Thursday, January 28, 2010

Yet another frakkin' metaphor...

Vintage Trek from 1984, courtesy of YakShaving

This is beautiful, brilliantly engineered by master craftsmen and insanely efficient, but it's not what I want to build.  However,  it's what I do for a living, and I have to exhibit enthusiasm...

Wright Flyer 1, courtesy of Wikipedia

This is ugly and somewhat makeshift, and is pretty lousy at its intended purpose.  But....

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Low-Hanging Fruit vs. High Risk

Among my various misunderstandings of Agility is the algorithm for deciding what story/task/monster to attack first.  It's either:

Go after the low-hanging fruit, get the process rolling with an easy win, warm up your tools and environment.


Jump into the biggest unknown first to reduce the uncertainty, start requesting external resources or services that you might end up waiting on, start researching something you may have a serious learning curve on.

With Sudoku, it's easy. I always go after the low hanging fruit - anything else would be absurd. Every cell filled in adds one more constraint to each of three cross-cutting sets - it lowers other fruit.  There are no externals and no research.

With my linguistic ... uh ... hobby, it's radically different. I want to jump in and BDD me up some Rails, but I have so much linguistics to catch up on...  The low hanging Rspec fruit is tempting, but biting into it won't bring me that instant knowledge of Good and Evil linguistic theories I need.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Who's More Agile - CSI-V or Leverage?

The Leverage team is all specialists, no real diffusion of knowledge or skills.  Of course, now they've got Seven of Nine, who's used to mind-melding....

The CSI-Vegas team all seem to know and do just about everything - including when to call themselves cops and when not to.  (This struck me in the latest episode [two dead pseudo-hookers and a pseudo-Jekyll] when Catherine was running a major lab op to get fingerprints off a DB with neither of the med examiners in sight.)  There have been learning experiences - when Greg (and later, Hodges) left the lab for field investigations.

Given that CSI-V has an aura of forensic science (in spite of - don't get me started - a major absurd fail at the MSI exhibit last year) and an imaginary lab to drool over, it does have some educational moments.  Leverage has its post-hoc scam "reveals" - clever, but it's not in the same league.

Character personalities are front and center in Leverage and tend a bit more toward cartoons. CSI-V is darker (in all ways).

Toward the end of Dollhouse (just watched the penultimate episode),  a team gels.  The distortion here is that skills are "learned" instantly via technomagic.

Bones  has the scientific aura of CSI-V and the rigid specialization of Leverage

Okay - so I love these shows, but there's an issue here:  pop culture inevitably provides role models.  Are they good models for real work teams?

P.S. What is it about the techies' names on these shows?  Bones has Hodgins (although Angela's the software geek), CSI-V has Hodges (who seems to have taken over Archie's responsibilities), and Hardison on Leverage is played by an actor  named Hodge.

P.P.S.  CSI-NY is a yawner and CSI-Miami is an obscenity - I won't even link to them.


Where have I been lately? Looking for an "engagement" and Railing on my linguistics hobby.