Don't look behind the curtain

In Threads - Threat or Menace Eric S. Raymond writes that "Threads are a fertile source of bugs because they can too easily know too much about each others' internal states". I wondered whether this applies to people as well: can you get more errors if the people on a (large) team know too much about each others' internal states? Is this what prevents XP from scaling well beyond teams of 10-12? And what is the team size where an event-driven style of interaction and collaboration becomes a more efficient way of working?

XPDay 2003 - Life coaching for developers

Dave Kirby ran an excellent workshop on how to apply the life coaching skills he has learnt with developers and development teams. I have known Dave for a couple of years now, initially meeting through the London eXtreme Tuesday Club, and have a lot of respect for his ideas and human(e) approach. Not surprisingly perhaps, the key skills we practised were listening (as in really listening) and asking powerful questions. Well worth attending!

XPDay 2003 - Lean and keen

Mary Poppendieck gave the keynote speech and focussed on the (self-interested!) reasons that development teams should be keen to practice Lean Development. She did a great job of explaining ideas such as kaizen, muda (waste) and value chain analysis, and I hope that anyone present who was unaware of the lean principles went away interested to find out more. (Oh and her book is a cracking good read, too!)

XPDay 2003 - Metrics are evil ;-)

So what can I say about my own contribution to XPDay?! Well, as in the previous two years it was fun to be there as a speaker, bouncing ideas off people and engaging in stimulating conversations. (E.g. Tom Gilb insisted - unsurprisingly - that just because metrics are misused that does not make them evil. A lot of XP / agile folk dislike metrics because of the way they are applied in a 'one size fits all' fashion, but I personally feel that appropriate measurements have their place at appropriate times.) The main point I wanted to make was that communicating with a team often and openly enough can get you some advance notice of problems, well before they show up in any backward-looking numbers, and in time to permit corrective action.