Well, its certainly been a while since I’ve posted here and a lot has happened in that time. I’ve had a baby, took a years maternity leave, came back for a while and then started a new a job.
My new place is just starting down the agile road and I’m finding it a fascinating process to start it all over again. Although I’ve only been there a few months now there’s quite a few little insights that I’ve found interesting as a second-timer.
1. My past experience does not make me an expert
A fairly obvious one, perhaps, but still worth mentioning. There is not just one right way to do Scrum. Over the years I’ve built up in my head an ideal way of how I think Scrum should work but that does not mean that any other way of doing it is wrong. Yes, I’m entitled to have opinions and to share them but the goal should really be to collaboratively decide what works for this team and this company.
2. The road to true Agile development is a long one
I seem to have forgotten just exactly how long it took for my previous company to really get into a groove with Agile. We’d been doing Scrum for about five years when I left and even then there was a lot that could still be improved. It was a slo-o-o-w process as far as tangible benefits were concerned so I should really know better than to expert overnight mastery in my new place.
3. Some things you just have to learn for yourself
I’ve been quite heavily involved with the introduction of Scrum in my new place and there’s been a few times where I’ve found myself quite strongly disagreeing with decisions that have been made. The ones that are most hard to take are the ones that were also made in my previous company and turned out to be a mistake.
So did I say anything? Yes. It’s been hard to reign back at times (and maybe I haven’t *always* managed to 100%) but I’ve aimed to just say my piece and then leave it at that. Anything more than that would be wrong. Who’s to say that just because it didn’t work in my previous team it won’t work here? And even if it doesn’t work then at least it should be a learning process.
4. There’s still plenty more to learn
I’ve learned tons since starting this new job, both on a technical level and an agile one. I’ve tried out pair-programming for the first time (it’s awesome!), discovered BDD (behaviour-driven development) and created unit tests at the database level. It’s been fantastic to try out these new things and see how they can work to make the team better.
I’m excited to be starting down the agile road again from the start as it’s pretty clear already that it’s going to be a different route and ending up in a completely different part of the destination. Not only am I learning about totally new practices but also learning more about the ones I would have said I already knew.