The Blue School

What does it sound like to work in an XP shop?

I can describe it for you. The staccato percussion of keys is a low hum against the raucous din of pairs talking back and forth through coding problems. Product managers and designers hammer out the details of functionality with the squeak of markers on whiteboards. Distinct bytes of conversation ebb and flow in crunchy wavves much like the sound of a stratocaster guitar screaming out riffs in your parent’s garage.

Is it work or is it a party?

As an introvert, my idea of a party is talking to another person I already know while we duck dive under wavves of code stretched out against a large black screen. Is it a party or is it pairing?

This is riding the wavves.

wavesSo far in my tech career, I’ve learned what it is to build great software with Agile and Extreme Programming practices. I know that it works because I’ve painlessly released software with it many, many times. I know that if you want to ride the big wavves, your stories have to be small. If you want the code carrying you through to make sense to other people and be maintainable, it is important to WRITE A TEST FIRST. This is how you deliver value to customers in releases that are perfect, even sets of wavves.

Lucky me. I’ve found a place that is ready for me to jump in and get my feet wet in their big blue ocean. XP is somewhat new school for them, but they are shaking it up. The staff is currently 50% women. Their walls are covered with drawings, the monitors come in sets of twos, the tests come first and are abundant and there is the blessed, blessed noise of collaboration ringing through the office.

I’ve been hired as a developer at IBM’s BlueMix Garage.

Blue school is in session and our sessions are loud.

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