It Has Ended!

cheer

If you’re not interested in reading through this post, but would like to be a mentor on my next C# project, please connect with me! Let’s write a program together!

148 lines of code, 12 commits, 6 public comments on Github, and about 12 total hours of programming/collaboration. My first C# project, a console tic-tac-toe game, is at a point where I’m comfortable calling it “done”. (Author’s side note: this is also my first program written since 2005!)

Every award winner loves to give thanks, so I’d like to express gratitude for Deborah Lee — my “team member” and project mentor — and Daniel Albuschat for being a collaborator through Github. It was awesome learning from both you!

This post describes a novice’s thought process for refactoring, what changes I committed to feel “done”, and my concluding thoughts on this project. Continue reading

Tic-Tac-Pairing

working_together

The other night, I met up with my programming partner-in-crime, Deborah, to pair program and finish the great tic-tac-toe project. I’m both embarrassed and ashamed to admit, after uncountable years advocating and observing the benefits of pair programming, this was my first time ever navigating / driving “for real.”

Before setting a timer, we started with a bit of instruction on how to pass and receive between methods. I was under the impression that I couldn’t create a method to return something (bool, int, etc.) without first receiving data of the same type. Why did I think this? Your guess is as good as mine.

With that bit of futility squashed, we set a timer (10 minutes), and started pairing to update my “computer makes a move” method to select a random location on the tic-tac-toe grid (from current state where computer simply chooses an index in ascending order). Continue reading

If Only to be Heard

Image courtesy of Renate Dodell via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dorena-wm/

Image courtesy of Renate Dodell via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dorena-wm/

In starting new engagements or meeting co-workers and team mates for the first time, one of the first interactions I seek is deep listening to two simple questions:

What do you feel?
What do you need?

These two basic questions contain so much potential for discovery: there is nothing so fundamentally human than our feelings and desires. And, as my experiences have taught me, these are two of the most often neglected (even discouraged) aspects of humanity in our places of work. Continue reading

The Machine Doesn’t Run on Theory

gears

I recently sat down to chat with a company looking for help with a Scrummy / traditional / Agile-to-us / status quo / project manager / ScrumMaster type position. One of those common positions that companies open up to see what Agile looks like without actually changing anything at all.

As I sat down to interview with the two directors, given the obvious inconsistencies with Agile principles in the job description, I was there to vet them just as much as they likely wanted to interrogate me.

I wanted to hear about culture and team-centric work systems. They wanted to hear about control and tactics. You can imagine how the conversation went and a quote from one of the directors stuck with me:

“In the absence of specific tactics that you will use here, all you have is theory. And our business doesn’t run on theory.”

Continue reading

It Has Begun

kid_facepalm

I’ve started my first C# project — with a peer reviewer / guide — and I’m feeling especially embarrassed over how challenging this simple exercise has been for me. I promised to be as transparent as possible, therefore this post explains the project, provides links to my code (in GitHub), and describes my thought process and feelings. Continue reading

Be My Peer Reviewer

catchfall

“Getting lost is just another way of saying ‘going exploring.”
― Justina Chen, North of Beautiful

Today, I finished the 25th lesson from Bob Taber’s “Core C# Fundamentals” course. A total of 22 hours of video instruction on the most basic, beginner-level concepts of the .NET framework.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my novice background in programming, coupled with zero prior experience to object-oriented design, has made this journey of self-study somewhat daunting. The obvious lack of technical knowledge aside, I feel like my questions and observations will be in the realm of irrelevance: that the entire programming world is light-years ahead. Who has time for a novice? I don’t like feeling useless and alone.

Armed with 22 hours of knowledge in writing simple console applications in C#, I have a request: would you be my peer reviewer? Continue reading

Our Moral Obligation to Criticize?

kindness

In a management article titled “Radical Candor – The Surprising Secret to Being a Good Boss“, I discovered a quote from the person at the center of the article’s focus, Kim Scott:

“I would argue that criticizing your employees when they screw up is not just your job, it’s actually your moral obligation.”

(If you’d like to take a moment to re-read this quote, or pause to recover from shock, I understand – please take as long as you need.) Continue reading