Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Echo chambers and jaded generalists

Jeremy Miller wrote a nice post summarizing his thoughts on DevTeach.

I particularly enjoyed the rant about "seeing how the other half lives". His first point here is about the "agile echo chamber". As he suspected, the enterpise architects and the database guys are missing the agile perspective. The agile talk is in the echo chamber, and it isn't getting out.

I want to point out that there are a lot of echo chambers out there. The DBAs have one. The enterprise architects have one. The agilists have one. And don't forget the IT guys.

These people just aren't talking to each other.

I witnessed several instances of high profile folks meeting for the first time, and clearly not having ever heard of each other. This is amazing to me. Talk about echo chambers. When database guy and the agile guy are not reading each other's blogs, how are we advancing the state of the art? Thankfully, conferences like DevTeach provide some cross pollenation that can only help the situation.

Jeremy quotes a friend who said "There are no smart guys, there's only us". By far, I think that's the most important lesson to take away from all this.

1) Don't believe the hype of any of the echo chambers.
2) Do pay attention to what's going on in each of them.

The bottom line here is that we are in a creative line of work. You can look for inspiration in any number of places. But in the end, you have to deal with your own unique set of constraints, and you have to solve your own problems.


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