You, Sir, are an Anti-Pattern

Last night in the pub I was introduced to the term ‘corncob’, a label apparently used in some software development circles for a disruptive team member. I’d love to know how on earth that particular word was chosen.

I rather dislike this tendency to put people into boxes, as the next obvious step is to write the person off, but I guess giving these stereotypes a name at least gives you a framework for discussing them and starting to figure out what is driving their dysfunctional behaviour.

Plus we can all recognise a little bit of them in ourselves, and our fellow team-mates. Anyone else lucky enough to have a bit of an EXTRA TERRESTRIAL on their team? (Hi Brett!)

Agile / Lean Software Development

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XP Day 2007

…was good fun, and well worth a couple of days off.

There’s a mixed crowd – some die-hard extreme programmers, quite a few self-styled (and self-promoting!) ‘coaches’ and a few newbies.

The atmosphere was really friendly – you would quite often find yourself sat in one session right next to the person who had been leading the previous one, so that and the often fun and interactive sessions broke the ice pretty quickly.

The first day was a bit flat for me, but after a night on the free beer courtesy of the sponsors, the second day picked up and really made it worth it. I wish I’d had time to stay for another session in the pub on Tuesday evening.

Key things I took from this conference, more detail on these later if you’re lucky:

  • There’s a fairly serious backlash going on against scrum (I heard more than one person drop the ‘r’, although I think one of those was accidental!), certainly within the London / UK agile scene.
  • There’s tension, which as I see it is between the coaching community and the programmer / creator community, who disagree about how much it’s OK to compromise on the original agile manifesto values and XP practices. I heard the phrase ‘valuing pragmatism over orthodoxy’ which summed it up rather well.
  • Nobody, but nobody, works for ThoughtWorks anymore, not even Fred George
  • You probably need to be working in Java if you want to get decent XP gigs, especially for a bank, and there’s quite a few people working for banks – particularly front office.
  • Kanban is where it’s at, baby.

Agile / Lean Software Development

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