn’t seem like the sort of assumption we should be making. The industry — agile & otherwise — is in terrible shape. The demand for geekery seems to rise year after year, and it brings with it …

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