I recently attended the regional Scrum Gathering for 2016 in Cape Town. This is a post in a series on the talks that I attended. All posts are based on the sketch-notes that I took in the sessions.
A lot of this talk was a repeat of things I’ve heard before:
- Efficient feedback increases effectiveness
- We need to build things to learn things through measuring
- We need to start with understanding user needs
- When we define a problem, we’re usually guessing, so we need to validate our guesswork (through feedback loops) as quickly as we can
A wicked problem is a problem that one can only fully understand or define once one has found the solution to the problem. Software in a wicked problem: when we find the solution (note: find not build), then we can usually answer what the problem actually was.
One of the new ideas for me from this talk was the #ConstructionMetaphorMustFall idea. Traditional engineering models treat coding as part of the build process, however Jacques argued that code should actually be treated as a design document and that writing code actually forms part of the creative design process. The code equivalent of bricks and mortar is actually only the conversion of code to bits together with the (hopefully automated) checking process i.e. when we release. In this model, things like Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment are actually design enablers: they allow us to test our theories and verify our design through feedback.
Shifting your mindset to view writing code as part of the experimental design process rather than execution of a final plan/design would probably lead to a paradigm shift in other areas too. I’ve been saying for a while that, as software tooling improves and more “routine” activities become automated, writing software is becoming less of a scientific engineering field and more of a creative field.
What are your thoughts on shifting the “coding” activity out of the build phase and into the design phase? What does this mean for how we should be thinking about code and feedback?