Arkisto: October 2014

Own Yard Clean

23. Octoberta, 2014 | Kirjoittaja: Antti Niittyviita

As a kid I used to go in for cabin trips with relatives and friend families. I remember especially well the time over 20 years ago when were in Central Finland with a large group at a huge cottage next to a beautiful lake spending a late summer weekend. It was nice to hit the sauna, to swim and play various games. At night time it was dark enough that we could play hide and seek with flashlights at the late evenings. It was a weekend to die for!

On Sunday the fun of course diminished when we had to start cleaning the place. I was assigned with my friend the task of cleaning our sleeping place. There were all manners of things in there: Dust, sand, candy wrappers, pieces of chips etc. We brushed the trash to the corridor, packed up our things and were ready to leave. So did all the friends in the adjacent rooms.

Then came father and opened the door outside. The trash was spread all around due to the air current, a big portion of them went back into our rooms. We had to clean again. After that we realized to use a trash bag and take the bags straight to the bin.

This is something that can easily happen in software projects as well, either on purpose, or because no thought was given when the different teams are assigned to maintain their own yard alone. Nothing good comes out of having server- and user interface coders and testers to keep to their own things with no common goal. Everyone has seemingly done their part, but when the release arrives everything turns to chaos. Someone has to ensure that all the trash ends up to where it belongs in a neat package.

It is not enough that you brush the trash from your own room to the corridor’s side. Try to visualize what is the bigger picture your team is reaching out for. That is the only way to succeed on the first try.

Why is it that Skills are not Enough?

9. Octoberta, 2014 | Kirjoittaja: Antti Niittyviita

The air was thick, the atmosphere dense and about 100 well-behaving pupils were leaning forward to hear powerful tales about the wonderful world of sales. A few weeks back, I was sitting in a sales-training by Kenneth Östreberg with 100 other interested people and I can warmly recommend that training for other people, as well (just google it :).

After the training, I recalled from the dark depths of my subconscious a question that I had heard once and then forgotten about.

  1. Sales personnel sit at a training to learn sales techniques,
  2. Business executives sit at a training to learn strategy and leadership,
  3. Coders sit at a training to learn development processes and
  4. Testers sit at a training to learn testing skills.

And that’s just wonderful that people want to study to become better at what they are doing. But why is it that skills are not enough?

Only a handful of salesmen have studied the psychology of making a purchase. Only rare business executives have a grasp of your average working man’s life beyond the weekly meetings. And what about the testers? How many testers have sometimes been keen to increase their knowledge about business building or marketing? Some testers have never even taken a look at coding.

Yet, without an exception, the most successful people in their careers have studied the mindscape of their most important liaisons.

Who do you serve? Should you study those important things that they hold dear?

Sarasvuo’s Sauna-sermon and the Iron Curtain

3. Octoberta, 2014 | Kirjoittaja: Antti Niittyviita

Still in the year 1990 we had two Europes. East and west. The division was so forceful, that the borderline was called the Iron Curtain. In the old Czechoslovakia, going over the border to West Germany was prevented even with electric fences. Even animals did not cross the border.

Now researchers have followed a local red deer population’s movements with satellite tracking. Even though there has been 25 years gone since dismantling the border of death, red deers still do not cross over it.

Red deers live for 15 years on the average. No specimen alive these days has seen that electric fence and yet, the animals are cautious about the region. Why?!

Yesterday again resumed #ELCrew, also known as Enbuske & Linnanahde Crew. I have to admit that it was pure magic from start to finish! I was especially interested in Jari Sarasvuo’s new Sauna-sermon, which I watched twice. It might even be so that I survived it without new mental health issues… I’ve got plenty of old ones to deal with already.

@Sarasvuojari: You could send one of those shirts to address: Antti Niittyviita, Prove Expertise Oy, Nummikatu 34, 90100 Oulu

The central topic in Sauna-sermon was culture. I could not help but think, how did that electric fence mold the culture of red deers. The territory of red deers is now the defined by fear. Animals who are conscious about territories have their living space inherited in the same way as any other thing. Learning from example. The same holds true for us humans, but one need not be downcast because of it. Every morning is a new chance to change.

Just like the territory of red deers, your testing organization is possible to be changed! Everything begins from the words of an individual: “Follow me!