Safe Space



  • So today we had a "Sprint planning session".

    You can tell that "Lean Consultants" have been around since their A3s (A3 printouts) are passed around and deeemed as important even though nobody looks at them

    In anycase I was invited i.e. forced to turn up for one.

    There was a set of A3 with screenshots of firefox, showing a screenshot of firefox. This apparently as the "front end integration specialist" was all I needed to know to produce an estimate.

    I told them "There is no way I can estimate this with this information".

    Scrum Lead said "All the information you need is present"

    I said "I haven't worked with front end long enough and I don't understand the business requirements to make a good estimate".

    I was pressed repeatedly to provide some sort of "break down".

    So I said in the end "these looks similar enough so the same for each?!"

    I was pressed again and I thought "fuck this" and said "Look I don't really know, how am I supposed to estimate when I don't know anything here well enough".

    Then i said after being told to make an estimate, I let my angry side slip and said "Seriously I am not going to give bullshit estimates". It wasn't loud and wasn't aggressive.

    I then just decided to ignore the rest of the planning to make a point.

    Later on that day at an hour and a half of unpaid overtime, I had the boss ask me to have a chat as I leave.

    Apparently telling the truth "upset others" in a "safe area". I am supposed to "have a think about how I approach things".

    I think I will be approaching the safe guy and I will be telling them I think I will be going home early for the weekend.

    EDIT: the sprint planning is a "safe and happy place". I was being polite .. imagine if I had gone full on. I don't hold hostages and no fucker will escape unscathed.



  • @lucas1 Probably you were supposed to score in fantasy complexity points rather than man-months. Still impossible if you don't know what it's supposed to do.



  • @lucas1 said in Safe Space:

    Then i said after being told to make an estimate,

    5 years, give or take 6 years.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    0_1466627928133_This_is_why_I_kill_people.jpg

    Seriously, do you work for a sheltered workshop or something?



  • @blek Apparently so. I am going to jack it in tomorrow.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @lucas1 said in Safe Space:

    @blek Apparently so. I am going to jack it in tomorrow.

    Good luck. Try not to swear too much, I hear it's generally frowned upon.


  • BINNED

    @lucas1 said in Safe Space:

    I am going to jack it in tomorrow.

    0_1466628295691_upload-7f2235bf-edf9-438a-b812-f50be9016221 :question:

    I'd advise against that, your ICE might be too weak for the sheer DoS caused by stupid that might result from that.



  • @lucas1 said in Safe Space:

    There was a set of A3 with screenshots of firefox, showing a screenshot of firefox. This apparently as the "front end integration specialist" was all I needed to know to produce an estimate.

    Our estimation "planning poker" "deck" contains an "infinity" card (meaning "this task can never be completed based on what we know of it's specification now"-- think something like "as a user, I'd like to have peace in the Middle East") and also a blank card to be used when you think there's not even enough information to even guess, and it should go back to the PM to spec-out the feature more. If you're actually doing Agile estimations, I'd expect you to have a similar arrangements. (And yes, as other people said, you estimate in "points" which are purposefully vaguely-defined, not hours and days.)

    From my experience, the normal way of solving unsolvable problems in Agile is to just explain what bit of Agile methodology you used at previous companies to solve the problem and then get into a dumb shouting match at people who like to discuss process 100 times more than they like to write code, until everybody gets annoyed and forgets why the issue was brought up in the first place and you can move on. (Use the phrase "time box".)



  • @blakeyrat Sounds like bollox. I tell them it is bollox and then I walk out the door if it gets too much.



  • @blek My favourite word is cunt, followed by fuck, followed by the phrase "sand nigger" and then "towel head" .. so might not be easy.

    BTW I am not a racist cunt, I was saying those above so you get the idea I am MR NOT Politically Correct.



  • @lucas1 yeah, but those bollocks will get you out of those meetings, sometimes you have to compromise to get peace



  • @Jarry No I was employed to improve the team, not to slow us down.

    So my job is to fight back when it is bullshit. If I can't ... I can't do my job.



  • @lucas1 said in Safe Space:

    Sounds like bollox. I tell them it is bollox and then I walk out the door if it gets too much.

    You might not have to walk out the door, you might get booted.

    But whatever, do what you think is best.



  • @blakeyrat WTF is a poker deck? This is the fucking problem.

    It should be

    1. Requirements
    2. Estimates
    3. Work
    4. Test
    5. Deliver

    It is just wanky terms. They literally used the word Window 4 different ways during it.

    I was like "A new browser window"
    Them - "This is a payment window"
    Then - "We need this to work with the browser Windows"
    Me - "IE8+ ???"



  • @blakeyrat If I get booted tbh It would be nice. No notice period :D



  • @lucas1 That's my favourite. I've been told I'm a "no man", that I should respect their shitty ideas even if it could ruin the project. Problem is they never explained why saying "that's not a good idea, here is what it would require and how long it would take" is a bad thing. So fuck em, I'm a no man. :)



  • @lucas1 said in Safe Space:

    WTF is a poker deck? This is the fucking problem.

    Planning poker.

    Ok, here I am a person who doesn't even believe in Agile/Scrum explaining it.

    BLAKEYRAT TEACHES AGILE ESTIMATIONS

    First, assumptions:

    1. Getting suggestions from 20 people, then averaging them, produces a better estimates than a single person giving the estimate
    2. No task worth doing requires less than about half a day of work

    So you get a "poker deck" with the following cards:

    1/2
    1
    2
    3
    5
    8
    13
    21
    (blank)

    You somewhat arbitrarily define 1 unit as being half-a-day's work-- don't let people pedantic dickweed you by asking stuff like, "does that include the lunch break?" or whatever, it's just a vaguely-defined "half a day's work". Specifics don't matter for planning points.

    You have a group of developers sitting around a room, and the PM or whoever reads the story out loud to the group, then calls for a vote. Each developer will show the card they think best matches the amount of work to have done.

    Anybody who shows "infinity" or "(blank)" will generally be asked to briefly explain why. (Unless a majority did.) Anybody whose estimate is WIDELY off the average likewise will be asked to briefly explain why. Then you re-vote until the team more-or-less agrees, and write the number on the ticket. If it gets voted as infinite or blank, it goes back to the PM (or whoever) to flesh-out the story. Otherwise, it goes into the backlog of work to do (where it gets fetched our during the next spring planning. Since you used the term "sprint planning" I'm assuming you don't need that explained.)

    Anything estimated at 13 or larger probably should be broken up into smaller tasks, but 13 is barely acceptable if the developer has absolutely nothing else to do that sprint.

    In theory, when the task is completed, you then get the amount of time taken and share the delta between the actual time and the estimate with the developers before the next planning poker session, so they get a better idea of how accurate their "story points" were and can adjust them upwards or downwards over time, but I've never worked on a team that really did that.



  • @lucas1 said in Safe Space:

    Apparently telling the truth "upset others" in a "safe area". I am supposed to "have a think about how I approach things".

    We're currently doing a merger with another school which has the main audience of slightly older pupils training to become child care workers and similar. This merger means that some of their pupils are on our school grounds for two days a week, after the summer they'll be here the whole week (as the merger then has completed, at least in a legal sense).

    We have two large recesses so that our pupils can grab something to eat in the break hall. We also have at least one teacher patrolling the break hall during those recesses to tell some pupils that, no, we're not their mother and, yes, it doesn't break their bones if they carry their dishes to the dish rack.

    This is a point of contention with the other school as their pupils are 'so much older and almost adults!'

    Yes, almost. Almost means "not quite", which coincidentally is the adverb I'd use to describe their ability to clean up after themselves.

    Some of the other teachers seem to be stuck in the 60's.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @aapis Yeah, I kept having the same problem. Not when actual work was being done, because the idiot clique on our team is rarely involved in that, but occasionally some of them get some really revolutionary idea for completely changing everything we do and vomit it out on a mailing list or our horrible internal "social collaboration tool" where they discuss it to no end, one-upping each other with stupid bullshit and virtue signaling. "Thank you $idiot for sharing your thoughts! I'm so excited about this new initiative and I think it would help us leverage our customer successes to achieve synergy." Kill me.

    I used to join these discussions and explain to them in great detail - and with no personal attacks; I'm calling them idiots now but I never did that on the job - why they're wrong and why their ideas won't work. I used to do that because I was concerned that some of this retarded bullshit would end up being actually implemented in some way and prevent anyone from doing their jobs. Problem was, most of these people act like they've never heard anyone in their entire lives call their ideas wrong, so they're convinced that any half-baked stupid thought they have is solid gold - and they're completely unable to distinguish between a personal attack and a criticism of their ideas. It always ended up with someone whining to my boss.

    Over time I learned that there's actually no need for me to join these discussions at all, because in my several years at the company I have never seen any of these discussions and initiatives produce any result at all. It's sad and infuriating that the company I work for spends money on dead weight like that, but whatever. As long as I get paid.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @Rhywden said in Safe Space:

    Some of the other teachers seem to be stuck in the 60's.

    What do you mean?


  • BINNED

    @blek said in Safe Space:

    I used to join these discussions and explain to them in great detail - and with no personal attacks; I'm calling them idiots now but I never did that on the job - why they're wrong and why their ideas won't work.

    Have you tried

    :question:

    Sorry, I'm in an image posting mood today, couldn't resist...


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @Onyx No. In that article, the guy who pointed out the idiocy was actually being pretty confrontational. He was right, but at work I always try to be careful and write so that it doesn't look like I'm attacking the person, even if all I want to do is scream at the idiots till they run away crying. It just fails with narcissists and people who grew up being handed participation trophies.



  • When you can't get an explanation, you don't understand anything about what they're asking, and they keep pushing you for an estimate, just look them right in the eyes and say "I estimate it will take exactly hamburger purple airplane kitty-cat to complete".



  • @da-Doctah said in Safe Space:

    "I estimate it will take exactly hamburger purple airplane kitty-cat to complete".

    Hmm, it's some sort of code...let's see...h, p, a, k-c... h+p +a + (k-c)...8+16+1+(11-3).
    25 + (8)
    So 25 days with a wiggle room of 8 days? Excellent!



  • @blek I'd rather have someone tell me why my idea is bad than to hear nothing at all and feel like I'm wasting my time. I think we're all smart enough to avoid personal attacks in such conversations but some people are just a little bit too sensitive.



  • Fuck you, that is why


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @lucas1 said in Safe Space:

    I was pressed again and I thought "fuck this" and said "Look I don't really know, how am I supposed to estimate when I don't know anything here well enough".
    Then i said after being told to make an estimate, I let my angry side slip and said "Seriously I am not going to give bullshit estimates". It wasn't loud and wasn't aggressive.
    I then just decided to ignore the rest of the planning to make a point.
    Later on that day at an hour and a half of unpaid overtime, I had the boss ask me to have a chat as I leave.
    Apparently telling the truth "upset others" in a "safe area". I am supposed to "have a think about how I approach things".
    I think I will be approaching the safe guy and I will be telling them I think I will be going home early for the weekend.
    EDIT: the sprint planning is a "safe and happy place". I was being polite .. imagine if I had gone full on. I don't hold hostages and no fucker will escape unscathed.

    Those fuckers need to come work with me. They would be crying in a corner before the end of the first meeting.



  • @blakeyrat said in Safe Space:

    Our estimation "planning poker" "deck" contains an "infinity" card (meaning "this task can never be completed based on what we know of it's specification now"-- think something like "as a user, I'd like to have peace in the Middle East") and also a blank card to be used when you think there's not even enough information to even guess, and it should go back to the PM to spec-out the feature more. If you're actually doing Agile estimations, I'd expect you to have a similar arrangements. (And yes, as other people said, you estimate in "points" which are purposefully vaguely-defined, not hours and days.)

    I am so gonna steal that 'infinity' card and blank card idea.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election



  • @lucas1 have fun, if they are doing scrumXPWhateverAgile badly, and you refuse to at least learn the basics to let them keep bullshitting, better find greener pastures. you won't convince them yelling how idiotic is all that.
    if that was the case this forum would've already cured the IT industry.(we'd be yeling at other things)

    (just in case, i do agree with you that estimating without enough information is bullshit)

    get out of there, there's no fixing it.



  • @Rhywden said in Safe Space:

    Some of the other teachers seem to be stuck in the 60's.

    The 60s were great times for teachers. You could beat the kids, parents took responsibility rather than blaming the teacher for everything, no Internet to copy tests and essays from...



  • @theBread said in Safe Space:

    @da-Doctah said in Safe Space:

    "I estimate it will take exactly hamburger purple airplane kitty-cat to complete".

    Hmm, it's some sort of code...let's see...h, p, a, k-c... h+p +a + (k-c)...8+16+1+(11-3).
    25 + (8)
    So 25 days with a wiggle room of 8 days? Excellent!

    I saw that and thought of this. The code bit starts at 4:50.



  • @lucas1 I wonder how would the other people in the room tell that story.

    We got some incomplete information, but tried to make the best of it. Lucas came in as a senior developer, but it's clear he's not very experienced in the frontend role. He not only refused to give any estimate, he wouldn't even work with us to try and break down the job into manageable tasks.

    At one point, he just started cursing, screaming how estimates are "bulls*it". He then sat in a huff and glared at us for the rest of the meeting, refusing to participate. He made the rest of the meeting very uncomfortable. We didn't get much done.


  • area_pol

    I such situation I refuse to give an estimate, two or three times. If I'm pushed harder, and I think my message was clearly stated and heard by all present, I'll give an estimate - 5 or 10 times what I can even imagine about the task.

    As for the whole Scrum/Agile/Something - I don't really see any productivity improvement (it has its good sides, but not that). The amount of talking about the process, meetings, meetings about meetings, etc, is just staggering. I think people like it because they feel 'involved' and 'deciding about their work environment', instead of just being told what to do.
    I miss the times when I would get requirements, estimate completion time in days and just do my job.

    Story point estimation is a whole another :wtf:
    SPs are not hours or days, but in fact they are, you're just not allowed to say that aloud.
    Possible estimate values are 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, but in fact only 3, 5 and 8 are accepted
    (1 and 2 are not worth a separate task, 21 is too vague to even show up during planning and 13 would be broken down before estimating session starts).
    Estimate values are not additive, but in fact 8 is always broken down to two 5s.
    Estimates are never ever given in hours, except when they are, which is whenever accounting asks, which is always.
    And my favorite: collaborative estimate made by a bunch of people having no idea about the task is better than the one made by one knowledgeable person :crazy:



  • @MrL huh, seems like all teams do it differently. For us, 40SP is the "this story will take the whole team the whole sprint" (which happens occasionally, since we seem to operate on very roughly defined user stories - things like "implementing screen X"). And only after the story planning is done, we try to break those huge tasks into pieces like "layout", "data models", "business logic APIs" etc, and those pieces get hourly estimates.

    Come to think of it, it kinda defeats the whole point of PP, since the actual task planning is done as something between a shouting match and negotiations, while PP is only used to say "yep, we won't have time for anything else this sprint". But I've never said we're good at Scrum.


  • area_pol

    @Maciejasjmj said in Safe Space:

    @MrL huh, seems like all teams do it differently. For us, 40SP is the "this story will take the whole team the whole sprint" (which happens occasionally, since we seem to operate on very roughly defined user stories - things like "implementing screen X"). And only after the story planning is done, we try to break those huge tasks into pieces like "layout", "data models", "business logic APIs" etc, and those pieces get hourly estimates.

    Yeah, we do the breaking into pieces before estimating.
    The effect is exactly the same.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @MrL said in Safe Space:

    1 and 2 are not worth a separate task

    Depends on how visible the results of the task are.


  • Fake News

    My team and I actually went through Agile training recently. At least for us, story points are meant to estimate difficulty rather than amount of time something will take. We use the Fibonacci scale for this, and a thirteen-point story is something that we estimate would take our entire team a full sprint (two weeks for us) to be designed, developed and tested.


  • area_pol

    @lolwhat said in Safe Space:

    My team and I actually went through Agile training recently. At least for us, story points are meant to estimate difficulty rather than amount of time something will take. We use the Fibonacci scale for this, and a thirteen-point story is something that we estimate would take our entire team a full sprint (two weeks for us) to be designed, developed and tested.

    Let me repeat myself: SPs are not hours or days, but in fact they are, you're just not allowed to say that aloud.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @lucas1 said in Safe Space:

    Apparently telling the truth "upset others" in a "safe area"

    #GenerationSnowflake has left university and has now entered the workforce.

    Be Afraid. Very Afraid™


  • sockdevs

    @PJH said in Safe Space:

    #GenerationSnowflake has left university and has now entered the workforce.

    ......

    /me wets herself in terror



  • @accalia said in Safe Space:

    wets herself

    It's called a safe space not a smelly space!


  • sockdevs

    @Luhmann said in Safe Space:

    @accalia said in Safe Space:

    wets herself

    It's called a safe space not a smelly space!

    well now it's called MY space.

    unless you want to piss on it too to claim it?



  • @accalia said in Safe Space:

    unless you want to piss on it too to claim it?

    Why do you think that didn't already happen?
    I hope your desk chair doesn't rust easily.


  • sockdevs

    @Luhmann said in Safe Space:

    I hope your desk chair doesn't rust easily.

    they took my chair away ages ago..... biohazard they called it. the bastards.


  • area_deu

    @PJH said in Safe Space:

    #GenerationSnowflake has left university and has now entered the workforce.

    I'm seriously getting sick of people saying that.



  • @accalia
    you are telling me that it wasn't a desk chair that was on the receiving end? Whatever it was it received my blessing gracefully



  • @aliceif You get why, though, right?

    There are plenty of people Ben's age in particular who break down and cry if you tell them they're wrong.



  • @PJH said in Safe Space:

    @lucas1 said in Safe Space:

    Apparently telling the truth "upset others" in a "safe area"

    #GenerationSnowflake has left university and has now entered the workforce.

    Be Afraid. Very Afraid™

    You say that, but don't understand the true gravity. Did you know that Affirmative Action coding is a thing in some places? That's right, if the code is written by a black woman, it is therefore better and will be the solution that gets implemented.



  • @cartman82 that isn't really fair. I didn't go off on one. I said "without doing some analysis and looking at the code I can evaluate it. Anything I would provide is as an estimate would be bullshit".

    The reply I got was "you shouldn't need to look at the code to make an estimate" and at that point instead of going off in one I actually just sat down.


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