Articles from June 2010



Just Do It

I hate it, when people say that they will put something on their backlog. If it just takes 15 minutes, why the hell can’t they do it during the same day? It’s very hard to work with teams that never do stuff. They will put the thing on their backlog and it’s always going to be in the next sprint. Things get either done immediately or when the team gets tired of being asked about it. I prefer immediately.

I know that they cannot concentrate on their own stuff, if they have to do favors for others all the time. But sometimes something needs to get done urgently and it might be a very small thing. Hell, if someone needs something simple from me, I will always do it during the same day. I don’t want to make other people’s work any harder than it already is. I can surf reddit 15 minutes less. People are genuinely surprised, when I do stuff for them immediately.

It is called common sense, and you can apply it even if you are following some fancy methodology. I am not an expert on Agile or Scrum or Whatever, but I would assume that there is a section, which allows the use of common sense.

I have a tremendous respect for people who can help me with something on the spot without rambling something about their backlog. As a programmer, big part of my job is to communicate with others and make sure that the whole system is running smoothly as possible. It does not make any sense to refer to the backlog every time someone needs something.

Like most programmers I hate interruptions, but I hate it even more, if someone else cannot do their work, because I can’t find 15 minutes to help them. When I am in the zone, I don’t want to get interrupted by anyone, but when that rarely happens, most people have gone home already for the day. I guess you could compare it to having kids. You get stuff done when they are sleeping, but your responsibility is to be there for them when they need you. Software developers are a bunch of preschoolers anyway.

This approach works for me. I do my stuff on time and help others, when they need it. It probably does not work for everyone, but they could still try to squeeze things into their daily schedule instead of the mythical backlog.

Let the flaming commence!

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