Continuing on this series of the Autonomous Craftsmanship Core we now reach the methodology problem.
“I want to do agile/craftsmanship/etc.”
The key is basically to put the rest of your team aside and focus on how you can do things like you think they should be done. You want to do “agile”? Open the manifesto, read the values, and think on how you can change your own process in order to further yourself the direction you want to get.
Your own mini iterations, planning and retrospectives
I think a big part of becoming a better developer is looking at how we work, analyze it, decide where we need practicing and then getting better at it, deliberately. Here are some examples from my own development process.
I love pair programming. Love it. Love it so much, I find it hard to be productive without a pair when coding. I find that the crazy simple Pomodoro technique is some kind of magic makes-me-focus-real-good drug. Anytime I’m doing tasks on my own I set up my little timer and burn down the todo list. Using pomodoros allows me to keep track of my time, focus, see how good are my estimations and waste less time on reddit. You don’t need anyone else on your team to “allow” you to do pomodoros. Just do it, and see magic happening.
Goals and Retrospectives
Just like in an agile team we plan sprints, have retrospectives and set goals, I do the same for myself, both at work and for my personal time. Every week I do a retrospective of the past week, think what I did wrong and what I like. I have monthly and weekly goals. I’ve got recurring tasks in OmniFocus to review my work. I write the reviews in Evernote and then create new goals and add them to OmniFocus. That way every week and month I can go over the last few weeks and see how I’m doing. For example, I can set goals for finishing a book, write some blog posts, communicate better at work, etc.
It’s up to you
Uncle Bob Martin said it’s not your boss’s responsibility to make sure you learn and become better, it’s yours. Once you realize this, stop waiting for things to get better by themselves and step up you can actively become better. I was surprised how many of these aspects coincide with what Seth Godin talks about in Linchpin. You have no excuses not to be doing better things. It’s you’re responsibility, so stop bitching and do awesome work.