Scaring You Straight: Legacy Madness


I saw this classic comic book cover and couldn’t resist. There could be a whole True Coding Crime series.

The Right Profile

I’ve been feeling a little dirty recently from dealings with people who might most kindly be called duplicitous. “I’m agile,” they state at the same time their ass backs up into a cave-cube, looking to grab an ugly stick with which to beat down team members.

My wish is greedy and unreasonable: I want nothing more than to expect that if people say they are supportive of something, then they actually understand what they’re supporting and actively try to do so. (It’s asking a lot, given that millions of US citizens just did otherwise.)

On days when I feel like Catbert, I want to use a personality-profile-based litmus test for agile attitude. Does the use of personality profiles in business derive from mistrust, from people being burned? Are they a tool for evil when used as a factor in hiring?

Employing such a test would require sufficient data demonstrating a correlation between personalities and agile. Is there correlation? A study is warranted; what would that look like? I imagine in its simplest form there are two questions.

  1. What is your Meyers-Briggs type indicator?
  2. Do you really buy into agile? (… or however you ask this and get an honest answer)

I have two suspicions hypotheses: One, for the most part, there is little correlation, and agile-capables are all over the personality map. But two, I suspect there are one or two personality types (out of the 16 Meyes-Briggs types) for whom agile is a bad match.

Pairing Smells

Tim Ottinger and I are working on a new project, an agile agile reference guide. (Yes, that’s supposed to be two “agile”s in a row.) One of the things we’re debating is a list of pairing smells. Here’s what we have so far:

  • Unequal access to keyboard and/or screen
  • Keyboard domination
  • Pair marriages / no switching during story
  • Worker/rester pairing
  • Second computer
  • “Everyone does their own work”
  • 90% of stories 90% done
  • Reluctant pairings
  • Debates lasting longer than 10 minutes with no new code

Thoughts welcome, and incorporated ideas will be rightly attributed. What might we remove from or add to this list? What could be worded better?