Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Information Really Does Want To Be Free

February 15, 2007

Information Really Does Want To Be Free
(or, devoted to indignation and information)

In the spirit of Open Source and Agile-ness, a peer of mine shared the following (Java) frameworks Open Source code. I have personally reviewed the code and approve, note: I am not a software developer. I did want to share it with you however, and I hope you find it useful as well as inspiring.

Rationale: We require access to un-obfuscated source code because you can’t evolve programs without modifying them. Since our purpose is to make evolution easy, we require that modification be made easy.

I admit, I did have to look up the meaning of “un-obfuscated”…

Un – ob – fus – cat – ed:

Not to make so confused or opaque as to be difficult, to perceive or understand, a clear solution.

I like that, my Scrum interpretation:

We require access to information and open free communication within our team as equals because we can’t secure hyper-productivity individually or with draconian micro-management. Since the purpose of Scrum is to evolve as a team, we unilaterally require respect as professionals, open daily communications and honest straightforward interactions within the Scrum environment.

I like that too. I can’t imagine ever working in a non-Agile environment again. Yes, as a recruiter for Danube, I am on a Scrum Team, 2 week sprints and all. I may be the only recruiter in the world doing such, who knows?

Crystal Richardson
Agile Talent Specialist
Danube Technologies, Inc.
Office 503-630-4114
Danube main 503-248-0800


Hey you, stop asking questions!

February 8, 2007

I survived a painful phone interview with a candidate today. I can only describe it in the following manor: imagine Batman saying to Robin, hey sidekick, take your own car and don’t crash here either. Or, a football coach saying, it’s not about the team, rather individual performance!

This applicant had prestigious employment addresses such as highly rated research centers, recognizable global service providers, a PhD from a top rated university, with titles along the lines of Sr. Systems Architect and Scientific Programmer, with 15 years experience. Pretty impressive so far.

I was really looking forward to talking with this person. After all, in general, I hold the endeavors of most institutions of advanced research and learning in high regard.

After exchanging the usual pleasantries and introductions within the IT industry, I asked him about his experiences with Agile practices, admittedly, he said:

“I do not know what this is, what is the meaning of this? Agile? What is this? Not something for me to care about, who cares about this?”

I tell him it is a methodology, a way of developing software, it is not technology specific. Agile exists to address the high
percentage of software projects that fail in various ways for different reasons.

“The industry leaders, the international companies, they are not practicing this, this is something new, they did not get where they are using Agile, it is not widely accepted in the market, so, it does not matter to me. Why do you keep asking these questions about methodology?”

At this point I mention I am a bit surprised at his responses. His voice raises, he starts talking wildly about things like global politics mentioning world leaders and established industry standards.

I was able to end the conversation relatively gracefully by saying I’d send him some reference material.

I do respect insights based on higher learning. However, I do not appreciate uninformed resistance to new ideas. This quickly seems ridiculous. Never, ever, stop asking questions. Never, ever stop increasing your knowledge.

Crystal Richardson

I am looking for Agile Mentors…

January 26, 2007

I am looking for mentors who are hands on developers who want to work with teams to get a smooth oiled Scrum team in place, what I call Agile Advocates. Usually these folks are all the same ‘archetype’–very strong with XP (TDD, Pairing), usually working on open source projects and have been on a Scrum team for 6+ months. Usually someone who prefers not to have a title. Our clients are starting to prefer direct-hire candidates because they have stronger willingness for knowledge transfer, the ones who understand what they are getting themselves into understand that these transitions take years. I am constantly looking for this type of person.
Please feel free to send your resume and/or share your thoughts with me. Thank you!

You can find me at or


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December 12, 2006

Hello world!

December 11, 2006

Hi folks, we’re trying out this blogging site. You can read more about us at

I’m a bit skeptical whether this is enough of an improvement over the blogging software we’re already using on our site to be worth the added bother. I’m not a big fan of JavaScript-oriented sites, and clunky pseudo-applications that run inside web browsers. Also I do half my writing on airplanes or waiting in airports, so the slick online editing/preview capabilities don’t buy me as much.

But I have to admit this has been easy to use so far. I’ve gotten a couple server-side error messages already.