Jury Duty, Lean Software Development, and Getting Things Done

One of the best things about getting called for jury duty is that you get lots of time to read. Yesterday, during my wait at the Crowley court building in Dallas, I was able to finish two books. The first was "Lean Software Development" by Mary and Tom Poppendieck. The second was "Getting Things Done" by David Allen.

I’ve been toying with agile concepts for a while in my mind and in my personal development time. I’ve thought for a while that there were lots of good ideas there, but have been pretty happy with the ideas of more typical, classical approaches to development as well. This book was definitely the most convincing thing I’ve ever read on agile development principles. It was often just ruthless in its common sense and logic, and I found many times that as they described a problem with typical software development processes I would go "Yeah, that IS a problem." So many things that some corner of my mind knew but refused to acknowledge, they brought out to light and exposed. I can’t think of a software development book that has affected me quite the way this one has. I’m about to start my second read just so I can really get it.

The other book was pretty good. I’m currently trying to put his process in place. I really do have lots of things going on and have a hard time managing them. Not so much because the amount of stuff is insurmountable, but because my organization system just doesn’t help me remember to do things on time and well. So, I’m trying what he says. We’ll see if it works.

As for jury duty, during the actual jury selection process the prosecution and defence kissed and made up, so we were dismissed right before the jury was to be selected.