Monday 28 April 2008

Machines are predictable, people are not


I suppose we would all agree with that and that's why smart people try to develop processes to make us more predictable. On the other hand nobody likes being constrained by anything and especially a process. Some people call this kind of lack of structure freedom, some call it chaos :). From my experience a bit of process might actually help a lot whereas a complete lack of it leads sooner or later to a disaster. Scrum is one of the approaches that let people develop software in a predictable way and that's the topic of the next MTUG event (29th April) that I'm not going to miss. See you there.

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  1. Unfortunately I won't be able to make it, although I will probably be able to catch up with that session in Galway next Saturday (I will be presenting there too).

    To be precise, Scrum is an "adaptive", not "predictive" approach to develop software. By this, I mean that rather than trying to predict how a software will be in, say, a year time and trying to plan everything in advance (which is hard, if not impossible, to get "right" at the beginning), Scrum allows you to get feedback and easily change direction at the end of very short iterations (1 to 4 weeks). I've been using XP/Scrum for years (coming from a more formal RUP experience/background) and I just love how much more effective (and fun) this approach has been for the companies/teams I have been involved in.

  2. Good to hear you again Claudio. To be honest I think you misunderstood me. By saying "develop software in a predictable way" I mean that at each stage (sprint) of a project you know more or less what is going on and you can better anticipate what might happen in the near future. By near future I mean weeks, not years. As you I'm a big fan of light-weight processes that work in the background and let people be proactive, adaptive and creative.

  3. Hi Pawel,
    eheh, good to know we are on the same page!
    I have seen the same session in Galway (my presentation was just afterwards, on the same track). Mike's session was centered on using a form of Scrum using a custom template for Team System. To be honest I much prefer the simplicity of a whiteboard and physical index cards (and just googledocs for distributed teams), but hey, perhpas i'm just becoming an old dog struggling to learn new tricks :-)

  4. That was my concern as well. Way too much clicking :)