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Re: [ljc] University vs Real Life Industry Work

From: @sleepyfox
Sent on: Friday, June 29, 2012 10:56 AM
As someone who has been helping teams become more effective even before the term 'Agile' was coined in 2001, I would just like to weigh in and put on record that the OP's experience, while lamentable, is in no way shape or form 'Agile'; instead it is just 'bad management' pure and simple.

I feel for anyone caught in an organisation like this, I've worked in them before in my career and that is why I, like Martijn and Ben, have set up my own company. I also feel for anyone who graduating enters a company like this and having never seen anything different assumes that this is the way all software development organisations work, and that this is what Agile is all about.

It isn't.

* As Bronwyn has already mentioned, the Scrum ceremony of the daily stand-up is there for the team to help them synchronise their activities and understand each other's blockers, not to inform a manager of progress.
* Team members volunteer for work, managers do not assign work items.
* The Scrum master (or Agile coach in XP/Crystal) is not a manager, their role is to facilitate and coach the team. This is why teams don't have project managers in Agile.
* Respect for others is a core value in all forms of Agile, the OP's manager obviously doesn't respect their team, and the counterpoint to this is that the team doesn't respect their manager either.

I would suggest 'project tourism' - go find an organisation that is happy to have you work on their team for a day, there are many about. Then you will find other benchmarks that you can use for what a productive development environment and team dynamic looks like.

Best of luck in your search for a better home.

N.

On 29 June[masked]:34, Richard Gomes <[address removed]> wrote:
Most don't

Richard Gomes
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On 29/06/12 10:15, Martijn Verburg wrote:
> Not if you're doing it right ;-)
>
> On 29 June[masked]:54, Richard Gomes<[address removed]>  wrote:
>> Agile lacks long term planning.
>>
>> Richard Gomes
>> mobile : [masked]
>> twitter: frgomes
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Skype: dial skype2ippi           then dial[masked] when prompted.
>> GTalk: dial [address removed]  then dial[masked] when prompted.
>> SIP  : dial [address removed]
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>>
>>
>> On 29/06/12 06:25, John Summers wrote:
>>
>> Interesting point, Alexander.
>>
>> Everything seems so pro-Agile in the industry these days that nobody seems
>> brave enough to nail their counterpoint to the cathedral doors.
>>
>> Sadly the second-last experience I had of Agile was quite unpleasant. It was
>> warped into a mechanism to micro-manage and interfere with developers. The
>> daily stand-up turned into an hour-long meeting (yes, per day) where the
>> project manager would grill everyone and ask for precise breakdowns of what
>> they had done and what they would "commit" to getting done that day.
>>
>> The workrate was based off 8 hours per day of work. Of course forgetting
>> that the meeting alone took 7. Also forgetting that developers need to do
>> such things as:
>>
>> help their team mates
>> talk to their team mates (yes, actually have conversations and build
>> relationships)
>> respond to huge volumes of emails (which easily could take an hour a day)
>> respond to occasional production support calls
>> go get a coffee
>> eat snacks
>> take a dump
>>
>>
>> When we suggested that the *true* workrate per day was in fact more like 5
>> hours the manager went purple and started ranting. "You are PAID FOR EIGHT
>> HOURS WORK!!" he would scream.
>>
>> The end result was a sad state of affairs divided into two phases. In the
>> first phase developers went cut-throat and would not help each other for
>> fear of losing time, thus tasks in general took a lot longer and the net
>> result across the team was everything took twice as long. In the second
>> phase we all learned to simply grotesquely inflate all our estimates by a
>> factor of two or three, to give us time to do all the things in the list
>> above. If we ended up with spare time... then for goodness sake keep quiet
>> or your 'esimating ability' would be questioned and a Mao-style self
>> criticism would follow.
>>
>> Oh, and half the team was offshore in India and seemed not to give a flying
>> shit about anything.
>>
>> I am well aware that this is *NOT* how Agile is supposed to work but I just
>> wanted to raise the point (and hopefully invoke a few giggles in the
>> process) that Agile in the wrong hands can be a very effective system of
>> making developers lives hell.
>>
>> Have a good day,
>> John
>>
>> ________________________________
>> From: [address removed]
>> To: [address removed]
>> Subject: [ljc] University vs Real Life Industry Work
>> Date: Thu, 28 Jun[masked]:03:03 -0400
>>
>> Hi
>>
>> Is there anyone else who thinks that Industry work is just about following
>> processes "agile daily standup, the whole day managers don't communicate
>> with the developers cause they are too busy doing meetings and then
>> in the morning they ask what you worked on, (whats the point?),
>> why even bother telling them  what you did since they don't have a
>> technical enough understanding of the issues a programmer faces,
>> to me the daily standup seems just a way of scrum masters (who mostly
>> have not coded in 10 years/ some have never coded in their lifes
>> and then they say that seems long why does it take so long to complete the
>> task
>> how can they say that if they have not written one line of code in their
>> lifes)
>> to control developers.
>>
>> Furthermore developers need to  put up a facade to managers
>> that they worked on a boring task such as replacing tag libraries
>> and they make it sound like a lot of work in the daily standup just to look
>> good in front of managers in their annual performance reviews.
>>
>> I've been industry for 3 years now and the longer I stay the more I feel
>> like
>> I want to start my own company although it is risk cause of money etc.
>>
>> Is this why so many developers start their own companies?
>>
>> University seemed so much more interesting than real life as
>> one could focus on topics that were interesting such as machine learning,
>> artificial intelligence, data mining, distributed systems and it fosters
>> a much more creative environment where research is possible because
>> there are no managers who try to control everything you do therefore
>> not allowing you to be a creative thinker which in my view is what makes
>> software development interesting in the first place.
>>
>> Thanks any views appreciated.
>>
>>
>>
>>
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