Attend to what’s in it for them

Do you have devs who resist Scrum or don’t want to take the time to write better code? I can attest that with very few exceptions devs want to do the right thing in the right way. So why does it show up differently?

Several answers:

  1.  devs are under a lot of pressure & their commitment to get the job done just has them put their heads down and work harder
  2.  the investment in learning new skills appears to require more time than they feel they have
  3.  they like to learn things that directly make their life better/easier

When considering developer improvement one must consider the fact that you have motivated people with the above attitudes. One effective way is to teach practices.

A practice is something that is always a good thing to do. For something to be promoted as a practice, it must be truly universal (you can always do it, and everyone should do it). Therefore, it must be:

Easy to do. We don’t want to burden ourselves or slow ourselves down.

Easy to teach. If we want everyone to do them, they must be easy to learn

Be highly valuable. A good practice should pay you back over and over and over again.

Here are a few:

  • Programming by intention
  • Make state private
  • Encapsulate constructors
  • consider tests prior to writing code

2 thoughts on “Attend to what’s in it for them”

  1. I’m a non-technical Agile Coach in my organization. I often encounter resistance from devs and have made several attempts to find partners within the dev organization to help teach the practices that you mention in your post. I believe that there are experienced individuals in the organization, but they have so far remained silent. What advice can you give me on how to establish partnerships with the dev organization to help teach good practices?

  2. Thanks for asking the question – sorry for my delayed response.

    It is difficult to answer this question without knowing your background in Agile.
    Do you come from a particular approach (Scrum, Kanban) or just Agile in general?

    I would look to see what actions would make the devs’ life easier.
    If you see challenges they are having and can provide assistance you might engage in a conversation about how to do that. People enjoy having their lives made easier.

    However, it may be that their issues aren’t process related. This is often difficult for non-techs however, as it is typically somewhat technical issues that are needed.

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