Test Retreat

Welcome to the homepage of Kris Corbus

Archive for the tag “trust”

Shake It Off

image

I have three kids and they are my teachers. This is my oldest, 11 years old dreamer, lego builder and kayaker. A few weeks ago he participated in the local championship. He had bad results in solo and in team race they even did not finish – one of his two team mates felt in the water. It was cold and windy day. After they put their equipment back in place, I got some sweets from my car and went to find the boys to cheer them up. To my surprise, they were not disappointed at all, but instead planning to go to Berlin and be part of national team! “Berlin!? What Berlin? Wake up – you just got disqualified on local river!”- I screamed inside of me. I did say nothing out loud, but watched distanced their childish and untroubled behaviour.

A week later there was another competition. All three of them had good solo results and got qualified for Germany national championship. As a team they finished second and came home with medal. At first we did not believe our sons story (I was not at the race). Qualified for national races – yeah, right! But it turned out to be true. I shamed on me because I did not believe my child can achieve good results.

Short time ago I had talk at work. I am good with dealing feedback and criticism about my work – how I test, what I test, when I test. But this time it was about how I communicated. My first reaction was – this is not serious! I am very aware of importance of communication. I did the worst thing ever – I took it personal. Criticism was not about my work, it was about me as a person.

It took me few days, but than I remembered my son. I shook it off, analysed my communication as objective as I could, got second opinion and localised few weaknesses I want to work on for next few month. It is just one persons opinion and just one in row of many others. It is hard to stay professional if feedback is personal, but as my work experience grows, I see how greatly personality influences work issues. My next conference talk idea is to talk about trust – item, you can not put in contract, but what has huge impact in results.

What About Agile

I am big fan of Dilbert.

I like how in few pictures he captures the essence of software development, but in the same time I am ashamed, because I am part of it.

My trouble lately (several years to be specific) is agile. I have no trouble with methodology itself, but the way it is used. I struggled around till I saw this:

I did small research – talked to people and by the way asked about their info source on the subject. Some of business people really said that they have no idea what it is, but they learned that that’s the thing what sells. Agile is new sexy!

I start to think, how could I explain in small talk, how I understand agile and why it is worth to get to know more about it. Trade magazines often points out the speed as a key value, but never tells you how to get the speed. By pushing just accelerator you will not make very far on bend and bumpy road.

So let’s go back to the basics. First value on agile manifesto says:

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

Fifth principle of agile manifesto:

Build projects around motivated individuals.
Give them the environment and support they need,
and trust them to get the job done.

Individuals, motivated individuals… and trust them! How about that?! The trust. Whom do you trust?

I did small survey (that’s the thing I always do if I am on something) and got shocking answers. My responders do not trust their colleagues and will not address the issue, no matter that they agreed that trust among the colleagues is very important.

As more as I think about the trust as much, I think that may be it is the source of my struggle. Current society are so focused on career and success that we forget about individuals and trust at a workspace. This project is just a step to next big thing.

As a tester I wonder quite a lot about things, what I thought is common sense, but turned out that it is just my sense and I have to explain it to others or write a bug report :) . I think that trust among colleagues is nothing agile-unique. And also satisfied customers and working software should not be something extraordinary – isn’t it something “by default”? Why we need manifesto for that? And if someone wrote manifesto for all that, why do we grade it by doing not properly?

Post Navigation