Well, all the good names were taken!
Inspired by Scott Hanselman , I’ve decided to start a blog to reflect upon experiences with Agile development, systems design and general programming. All thoughts here are mine and not those of my employer.
I want to have somewhere to reflect on my experiences in agile and programming and I have learnt the value in reflecting upon experiences in order to learn from them.
I know that some educational establishments take reflective learning to the level where it doesn’t matter so much whether you got the multiple choice questions right or wrong, but what you learnt in the process. It seemed odd when I first heard about it. Well, actually it sounded worse than odd – how could it be fair to let someone take a multiple choice question test again and again until they had a perfect result?
The point, of course, is that rather than leaving somebody with an arbitrary mark (“congratulations! You scored 15 out of 20! I can’t tell you what you didn’t actually know though”) the person doing the educational activity ends up knowing the answers to all the questions – they know which answers they already knew, and they know new things which they hadn’t known (or knew wrong) at the outset.
The difference ultimately seems to be whether you are setting a barrier to entry for something – you need to know a certain amount to participate – or you are planning an educational activity where the test is a way of refining and extending both knowledge and understanding.
My first real exposure to the reflective process came at the Royal College of Physicians of London (www.rcplondon.ac.uk) where I spent ten years or so developing their web presence. Many things have probably changed since I left, but I’m still proud of the online CPD (Continuing Professional Development) diary which I designed and implemented. I don’t want to bore you with details at the moment, but one of the key business requirements of the CPD diary is that consultant physicians do not gain educational credits for attending accredited courses and conferences – but only once they have written up their ‘reflection’ on the educational activity.
In a nutshell, reflection upon what has happened is a great mechanism for helping me to learn.
I hope that some of these reflections might prove helpful for others too.
A word of warning – these reflections are likely to be a bit random.
I don’t have a plan of action or an agenda here. I expect that I’ll be mostly blogging about my experiences with Agile development (and Agile training) in both small and large organisations and blogging about experiences in software development – mostly in C# and the .Net stack.
So, I want to have something about random reflections, but hey, that name was already taken too. So I settled on the idea of Brownian Motion as a nice representation of practical randomness.
Hence Brownian Reflections.
I’ll try to keep regular!