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Monthly Archives: July 2010

Come and work with us at Software Education

Software Education are looking for another Agile trainer, based in Australia.

If you want to become part of a fantastic team, working for a great organisation and making a real contribution to the software engineering world then please get in touch with us!

More details can be found here: http://www.softed.com/Company/Vacancies.aspx

Posted by Shane Hastie

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Posted by on July 28, 2010 in Agile

 

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Diversity makes teams better

The Software Education trainer team used to be a pretty homogeneous bunch – mainly balding, middle-aged white males (most of us with beards).   This wasn’t the result of any policy or plan, it was just the way things worked out over time.

In the  last few years we’ve been fortunate to take on a number of people who broke the pattern, today we’re a much more diverse group – a mix of age groups, men and women from a variety of cultural backgrounds with vastly different experience.

This diversity has made us a more interesting team, has made our course material more valuable and improved the advice we can offer in consulting engagements.

We don’t always agree – in fact we often have robust discussions on many topics.  We respect each other’s opinions and perspectives and actively work to appreciate and understand each other’s point of view, even when we agree to disagree.

Researching an InfoQ article on diversity I found a great quote from Desmond Tutu about “Ubuntu”:

A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu “God Has A Dream” 2004 Published by Doubleday

I’d say Software Education is an organisation that exhibits Ubuntu in our team.

For more on the value of diversity in teams see http://www.infoq.com/news/2010/07/value-of-diversity

Posted by Shane Hastie

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2010 in Culture

 

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Non Allegiance

Anyone who has attended a Software Education course will be familiar with the most common answer we give to questions:  “It depends”.  (We do then try to provide a context for what it depends on :-)).

We are strong supporters of the context driven approach to all aspects of software engineering – there is truly no “one size fits all” option in any of the topic areas we cover.

In the Agile space there has been a distressing tendency to form camps around one approach or another (If you’re not doing XXXXX exactly according to YYYYY book then you’re WRONG!), at times the public debate has been fierce, and dogma reigns.

In our classrooms and course material we try to avoid dogma, and shamelessly draw from many different authors, approaches and schools of thought to present what we feel is a pragmatic combination of techniques and tools that our participants can draw from in their daily work.

We are not the only ones who have noted the issue of dogma in the software world.  Alistair Cockburn, one of the original authors of the Agile Manifesto and a highly respected agilist has drafted an “Oath of Non-allegiance“.  As he says:

I’m tired of people from one school of thought dissing ideas from some other school of thought. I hunger for people who don’t care where the ideas come from, just what they mean and what they produce. So I came up with that “Oath of Non-Allegiance”.

The text of the oath is

I promise not to exclude from consideration any idea based on its source, but to consider ideas across schools and heritages in order to find the ones that best suit the current situation.

It’s certainly something that I can agree with and have signed it.

More discussion about this can be found here: http://www.infoq.com/news/2010/07/oath-of-nonallegiance

What do you think?

Posted by Shane Hastie

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2010 in Agile