Today Scott Bellware let loose with a response to Sahil Malik‘s recent post on Bad Programmer Diseases. I’m sorry to say this, but I’m going to do it straight off and not touch it again. Scott, the start of your post reads exactly like the definition (written or inferred) of a Fr-agilist. It’s comes across as the whole “You don’t get me so you’re incapable of being one of us” argument. That’s it for my criticism tonight.
Scott makes some stellar statements around the ability for a person to just pick-up the ability to be agile (or any other fundamental change to the way you work). He states that “They (agile practices) require much more practice and understanding than the at-large practices that came before them”. I’ve heard this type of statement twice in the last week. JP Boodhoo said that, although you can learn it yourself, learning (pairing) with an experienced TDD practitioner will speed your uptake of the practice and exponentially increase the skill in which you practice TDD. Scott is right when he says this. I can’t become agile just by reading a book or an article or a single day of training. I need a month of being on a team with a solid, experienced agilist to begin to be what Scott is.
I’m all over another point that Scott makes. I also hate “the attitudes of developers who seem to have developed an inordinate instant gratification expectation toward learning as if all learning unfolded the way that learning a new product or tool does”. Programmers. Get off your asses and come to grips with the fact that there is more to keeping up to date with the latest keyboard shortcuts and the greatest new code snippet websites. Learning in abstraction is not limited to your last year of college or university. The world we work in is full of abstraction. Maybe it’s the an abstraction in the code you’re writing, or it could be abstracting the developer (Joel Spolsky). Abstract your process folks, it will get your mind into a very different place when it comes to the way you operate day to day.
Scott, excuse me for offer you some advise, but you need to step away from the Agile fanaticism so that you can better promote it. Teach me Scott. If you can’t do it through a blog, which I will buy in this case, tell me how I can go and learn it. Tell me the best courses. Tell me the best books. Give me concrete examples of the practice in use in a project environment. Scott, I, and many others, are ready to give this a shot. Like you said, we can’t do it alone.
I don’t mean to ruffle your feathers Scott, but I meant to do it in the nicest way possible. I’m going to be at DevTeach and I’m going to search you out so that I can do two things: Feel your passion for agile and convince you that you should be speaking at the Edmonton .NET User Group.