March 15, 2006 - Jolt Award and Alistair Cockburn

I went down to SDWest tonight for the Jolt Award ceremony where Agitator was one of the finalists. We won the award for our category last year but this year we had to be content with a productivity award which is still a nice honor -- yay us. (Winner in our Testing Tools category was VMTN Subscription from VMWare -- yay them.) While at the post-ceremony VIP bash (no, not sure why they let me in) I was introducted to Alistair Cockburn. I was pleased to meet him because I quote him a lot in my "Continuous Integration, Continuous Agitation" talk that I've been giving all over the place (and I've got pictures to prove it).

The paper I quote is Alistair's "Characterizing People as Non-Linear, First-Order Components in Software Development", and in particular I use attributes #2 and #4 to explain why automated CI works: you use the computer always provide automated feedback (because #2, people can't be consistent), and then people use their judgement to do the right thing (leveraging #4, people want to do the right thing). To me it is this synergy between the strengths of people (judgement) and machines (consistency) that makes automated CI such a powerful practice.

Explaining this use of his paper to Alistair I was suprised (and a bit flattered) when he said he'd never thought to take the implications that way, of using the machine to offset this foible of the humanity. So if like Alistair you've never thought of it that way, well you've heard it hear first. (Now go tell someone else.)

Posted by Jeffrey Fredrick at March 15, 2006 11:11 PM

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» Me -> Jeff -> Alistair from Julio
My good friend Jeff was introduced to Alistair “Pronounced Co-Burn” Cockburn and now there’s only one degree of separation between Alistair and me. I almost don’t suck. By the way, grats on the award, Agitators! ... [Read More]

Tracked on March 16, 2006 09:29 AM


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