Why might you think otherwise?

Having to work harder and act like 'robots', with little scope for personal initiative, are the chief reasons for declining job satisfaction in Britain, according to a new study.
Feelings of insecurity, too high expectations and people being 'over-educated' and unable to find work to match their qualifications, are largely dismissed, in the study led by Professor Francis Green of the University of Kent. His team found no evidence to back suggestions that the dull mood of workers may be due to successive generations having ever higher expectations from their jobs and being disappointed by the realities of employment.
Tim Osborn-Jones at Henley Management College said: “Employee commitment is known to be important but complex. Staff that 'want' to stay are likely to go the extra mile to achieve an exceptional outcome. Staff driven more by a 'need' to stay (lack of alternatives), or sense of 'ought' to stay, may be less concerned with outcomes.
"Henley's own research also suggests that, even in today's downsized, de-layered organisational world, most talented individuals want an employment relationship based on trust, social exchange, and will engage when given the opportunity to achieve self-fulfilment, a sense of accomplishment and fun and enjoyment at work."


A retronym is a word invented in the present to describe something that needed no definition in the past. (For example the "acoustic guitar" is a retronym that was only needed after the electric guitar was invented.) What retronyms might there be for the Fragile software processes that previously had no name:

  • Blame oriented software engineering?
  • Just too late software production?
  • Document driven design?
  • Test last and hope development?
(With thanks to Conan Dalton for starting this discussion at XP2005...)

Announcing "Experiences": an e-zine for software practitioners

Story-telling is a long-established human activity with a rich and diverse history. Today the power of story-telling is applied in software development teams through retrospectives, appreciative inquiry, narrative therapy, and cynefin techniques, as well as around the water cooler. Stories help us to understand, question, and inform the way we practice our craft. (Think for example of the way that the story of the C3 project was woven in to the early XP movement.)
It struck me a while ago that the only stories that software practitioners tend to share in print are 'headline' stories: bigger, bolder and more in-your-face than many of us might relate to. Where are the everyday stories of 'aha' moments, hopes and disappointments, and tales from the code face? There are plenty of these in blogs – one of the reasons why the blogging medium is so popular, I think – but no collections publishing a variety of voices in one place.
Or at least there were no such collections until Joel Spolsky put together Best Software Writing.
There are plenty more interesting and informative stories not in that book, and the number of those unheard stories increases every day. So I wondered to myself, why not seek out more stories and make them available electronically? Which is what I intend to do: this is the official announcement of the launch of the grass roots e-zine Experiences, that will collect stories from software practitioners and share them in the community.
My vision is that this e-zine becomes a collaborative endeavour, "published" three to four times a year, with varying editors, themes and contributors. For the first edition I'm looking for descriptions around 500 words long of events that actually happened to you, with or without an explicit commentary or lessons learnt section. Preference will be given to European contributors providing original (unpublished) material covered by a Creative Commons license. The target audience is software practitioners and consultants working in Europe, but stories don't have to be limited to the realm of software development. If you'd like to contribute or have any questions or observations then I'd love to hear from you! Here's hoping for a great launch issue in August...