April 29, 2006

...Learn TDD with Codemanship

Project Voodoo

Some people carry a rabbit's foot to bring them luck. Others wear lucky pants or a lucky shirt. Generally, such talismans (or should that be "talismen"?) come about because people just happened to be carrying/wearing them at the precise moment when something very good happened - or when something very bad didn't happen (like walking away from a car crash without a scratch).

And so it is that, sometimes, on rare occasions, when the sun is in the East and the wind is behind us, our projects succeed. And when they do, we look for reasons why this must be so. What brought us our good fortune? Was it use cases? Was it JUnit? Was it CMM Level 3?

Most teams I've worked with have built up a fascinating set of lucky objects, along with an even bigger set of special rituals they perform in order to embue said objects with the necessary magical powers that will make them do good stuff in the general vicinity. Many teams employ shamen, witch doctors or medicine men who are skilled in performing these rituals. These holy ones are usually very well paid and often meet in hotels around the world to share their secrets with the other shamen, witch doctors and medicine men.

As a sort of project missionary, I've tried to take these talismans away, or to at least expose their ordinary, workaday nature and divest them of their magical hold over the teams. For my troubles, I've been boiled alive on at least two occasions, and these days I prefer to just watch from a safe distance and occasionally throw rocks from the bushes...
Posted 1 week, 3 days ago on April 29, 2006