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November, 2004:

Interactions, not objects

Another data point, “Tony Rizzo”:http://www.pdinstitute.com/shareholder_value/2004/10/12-meaning-of-system.html quotes an example of why “a system is defined not by its components but by the _interaction_ of its components”

XpDay 4 London Soon!

The fourth “XpDay London”:http://www.xpday.org is fast approaching (25/26 November). Book before it fills up.

We have another hot programme this year, with one presenter coming from as far away as Australia, and attendees coming from Scandanavia. I’m very pleased that we have two high-powered keynote and masterclass speakers: “Tom Gilb”:http://www.gilb.com is a pioneer of incremental development, and “Dave Snowden”:http://www.cynefin.net is a very major player in the world of Knowledge Management and Organisational Change.

Dave is not well known in the software development world, but has a lot to say about organisations that’s very relevant to the Agile Community. Here’s a taste of his style from the AOK_K-Net yahoo list:

bq. […] “resources” and “capital” represent a view of humans as disposable cogs in a mechanical process who can be sorted and controlled based on measurable competences. An absurd and dangerous notion that leads to sacrificing human effectiveness, innovation and curiosity on the altar of mechanical efficiency. When we have all been six-sigma-ed to death and everyone is applying best practice, then expect entropy death.

Internet telephony

My wife is currently in Japan where her GSM phone doesn’t work. We’ve just had a chat using “Skype”:http://www.skype.com. I don’t know if it’s the best internet voice service, but it certainly works fine for us. I know I’m a late adopter on many things (I remember colleagues using Next machines to talk to California, oh, 12 years ago), but this one is a very nice repackaging of the technology. Anyway, how good does it have to be for free?

The opposite of RUP

Martin Fowler “points out”:http://martinfowler.com/bliki/ScopeLimbering.html that many ThoughtWorks engagements start with a fixed price bid to establish credibility then turn into something more flexible as reality kicks in. This is the opposite of the RUP approach, as explained at length to me by more than one consultant. The initial stages, Inception and Elaboration, are charged at time and materials while the project _avant garde_ sort out the essentials of the system. Then everything gets locked down and Construction and Deployment are developed at a fixed price. Presumably this is the bit that’s just a matter of programming, so it can be shipped off to somewhere cheaper. I haven’t yet been lucky enough to work on a project that stable.