Some developers show little or no interest in learning practices that could make their lives better. I’d like to understand that.
In my recent Scrum Troubles article, I asked folx to get in touch with me and to tell me how things are going with their would-be Scrum/Agile development efforts. (Please do check out that article and if you can provide me any info, please do that. And pass my request on, I’d like to reach folx who do not read or follow me.)
It’s early days with just a few results in (don’t forget to write, gang!) but one pattern is emerging that surprises me. Some responses from leaders, coaches, scrum masters are telling me that their developers are not interested in learning ways to do better. Often it seems they have made clear that they don’t want to, other times they just seem unresponsive to such ideas.
I would like to understand that, so here is my request to anyone who knows one or more developers who are visibly uninterested in learning things like refactoring, TDD, or other development techniques that could help them do better:
Please ask them to tweet or email me. I would like to understand their position. I promise not to try to sell them anything; I just want to understand.
Failing that, perhaps you could interview them, ask them questions, or interrogate them, and then let me know what they think. I’d suggest a mild, non-salesy approach, because I want information, not converts.
I do have some hypotheses about reasons they might have, and I will share some of them here just because I want to get them down on “paper”. I don’t really want to bias anyone’s answers, including my own, but here we go anyway.
- Hate My Job
- If a developer does not enjoy their job, they are very likely to want to get away from it, and learning new job-related things might seem like exactly the wrong thing.
- Too Much Pressure
- If there is a lot of pressure to do more more more, the developer may feel that they have no time left in which to learn.
- You’re Not a Programmer
- Developers are often reluctant to take development advice from someone who is not a developer, and often resist it even from a developer, unless it’s one that they respect.
- Agile is [Expletive Deleted]
- Developers working under the darker shades of Scrum/Agile may develop a generally bad attitude about it and then reject learning anything about it, including the things that could help them make their lives better.
- Someone Told Me It Sucks
- They may have heard or read something negative about the ideas, somewhere, and are therefore resisting it.
- Tried It, Didn’t Like It
- This one is probably rare. If someone were to pull it on me, I’d want to explore a bit into what they tried and what they found out.
There are probably other reasons, and some of mine here may be completely bogus. That’s why I’d like to hear from some developers who range from apathetic to negative on learning agile technical practices. Hook me up, please, directly or indirectly.