Archive for November 2009
We learn more, more quickly, and more deeply, once we redefine true learning as fluency, and play our way to getting there.
There’s been a battle going on in my mind lately, whether to just fully throw my support behind Behavior Driven Development or continue using Test Driven Development terminology as well. On one hand, I prefer the BDD nomenclature and concepts, even though they’re influenced by and in some cases directly compatible (or even the same) as terms and concepts in TDD. At the same time, I often find myself referencing the terms in TDD in order to keep in touch with people who haven’t made the jump yet.
I really think I just want to drop the whole TDD nomenclature altogether… rather than referring to TestCases, I just want to refer to “those examples” or “that spec.” Instead of saying “when TDD’ing this piece of code” I really want to say “when I’m specifying the behavior for this piece of code.”
I think from now on I’m just going to outright drop the whole TDD nomenclature and just use straight BDD nomenclature… if people are left scratching their heads or asking the difference, I’ll explain, but for the most part I just want to move on and promote a lot of good practices I’ve learned over the years of doing TDD, and I feel that BDD really helps me express those practices better.
So from this day forward, I won’t be referring to “tests” anymore when it comes to unit level specifications… even if I’m using non-spec based frameworks.
Well, in case you didn’t know, today marks the last day of my first (and possibly shortest) consulting assignment after only a short six weeks. I’ll have to say it didn’t come to any surprise last week when my manager told me I was being let go… I had been begging and searching for work to do the entire time and the project that the team was slated to work on got the ax before it exited “design phase.”
It was an interesting experience, and definitely a perfect picture of a 21st century large scale business struggling to figure out how to fix it’s broken processes. Although I am somewhat happy to be moving away from the position since I was left with nothing to do, I’m also sad that I didn’t get to help coach some of the changes I was hoping to do… to help find solutions to some of the problems I saw developers, project managers, and middle management face on a daily basis. Maybe one day I’ll return, like William Adama to New Caprica.
So where next? I have an in person interview for another company tomorrow, and judging from the phone interview I had and what I heard from others it’s a lot less “Office Space-esque” so it’ll be interesting to see how it goes. A lot of people have been telling me not to feel bad about the experience here, that not every consulting assignment goes like this, etc… but for me I was actually quite expecting the experience I had… remember, I didn’t leave Carfax for greener pastures offered by the client site I was going to be assigned at, but rather the challenge of being thrust back into a waterfall process that has a culture that keeps developers isolated from each other and trying to overcome those challenges to help the team developer better software and find real solutions that work.
Maybe next time.
True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.
As those of you who read my blog often know, I recently made a career jump to a contracting firm to consult at different large scale organizations. To my dismay, my first assignment has been more as a developer than as a coach/scrum master, but I felt this would also be a good opportunity to observe and understand how to coach effectively. I might even experiment with seeing how well I could help improve practices from the trenches.
You see, I thought I knew all there is to coaching after being in an agile environment for three years and seeing a lot of good and bad approaches. The contrast between that and my current workplace has been profound… I’ve often been swift in pointing out rotten practices, often citing a lot of the good practices that I’ve experienced work well and know to be right. I’ve also found myself sometimes written off when I vocalize my observations.
Anyway, while I was walking my dogs this afternoon it hit me… coaching isn’t about being right, it’s about providing options and helping the team discover better practices.