Monday, June 22, 2009

At Work Again

Lets hope the Wanderers retreat went well. My weekend was cram packed, what with the Race for Justice, sampling the music scene, Quaker solstice party, Carrotmob.

Back at work, I'm blasting that DM track with help from the Philippines. Ateneo de Manila, a Jesuit academy, and the State of Oregon, are about the same age (150 years old this year). I've reported back to my user group re OS Bridge, wearing my "math teacher" hat, also zapped that Synovate resume to Mosaic for followup (yes I'm head hunting again).

Not having Cubespace puts a crimp in my style, but there's always Fine Grind for small meetings, Urban Grind for large ones, so I'm not planning to stress too much about the change in routine (not that I was always in there or anything, mostly for meetings). Lucky Lab is another hangout.

The next big topic will be classroom layout. At West Precinct (HPD), we used a U shape, with workstations (Redhat) facing the wall, conference table at center. Students could shift between two modes, while the training team (two Saturday Academy teachers in our case) had an easy time seeing over shoulders, no need to squeeze between rows.

This configuration makes it easier to simulate planning meetings, including watching shared projections, taking turns with lightning talks ("be phase") punctuated by implementation ("do phase") i.e. pair programming, solo exercising, self testing, performing routine sysadmin duties, other development. We're simulating a school intranet for teacher trainees sometimes.

Here's a diagram:

Also, given cultural differences, the benefits of XP (eXtreme Programming) will need to filter out differently. The same software tools used to pair program at a distance may be used in close proximity. Sometimes, rather than pair chairs, we'll pair subnet IP numbers (it's not either/or).

Sara Ford showed us their setup in Redmond, yakked about their pair programming practices, how to "talk to the room" etc., with junior and senior devs not hiding behind closed doors. Everything seemed more open and egalitarian, even with division of labor and hat switching. But that's just one corporate culture. How does Google goo?

Today I also helped Glenn with the inventorying of 87 ISEPP tapes (, plus lent him a scanner. We're trying to get more organized in anticipation of our Wanderers reviewing project.

Taking Inventory
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