talk indicator

November 7, 2008

I did an interesting experiment quite a long time so I I drafted a blog entry about it. Today I’m finishing this draft off.

The experiment was to visualize how much certain individuals speak. Why? Well, I felt that some team members didn’t speak up because they were not loud enough or there was no room for their opinions. Worth mentioning is that the subject really concerned the entire team. Half-way through the meeting the visualization on the white board became quite interesting. Red bars indicated how much one spoke:

Note that some guys didn’t speak at all yet! The interesting thing about the loud guys is that they are truly smart, experienced and creative. And yet the team would benefit more if they just shut up… It’s so easy for the silent guys to listen less and less, stop caring too much and finally disconnect. Fortunately, it didn’t go that badly and here is what we ended up with:

The loud guys didn’t talk too much after they saw how they monopolized the ether. Hopefully, the drawing on the white board let everyone speak up.

I wanted the “talk indicator” to help involving all the team members in an important meeting about our short-distance plans. Hopefully, it helped teaching some guys how to listen :)

I guess the experiment may have triggered a positive change. After all, we never needed to do it again…

hack or think

October 15, 2008

My friend tells me today:

“Szczepan, if I have a choice: to hack it in 5 minutes or to think hard about it for 3 hours… I hack”

I didn’t have to wonder too long what I would choose. Obviously it’s thinking about it for 3 hours.

Who is better developer then?


You need both in your team. Smarter people wrote that hundred times before me but hear it again. It’s the variety of characters and opinions what sparks creativity. You might think about it next time you set up a team.

bi-yearly review

November 8, 2007

In Thoughtworks I’m just before my bi-yearly review. I collected feedback from co-workers and clients.

Learning is important but learning about yourself crucial. The best tool to do that is asking for feedback. You can elaborate how important the feedback is but I’ll be quick. It’s the best.

To finish my review, I wrote few words about what I learnt in past 6 months. Here is the whole lot, things I learnt:

  • i fond of pair programming
  • i fond of frequent retrospectives
  • how cool is eating lunch from Exmouth Market somewhere in the nearby park and chatting with fellow TWers about life and software
  • ubuntu on my laptop laptop is a great thing unless you want to do anything else than coding
  • i will never be able to write how much I learnt because I would have to write a book

How much time one can waste playing FM2007

October 11, 2007

This decent game doesn’t even try to hide its evilness: it shows you current ‘addictness rating’. I was recently promoted from ‘real football managers don’t need food’ to ‘sleeping is for sissies’. Well done Szczepan, surely you don’t have anything useful to do.

I thought I got over FM2007 weeks ago but no… I mixed two dangerous ingredients:

  • boring evening
  • hacking eclipse plugins just to realize that decent quick-fixes (with clickable bulbs and ctrl+1 shortcut) are part of JDT plugin and not really part of PDE. To get those juicy quick-fixes do I have find it in JDT and then pull in copy-paste pattern (AKA encapsulate-and-reuse pattern). Grrrrr.

F*** this. Let me have just one game…

BTW Wisla Krakow can beat AC Milan in Champions League quarter-finals! AI cheats but I can always apply magic load-game-and-replay pattern, then perform crucial refactorings to my tact, then Wisla rulez =)

year in London, year in Thoughtworks

September 23, 2007

It’s been a year in London and a year in Thoughtworks. It’s high time to recap things:

  • number of flats lived in: 2 – Limehouse (word of respect to fellow flat mates!) and Chiswick
  • landlords killed: 0 – likely to change in few months time…
  • family members invited to taste gorgeous London lifestyle (some people may detect sarcasm :) ): 4
  • Number of OS projects contributed: 4
  • games bought: 2 (Civilization IV, Football Manager 2007… jazda biała gwiazda!)
  • tube strikes survived: 1
  • knees twisted – 0: yupeeeee!
  • cool countries visited – 2 (Spain, India)
  • married the same women again: 1
  • being late in returning streetcar and paid fee – 1 :(
  • books bought: 9
  • books read: 13 (yeah… not related to commute time…)
  • IT books bought: 2
  • IT books read: 1 (I know, very impressive)
  • IT books started reading and fell asleep: all
  • IT books started reading, fell asleep and woke up in Cockfosters: 1
  • Arsenal games seen: 2
  • graduated from Uni: 1
  • airports toured: 10
  • primary school friends found: 2
  • TW projects involved: 3 (PHP, .NET, Java, and still waiting for Ruby gig!)
  • english improved by: 0.015%