- polkadot: Dear Lord, I’m undergoing training in Scrum methodology over the waterfall method. It’s a work process that basically addresses many stages of development at once instead of the traditional Gantt approach of implementing one complete step before moving on to another.
- classam: Yes, I am intimately familiar. Week-long sprints?
- polkadot: Is dull training. Yes. Sprints.
- classam: So dull. But significantly better than the GANTT-chart and Waterfall hullaballoo.
- polkadot: I already work like this. But interesting to watch someone try to teach a team how to do it.
- classam: I could talk about it at length, but you’re coming to your computer to AVOID scrum talk.
- polkadot: “It takes courage and commitment. Rules and meetings and artifacts.”
- classam: It’s a little more formalized than just “OKAY, SO YOU GIVE ME WORK AND THEN I DO THE WORK AND THEN THE WORK IS DONE”, which is most common organization strategy
polkadot: I like how in this Scrum meeting, the artist is thinking about cake. That’s usually what we are thinking about. Cake.
- classam: I like that you work with a biplane pilot for some reason
- classam: HE SPEAKS IN INFOGRAPHICS
- classam: “Oh, that’s just Greg. Pay no attention to his shenanigans.”
- classam: Just another day at the bakery-science-piloting-art-factory.
polkadot: hehe. We are apparently building unicycles? Buuuuut… the stakeholders would like us to build bicycles. Good thing we have the pilot working on that.
- classam: Also, I wasn’t sure about creepy silhouette team
- classam: even less sure now
- classam: they appear to have some sort of medieval torture device
- classam: Have they eaten the artist?
- classam: Was it her insatiable cake-lust that did her in?
- classam: WHEN USING THE SCRUM METHODOLOGY, YOU MAY BE STALKED BY SENTIENT, MALICIOUS SHADOWS. DO NOT LOOK THEM IN THE EYES.
- polkadot: Ultimately, it was decided that in building a bicycle, a cake-lusting artist was not as important as a baker, pilot, and let’s say … um… a pharmacist?
- classam: She designed it and then left it to do her own thing. “One wheel is more aesthetically pleasing. Here’s the PSD.” Now they’re all vigorously blaming her for the setback in the project.
- classam: Well, except for Confusion Brownpants.
- classam: He just walked in from another meeting.
- classam: He has no idea what’s going on
- classam: he was just sort of hoping there would be cake
polkadot: This is the guy teaching the course. It’s like the Crocodile Dundee version of Terrance and Philip.
- classam: He takes his dress cues from Confusion Brownpants, but he’s clearly a different guy.
- classam: You know what they say: never trust a man who tucks his pants around his shoes.
polkadot: I’m pretty sure the ginger here is supposed to be a developer. So just so we’re clear, they’re pretty sure artists are messy, turtle-necked cake-eaters and developers are skinny, ginger dweebs with no fingers. And Scrum Masters are enormous female gym teachers.
- polkadot: is best training
- classam: The Pilot has high priority coming out of his buns
- classam: Also, we meet BLACK HAIR BLACKSHIRT, the villain of the piece. He’s no artist - The Artist is already there, covered in cake spoor and regret. You shouldn’t make fun of Lady Gym Teacher Scrum-master, though. She’s the master because she can talk out the top of her head. Like the C’thonian beast that she likely is. Under that layer of sternness.
polkadot: The pharmacist is getting totes lippy with you. Smack that bitch up.
- polkadot: she has a lovely British accent too. Kind of a Mary Poppins voice that in no way matcher her butch gym teacher appearance.
- polkadot: Pharmacist sounds like a surfer.
- classam: Dudes. Dudes. Chill. You’re not the boss of me.
- classam: The only boss of me? The tides, man.
- polkadot: And Black Hair McGee is the Product Owner.
- polkadot: Is boss man.
- polkadot: Business business. Numbers.
- classam: Why was he standing with the team, then? He should be standing on a GOLDEN PEDESTAL, being showered by offerings of roasted goat rubbed with garlic and virgins.
- polkadot: You really shouldn’t rub goats with virgins. Neither party really enjoys that.
- classam: However, you should definitely pelt your project manager with roast goat.
- classam: …
- classam: I like him.
- polkadot: speaks in infographics… wants pony… is a simple man with simple needs
- polkadot: a simple pilot who wants a pony demonstrated in illustration
- classam: He seems simple but he has a complex inner monologue.
polkadot: OK, from what I can gather… the baker is the UI person?
- polkadot: Thanks for your input, Jill. Now shut up and finish that muffin batter you’ve been holding for the last 45 minutes.
- classam: SORRY, CAN’T HEAR YOU, BAKING
- classam: Why aren’t they asking the Pharmacist why he thinks the UI Design isn’t quite so easy? Maybe he knows something the team doesn’t.
- classam: Our team made it a policy to single out the outliers and make them defend their score.
- classam: Then STEAL THEIR MUFFIN BATTER
polkadot: Oh ho! Jabs at Explorer! Way to make some commentary, guys!
- classam: And the whole team is just
- classam: crushed
- classam: you can see it in their faces
- classam: “we thought you were cool, man”
- polkadot: devastated
polkadot: Everyone is tired. The developer is the only one who is working.
- polkadot: he is using a drafting table for some reason
- classam: Hey, maybe this job would be less stressful if you had more than one person DOING IT you guys
- polkadot: and, like, a computer
- classam: Greg the Simple Pilot is wearing a deflated life vest
- classam: he is concerned
- classam: that he might drown
- polkadot: Ahhhhhh, I am only HALF way through this training.
- classam: Soon you’re going to find out what happens to their bicycle project! It’s going to come in overbudget, and they’re going to end up eating Greg for sustenance.
polkadot: Fuck yeah, now we have a minstrel.
- polkadot: for morale
- polkadot: and a rainbow
- classam: She brought it from home
- classam: This team makes terrible hiring decisions
- classam: But the morale girl seems to be working well
- polkadot: I don’t know. The pilot and the pharmacist seem just as pissy as usual.
- classam: The pharmacist only has the one face.
- classam: Greg is pissy because he lost his deflated life vest.
- classam: What will save him from drowning now?
- classam: Nothing.
polkadot: He’s pretty happy here, but only because he is questioning the abilities of the coder. He gets to feel superior because no one ever asks, “what about the pilot?” in a product development meeting.
- classam: Hey, they’re designing a bicycle. There shouldn’t BE a lot of code involved. You know what we do need?
- classam: Someone to TEST PILOT the bicycle
- classam: A scientist, to design the bicycle aerodynamics!
- classam: But a coder? Not bloody likely
- classam: Also we’re still not sure what the roles of the baker and the artiste are
- classam: MAYBE THEY’RE PLANNING A HEIST
- classam: heist heist heist
- classam: I am very excited about this heist theory
polkadot: Do wolves somehow factor in to this theory?
polkadot: As long as you protect the developer from wolves, he will design your bicycle with the pilot and baker. But only then.
- classam: He wasn’t going to commit otherwise?
- classam: I have this word for people who refuse to do their jobs:
- classam: Software develop… I mean, “people who are fired”
- polkadot: wolf-cowards
- classam: What, you don’t want to do your job, JUST because your office is full of hungry timberwolves that walk like men and howl for your blood?
- polkadot: with lightning bolts over their heads
- classam: “But boss, they command storms with their mighty paws.”
- classam: “Don’t worry, two stormwolves are no match for a stout, sexually confused middle-aged woman.”
- polkadot: they prefer to be called gym teachers
- classam: This heist is really shaping up.
- classam: They have their muscle, their escape unicycle, their pilot, their disguise artist, their hacker, the obligatory science dude, craft services, a douche in glasses, it’s all coming together
polkadot: And the pharmacist inexplicably casts no shadow… or at least, no second shadow? that’s got to be somehow useful.
- classam: “Isn’t a unicycle a terrible escape vehicle?”
- classam: “Look, Scrum is about getting to a minimum viable heist, you guys.”
- classam: What’s worse is the ginger, who casts a shadow even when he isn’t THERE
- classam: I KNEW it
- classam: Soulless
polkadot: And check out this guy. he definitely looks like he could be Heist appropriate.
- classam: He looks like he walked straight out of a con movie
- classam: He’s the brains behind the whole operation, see
- classam: myeah, see
- classam: myeah
- polkadot: “special favors, see”
- polkadot: wink wink
- classam: Look, I gots you all out of prisons and jobs at this company. The least you could do is robs me a bank, see. Myeah.
polkadot: the gym teachers discuss this at a convention
- classam: #8: Sammy Seagull (that rat bastard)
polkadot: the artist and the gym teacher play catch.
- polkadot: the artist has an elbow in a drastically anatomically incorrect position
- classam: Don’t make fun of her deformity
- classam: that’s why she became an artist in the first place
- polkadot: is rude
- classam: She wanted to share her pain with the world
- classam: Tell us your tale of woe, artwoman
polkadot: The baker makes a valid point. Better than Sammy Seagull.
- classam: You know
- classam: I’m really curious who hired those two in the first place
- classam: I mean, Clueless Clyde has ‘clueless’ right there in his name
- classam: don’t they screen for that sort of thing?
- classam: Also, if your only choices are your Product Owner, or two men chosen based on the fact that they are clearly the two least fit men in the company to lead anything (aside from Simple Greg the Pilot) … that doesn’t say a lot of positive things about the Product Owner
- classam: “At least he’s not one of the two worst employees in the company!” Glowing praise.
polkadot: Looks like Simple Greg the Pilot, also a coder. And coder #2, named Andy. How bout that?
- polkadot: Open-Source Pilot Greg would rather be at the beach though, with surfer pharmacist shadowless science-man.
polkadot: Hahaha. Don’t worry, Greg. The BAKER will help you code.
- classam: They’re still cleaning up the mess from the last time she tried to code
- classam: “Will DOUGH work on it?”
- classam: “STOP IT”
- classam: “Try rubbing it with flour”
- classam: “SHOO, SHOO”
- polkadot: i think I’ll order a tab
- classam: All this hacking is thirsty work
polkadot: Then… big team make-out party.
- classam: Is that how the tale ends?
- classam: “We work hard. We play hard.”
- classam: “EVERYBODY DANCE NOW”
- polkadot: nothing particularly humorous has occurred since then. Though the minstrel was never heard from again.
- polkadot: “And they ate the minstrel. There was much rejoicing. Yay!”
- classam: Seems legit
- polkadot: we are defining the definition of “done.”
- polkadot: Done is defined as done. Not partially done or sort of done. And there you have it.
- classam: So is this lesson done, or just partially sorta done?
polkadot: Are you using Scrum methodology at home on your whiteboard then? Sort of? Are you the wierd ginger dweeb or the weird infographic pilot that wants a pony?
- classam: My home whiteboard is its own thing
- classam: although admittedly it is partially inspired by my time in a scrum-heavy shop.
- classam: I make no commitments
- classam: There are no stand-ups
- classam: or planning pokers
- classam: I never pair program
- classam: And done is when I damn well feel like it.
- polkadot: Pair programming sounds annoying. I mean, I can understand passing it off to someone else and having them review it, but I would not want to have someone watch over my shoulder.
polkadot: Oh no! The gym teacher has sprouted monkey ears!
- polkadot: oh good, the minstrel is back. I was worried about her.
polkadot: And you should definitely be watching out for your boss’s invisible pants gun.
- classam: what is the DEAL with the invisible pants gun?
- polkadot: Oh. That just made me laugh so hard I cried a little.
- polkadot: It was more or less an analogy for the intimidation one feels when one’s boss enters the room is like that of a gun being held to an employees head, I guess?
- polkadot: So he has an invisible gun and that’s why everyone in the room goes silent when he walks in, even if he’s a “nice guy”, because he is holding them at invisible gunpoint.
- classam: So, the invisible gun is that HE’S THEIR BOSS and HE CAN FIRE THEM ALL ANY TIME HE WANTS RAR RAR BOSS
- classam: … how in the world did they propose to resolve that?
- classam: Was it with the power of song?
- classam: The minstrel was the hero of the piece all along!
- polkadot: No. That’s why they said there was no project manager role in a Scrum team. It held each team member personally accountable.
- classam: Ah, so there’s the scrum-master, who is a powerless peon who mostly just reminds people to hand in their homework and schedules meetings, the “client”, who’s there to provide vital feedback, and the team members, who do… work things.
- classam: I find that, in practice, this is rarely the actual case.
- classam: … oh, and, of course, the minstrel, the baker, the chemist, the ginger …
- polkadot: And used open and visible goal-markers to drive progress as well as constant communication and meetings, er, except I very clearly still have bosses.
- classam: Heh. “So… what would you say it is that you DO here?”