frickin’ laser beams

I’m going to break a rule I mentally promised I would stick to when I started this blog. I told myself never to blog about work, but today was one of those random days which needs to be written down so I can try to understand what happened.

Agile training.

Its the phrase of the year and as I’m part of the agile web team its only fair we actually do some form of training. As this was the first one that was setup we all got together to take part in what was being described as an informal kick off. I could only live in fear as I kept thinking back to a video I had once edited which involved a man in a bright orange waistcoat who got groups of managers to build small bridges of Lego between tables while shouting about ‘team building’ and ‘logic’. Its supposed be about team building I think…

Anyway, today’s training kicked of with being told more about agile development and then the dreaded phrase ‘we are all going to play a game’ was uttered. Not once but several times.
My spine was packing up and getting ready to leave at this point but the quick coffee break before starting to design a ‘better mouse trap’ gave me a chance to mull it over. I made a quick joke about using cats and even Galactapuss to catch the mice and back we went, only for someone on the team to actually go with the idea of normal (although better trained) cats.
The way agile works is you work with the client at all stages and produce versions for the client to check. They then either tells you to take a hike or asks you to change the colour scheme (sometimes both), so we kept feeding ideas back to our mock client who kept firing feedback at us and we went through three iterations before the final presentation.
I have to say I wasn’t overly convinced with our idea at first as I would have happily had my original idea of a nuclear powered atomic robot with the brain of a cat built by exiled Russian scientists but the final idea of a cat genetically modified to like water so it could hunt mice in a swimming pool was outlandish enough to tick most of my boxes.
In the end it was more Bruce Banner than Reed Richards and could have quite easily had some laser beams on the side of its head to hunt the mice with.
If only we had got one more iteration in…

On a side note, for some reason i’ve been listening to a lot of Chinese man’s groove sessions 1+2 lately and can’t get the tune from Ordinary Man out of my mind. The intro is from “My Fair Lady” and actually helped me remember the name of Eliza Doolittle while taking part in a pub quiz over the weekend. Who says French trip hop can be useful in the strangest places?

7 thoughts on “frickin’ laser beams”

  1. 😯 Team building exercises!
    I don’t know how these people who go around companies with such stuff ever get their jobs. The only way such team building sessions ever work is if everyone in the group suddenly realised how pointless it was, and with one determined mind, sacrificed the team building tutor to some made up God of Reason 😆

  2. faaaaar to folky for me. Its bad enough i’m listening to French trip hop.

    what we did wasn’t teambuilding, its agile. I had this very conversation with a couple of bodies at work the other day and its all based around trying to work to a different work mindset. I’m not sure I understand it fully but we got to talk about cats with laser beams so it was a winner.

  3. Cheese’s Crust! I’ve had a look on the tinterweb about this, and I have to say it all does sound a bit overblown. Even those that promote agile seem to have trouble explaining what it is:
    http://www.nccmembership.co.uk/pooled/articles/BF_WEBART/view.asp?Q=BF_WEBART_308745
    When they start using their own made-up buzzwords and charts that mean very little, then you’ve got to worry 😯
    As I understand it, it’s working and adapting in a changing environment, meeting the client’s needs by viewing problems from a client’s perspective. What they’re really saying in far too many words for people to actually understand is the old fashioned saying of “thinking on your feet” 🙄 😆
    I’m telling yer, mate, it’s corporate bollocks, like what was seen in the late 80s and 90s.

  4. What’s with the sudden itallics in the second part there? 😕 Ah, that doesn’t matter. Perhaps it’s your blog software’s own way of agreeing with me by highlighting it 😆

  5. What worries me more is you spending time looking things like that up!

    A good game of D&D would work just as well I think but its just not corperate enough.

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