November 26, 2009

A day of thanks

Thanksgiving is a great holiday. Every year, I get a chance to get together with my extended family, enjoy an excessive meal with them and spend time reflecting on the many blessings in my life.

This reflection has once again reminded me how fortunate I am to have so many great people surrounding me...and I would like to just say a quick "thank you" for all that you do. I know that my random ideas, brash opinions, and lame attempts at humor can be overbearing, but I greatly appreciate your putting up with it (all of it).

For those of you who I am not fortunate enough to interact with regularly (lucky you), thanks for reading and letting me share some of my better ideas and discussions with you, and I look forward to continuing to do so.


November 17, 2009

You are only as good as...

...the last thing you've done.

I often use this common saying with the soccer team that I coach (slightly modified: "...your last game"). The goal is to emphasize continual improvement. No matter what they had accomplished in the past, there is no way to replace a current failure.

What if you were judged based on what you are working on today or your most recent project? Does it reflect what you think of your work? Are you achieving your potential? Are there things you would want to change before being judged?

Too many of us go through the motions at times and start to coast. Coasting and settling is a slippery slope that so many people get caught sliding down. As you coast, you slow down, and before you know haven't gone too far at all.

What you will do (not can do) defines who you are and what your value is to those around you. Make sure it is great.

November 11, 2009


No, this post isn't about hockey or chess.

I'm sure that you've heard a pilot, before takeoff, tell the flight attendants to "prepare for takeoff and cross-check." Until my most recent flight, I always thought that I had a pretty good idea of what "cross-check" was and what it meant. In the past I may have pretended to "know" what that really meant and made an educated guess...and gotten close, or been partially right.

But, that doesn't mean that I understand "cross-check" or can really have any educated discussions about it.

Yet, this is exactly what happens daily with software professionals when talking about agile. Those who have never read the Agile Manifesto talk about agile like they actually understand it just because they can define the word, make educated guesses, and maybe even be partially right. It also typically leads them to uneducated conclusions (e.g. agile is a fad).

Agile is most certainly not a silver bullet, but it cannot be dismissed until you truly understand what it is all about.

photo credit, Osdu