I engage in a lot of software engineering discussions on Social Media, especially on LinkedIN. There are a lot of smart people out there (and others) willing to share their opinions. I like the diversity of opinions and ideas. Even when 2 people agree on something they sometimes have different reasoning or attack the problem from a slightly different angle and I think that is great.
However, sometimes I find those conversations draining. Sometimes they get hijacked by one or two boyscouts who feel it is their duty to correct those who they see as holding wrong opinions. These zealots refuse to acknowledge anyone else's experience as valid. Some of these people even proclaim to be "agile" (for whatever that means anymore), yet they appear to be forgetting the first line of the manifesto.
software by doing it and helping others do it."
Certain people seem to grab their soap boxes and megaphones on social media and shout about how there's only one way to do things and they have discovered it. If you aren't doing things the same way they are, well "you're doing it wrong". Sometimes these people do have good ideas and I often agree with them, but they are way too dogmatic for me. Their dogmatism collides heavily with the first line of the Agile Manifesto. The lack of humility is also quite stunning. Anytime anyone objects or says "that idea doesn't quite work in my situation", instead of trying to understand where the other person is coming from, they immediately default to "Well that's just an excuse for not doing things 'the right way'" by which they really mean "my way". It's rather offputting. It's also not in the spirit of "helping others do it." There is no helping going on. Only criticism.
Who should I listen to
I could enumerate the small handful of people who I find too dogmatic (some of you can probably already guess who I am talking about), but I'd rather share some people you should be listening to:
- Ron Jeffries
- JB Rainsberger
- GeePaw Hill
- Kent Beck
- Jessica Joy Kerr
- Chastity Majors
- Tim Ottinger
- Scott Hanselman
- David Neal
These people are often advocating similar ideas to the zealots, but are a lot less dogmatic. Also, they aren't the only people you should be listening to. I'm sure there are others. Find people who are willing to meet others where they are and help them and are humble enough to admit that they don't have all the answers.
The SAS Way of Working
To be clear, I have a way of working that works for me. I'm very bullish on it. I think everyone should try it for themselves. To me, the benefits are readily apparent. I also readily acknowledge that there may be some situations where my approach is not the best. I sometimes have trouble imagining those situations, but I wouldn't be surprised if they existed. Someone somewhere probably has some constraints that i've never thought of that either invalidate some or all of my way of working or at least require some adaptations. That's ok. I'm still bullish that my way of working can help a large portion of the LabVIEW community. That's why I keep pushing it.
Our way of working is centered around crafting development processes that put people at the center—be it your users, your developers, or your business stakeholders. Everyone should be a co-creator, not a cog in the wheel. Our main building block is the idea of small steps and quick feedback. This helps to make sure that not only are we doing things right, but doing the right things. We use a variety of tools and techniques, but they all sit on top of this foundation.
If you want to learn more about our way of working, I'm happy to sit down and talk about how we can work together.