Andy Gavin's blog

Pair Programming and the Attention Deficit Trait

Of all the practices of eXtreme Programming perhaps the most contentious is pair programming. Partly because not everyone likes pair programming, but also to some managers it is counter-intuitive: how can doubling up resources on a task be more efficient?

There is evidence to suggest that not only pair programming more
productive , but the system has more longevity. Through collaborative learning the design improves. My experience with pair programming is that although it is harder work it is more rewarding.


Forming Knowledge Communities

Sometimes, not matter how good the people are in a team, they don't seem to be effective. One reason for this is communication. In software information is needed to get systems working, and rarely is a specification good enough. In the last few years in Agile practices more has been made about forming Communities of Practice. This is the growing tread of recognising the in-formal communication that occurs in effective organisations. Recognising Communities or creating communities within organisation not only promotes good knowledge transfer, but encourages inter-departmental cooperation/colaboration. This improves the working environment. One sign of of a dysfunctional organistaions is inter-departmental feuds.


The church of St.George

Old christian church Originally uploaded by andygavin.


Why intelligent people fail?

If children grew up according to early indications, we should have nothing but geniuses. --- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Sternberg in his book argues that the traditional notion of intelligence should be redefined to include successes. He lists some of the reasons why people who are generally thought of as intelligent fail:


Rodrigo y Gabriela

Just heard two brilliant guitarists: Rodrigo y Gabriela. On Myspace they list their influences as: Metallica, Megadeth, Slipnot, Shadows Fall, Mastodon. They also consider themselves indie. This might be so, but it sounds very different: the blend of indie and traditional Mexican playing has produced something entirely different. They are undeniably talented, and I'd think have much larger appeal than their influences: which may be an irony to some. It looks like a live show not to be missed.


Job's Motivational Speech to Graduates

Steve Jobs was invited to give a Commencement Speech at Stanford. He tells three stories:

  • What happened when he dropped out of College, and how it lead to innovation.
  • What happened when he was sacked from Apple: how he reinvented himself.
  • What happened when he was diagnosed with cancer.

With lessons for life.


Internet Helping Language Recording

The university of Manchester has an interesting project documenting the language of Gypsies: Romani Project. This is particularly interesting as Romani is rarely been written down if at all. Some years ago a picked up a book out of interest called Describing Morphosyntax, which highlights how many languages in the world are disappearing. It is a guide of how a linguist might document these vanishing languages.



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