Agile Update – Week 42

Last week was a successful week. Four posts here on WordPress and a book review on GoodReads. My writing last week included my regular Agile update post, a TV-on-DVD season set review, a link with introduction and a movie review on WordPress. The movie review I also posted to my Blogger movie review page. That’s five days of writing. Woo-hoo! After what seems like a long. dry spell of only a few posts a week, I am so glad to be writing again. I also reached a new milestone on Twitter – I now have 351 followers. That still might not sound like much, but I’m still impressed. Goes to show what having good Twitter manners does for you. I got back to thanking new followers this past week or two.

Exercise this week consisted of going to my weekly one-hour yoga class. I really enjoyed it though, as always. And I noticed that before class, I was upset and angry about some things that had happened in my A+ professional training class, but after my yoga class, I was just relaxed and calm. It helps so much!

Lots of professional development activity last week as well. As I’ve been talking about, I’m in the midst of an A+ class. Last week I read and took notes on chapter 11 (finished chapter 10 the week before), and did the chapter 10 and 11 chapter review sheets. I almost missed doing them, since the person in charge of the class handed them out so late. But they aren’t due until tomorrow so it’s OK. I also turned in three labs. And I I started reading chapter 12, again for the A+ class. And of course I attended the actual A+ class twice. I also downloaded three A+ study guide apps from the Android Play store. We’ll see how they work. I’m still not quite ready to start using the review tools because I figure I should actually read the material first – something the instructor does not get. I have a very specific way of learning information, and it’s served me well all the way through school – which is why I have a BA and two master’s – and this instructor thinks he knows better than I do how I learn? I really don’t think so. And of course, every time he says something like “Don’t read the book, it’s useless. Watch these videos instead.” I just want to scream because I certainly can’t correct him or complain. I’ve been down that route before, it’s a no-win scenario. And since this training is supposed to lead to a job with the company paying for the training (along with two other organizations) I have to suck up to the “teacher”. So, of course, I have to not complain. I also don’t like his “competitive” view of class (I’ve passed every single quiz with grades in the 90s but I never get on his “pet” list, and lately he’s been giving me poor grades on the homework.) Learning needs to be co-operative, or a solo activity, treating it like a football game with a winner and a loser is completely counter-productive.

That’s also something about Agile that I like. In a working environment, when implemented correctly, it’s an cooperative system. Everyone in a Scrum team is working together, no matter their background – from engineers, to documentation writers, to marketing. And it isn’t the false “there’s no I in team” business-speak used to take credit away from people who actually do the work – whether that’s a woman with a ground-breaking idea or a engineer who develops something new and is forced to give up his or her patent to the company they work for. A proper Agile team is cross-disciplinary and co-operative, and everyone is given all information for the “big picture” and all inputs are valued to constantly improve the product.

Using Agile for self-improvement means setting and meeting goals, congratulating yourself on meeting goals, and at times setting new, more complex goals. It’s about not beating yourself up if you slip back and not meet goals you’ve set for yourself, but equally not giving up entirely. Agile is about continual improvement, which is, in the end, realistic.

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