Month: March 2016

There’s roller derby and there’s men’s roller derby.  I can’t think of another assertive team sport with large amounts of physical contact which is played primarily by women.  There are male roller derby teams (and even a few mixed ones) and this is becoming more popular, but it is still predominantly a female sport. In […]

When we think about agile development we talk about the performance of the team and not measuring individual performance.  If we measure individual performance then we drive behaviours which are counterproductive to our overall aims.  For example, one of the best developers I have ever worked with would probably have been viewed as achieving very […]

I am a huge fan of roller derby, which is an assertive sport played on roller skates (see my Roller Derby page for a quick run down of the game).  I play recreationally and have great admiration for those who play competitively.  There are times when I mull about what lessons we can learn in the agile […]

Earlier this year I decided to undertake an experiment on punishment and blameworthiness.  I set up an online survey and asked my Facebook friends and people on Twitter to fill it out.  There were 5 scenarios.  In each one someone called John did something wrong and people were asked to say how blameworthy John was […]

What can we tell by looking at someone?  Can we guess what job they do?  Could we gauge how good they are with people and how effective a leader they would make? Despite how much we believe that we make voting decisions or job offer decisions based on rational analysis the fact remains that we […]

What’s the first thing we do when a problem happens in the live system?  Fix it of course.  Then we set about finding out who’s to blame so that they can be suitably punished.  Why is there this drive to punishment?  What dies it achieve? One organisation I worked with used to have a high […]

We concentrate far too much on leadership qualities and how leaders achieve great results rather than concentrating on the followers – who are the actual ‘do’ers – and what enables them to deliver the best results.  It’s like we have a cult around the figurehead and totally undervalue the team.  We talk about self-management but […]

Welcome to the next in a series of blogs on how we can apply design patterns to everyday development life, rather than just to the code.  This time I have chosen the classic Gang of Four ‘Observer’ pattern to look at how we judge the success of agile work and the measures which we base […]