One of the fun parts of programming the Software Process and Measurement Cast is getting diverse groups of people together to chat.  In this edition of the podcast, Jon M Quigley, Jeremy Willets, Jeremy Berriault, Kevin Rush, Susan Parente, and myself convened to discuss what we learned about work in 2021. The last few years have been extraordinary — both good and bad. When you live in times like these it is incumbent on all of us to learn from them.

The panelists (other than myself) are:

Jeremy Berriault Web: 

Susan Parente Web:

Jon M Quigley Web:

Kevin Rush Twitter: @Kezrush

Jeremy Willets   Blog: 

 Re-Read Saturday News 

Week 2 of our re-read of  Agile Conversations by Douglas Squirrel and Jeffrey Fredrick tackles Chapter 1, Escaping the Software Factory. The idea that software development and maintenance fit a factory model in which people are fungible and that processes are deterministic is a thing in 2021 (as it was when this book was written). I have always been hard-pressed to buy the factory/manufacturing model. I have worked on an assembly line. One of the jobs I had was building tires for Firestone Tire and Rubber Company at their plant in Memphis. That job was one of the reasons I made sure I went to university. Whether the assembly line model was truly appropriate even for tire manufacturing would be interesting to debate (the plant is gone, no amount of scientific management could save it). At the very least, software development and maintenance are better served by team-based collaborative approaches. Words like team-based and collaboration require communication (something that did not happen on the assembly line, except when we had union meetings) so that rigid processes and micromanagement can be minimized.

My experiment of the week:

I originally planned to begin experimenting with the ideas from Agile Conversations with Chapter 2; however, Chapter 1 reminded me of the need to take a mindset-centered approach to change and to incorporate the ideas from Cynefin. I will review my decisions this week to assess whether I am getting lazy and assuming that situations are more deterministic than complex,  and therefore not putting myself in the right place to collaborate. Affiliate Link — Buy a copy and read the book!

Week 1: Logistics and Introduction 

Week 2: Escaping The Software Factory 


Next week features a second panel discussion with some of the same people (and a new mixer) with a focus on hopes and aspirations for 2022 and beyond. Next week will spike the ball on year 15 of the Software Process and Measurement Cast.