Archive for 2009/08/22

Learning from failure

We all love happy stories, the success. That is; we love to tell those stories. We like to share when we did everything right and when the success came. But what did you learn more from; the success or the failure? When we look at the scientific method, we can see that a failed testing of a theory says more than a non failure. A success means that the theory has not yet been disproven.

When writing Confessions of a serial product owner, downloadable on my site, I tried including my failures as well and it’s almost spooky to hear the words from Scott Bellware at Öredev 2007. Agile is not a silver bullet. Waterfall is not the solution. Is lean the solution? Probably not, but one step at the time is the only way you can walk. The talk is 50 minutes but really starts from scratch if you’re new to agile and lean. Do take the time and thanks TVAgile for sharing the link:

Categories: Agile, Leadership, lean

Informatics teachers stuck in the 70’s

After having taking classes at Swedish Mittuniversitet during the spring and summer, I’ve probably spent more time debating the low understanding of modern software development than learning new stuff. Not exactly what I had in mind when I started taking these classes and from time to time I’ve just thought that I would simply give up. I knew that taking Informatics, which I’ve been working with during my whole career would not bring so much knowledge during the first classes, of course the teachers must take into consideration that students can come directly from high school, but I was totally unprepared when I met teachers who hadn’t even heard of SOA and who thought that agile methodologies are a side track then it comes to managing software projects. Who actually think that a tester should use the original specifications as a key when validating the delivery.

What a tragedy that we train the new students so poorly. One cannot help seeing this as if a teacher used the geography books of 1980. The reality has changed a bit since then and it’s sad that the teachers haven’t bothered to keep themselves updated.

Perhaps it’s the subject of Informatics, when I a couple of years ago took a database class for the same university, I was very pleased with the course and the teacher. It was not like he thought that DB2 was the most modern database system out there. When it comes to these subjects outside the technical sphere, it seems like one enters a time warp. Oh, yes, they’ve heard about the Internet, but I got the feeling that they are very skeptical and think that it’s a some what evil thing since there are no librarians telling them what is “good” information.

This autumn I’m struggling on. I hope that when I now move on the the lesser basic subjects that the teachers are better updated and the classes more challenging. I’m continuing my studies in business process management, I’m taking a class in web informatics, a class in informatics in system development and finally a class in user centered system development. And if the experiences from the previous classes prevails, perhaps I can spark an idea in one of the other students or even one of the teachers.

Categories: Agile