22 October 2011

Overtime, dear overtime

Everybody knows that gut wrenching feeling a person feels when he or she is told to work some overtime, expeciality if its for an undefined period of time. You, me , everyone had that feeling at some point or other. Overtime is often, and justly, negatively perceived in our industry. Yeah, you ship the product on time the client is happy, the management is happy, all those nifty forms and grids are visible and working (sort of) and the load of defects and technical debts lurking underneath are just ready to pup some one sits the next day on the product to test it.
I'm working on a large project. And I had to do large amount of overtime on it. The deal was that the majority was applied voluntary during the time the majority of the team (around eight people) were working normal hours. And I felt really great about that. I had time to refactor several times the code a wrote (I was working on the core of the middle tier system so my refactoring paid several time since we had afterwards a really small amout of defects on the core of the system) , I created Architectural Notes for system features I wouldn't have the time to do during my regular hours, I wrote unit tests and developed system features which were badly needed on the project and I grew and improved my self, the project grow and my company grew and it was all voluntary on my own time and my own schedule. I had time for my regular job, my family and my voluntary overtime.

19 October 2011

Chicken and Pigs, a chicken perspective

I was reading the Scrum guide earlier today and I've read the "Chicken and pig" story. I wasn't a new story for me since I've read it a few years earlier when I first encountered Scrum (I'm just refreshing my memory). For a long time since that first reading I tought and talked about as envisioning my self in the role of the Pig, as someone who is commented to the project and how I should not allow chickens to dictate the way the project is developed (to some degree, even chickens have their powers to make things happen). But what if I'm the chicken on some project? How should I behave?
I think respect is the most important thing. When I'm a chicken I should respect the Pigs work and try to help them in the way they will let me without causing problems for them now or down the road. It is easy for chickens to say things, but is hard pigs to live with them.