Old dogs, new tricks.

Silly me!  I thought we were having a conversation!

A few months ago extreme-programming guru Ron Jeffries and I had a rather drawn-out - and probably unproductive - twitter discussion about a situation where I (and others) used some harry-arsed estimates to cause some very effective slicing-and-dicing on 3 large-ish software development projects (think dozens of developers and 10s of thousands of days, each). The projects were very successful and earned us - and my version of Agile - a lot of credibility within our business.  More than that, though, the process built a lot of trust.

You can read Ron's blog post here, but as you do please please please insert "I think" in front of every sentence starting about a third of the way down the article.  Ron is an excellent and assertive writer, but he is actually expressing a bunch of opinions.  And, to my mind, he seems to say the same thing over and over again - what Tom DeMarco called, "method of repeated assertion.  

I wasn't going to post a reply but then I got sick a couple of months ago and I had a few days in a hospital bed with a charged up iPad and I went hunting around on Ron's blog.  I found this this (different) post, where Ron says:

"People who think estimation is necessary, or a gift from G*d, bugger off."

At first I thought it was maybe the morphine, but he actually wrote that!  

If you go poke around you'll see a lot of stuff like that.  

Ron, like one of those bible-thumping preachers you see in old cowboy movies, was tweeting to the converted.  


I hope this doesn't come across as an attack on Ron.  He's done a lot for our industry and I cherish the 1 time we met face to face.  It's just a funny way of doing business in an industry which prides itself on collaboration.

Silly me.  I thought we were having a conversation.

clarke ching1 Comment