Unit Testing, Agile Development, Leadership & .NET - By Roy Osherove
I actually wrote this in my cube on a particularly bad day:
Sitting here in the cubicle, trying to find a reason to care enough about this job to stay the last obligatory hour. These keystrokes are stricken with a malaise that has crept in from many encounters with red flags of various stripes. They became an amorphous, solid banner months ago, and now I sit waiting for my escape pod to slice through the curtain and take me to some better place.
I still enjoy the nature of this profession, the creative problem solving, the opportunity to work with smart people, the order of magnitude difference that one small decision can make. But this place reeks of apathy. It's a scent without aroma, as though distinctiveness itself would be cause for offense. The ideal is to have no ideals. To stoically accept the status quo. To feed managerial egos tender hours that would be more rightly spent with loved ones.
This is my prison, my years of penance determined by the magnitude of my debt. Most of my purchases were bought to increase the quality of my free time, but now I schedule my free time to be more productive, as more work is required to keep pace with the world. But the world is mad. Everyone is running in place, feigning motions of progress without moving one step in the right direction. There's always a glimmering something just beyond our reach. A promotion, a house, a fancy new car. It's usually enough to distract us from the subtle, sublime beauty that abounds in the moment, but we just might be better off if we took a step backward to appreciate it all.
Questions like "What are the biggest risks in your project right now? Who would you fire right now if you could? Who would you hire?" are things a team lead should be able to handle in real life, not just on an anonymous blog.
The problem with anonymous writing is that it's difficult for the reader to take a stand regarding the credibility of the content. I actually really like Jeremy Millers blog (http://codebetter.com/blogs/jeremy.miller/default.aspx). He writes about his teams' difficulties and struggles, among other things, but he doesn't hide behind a pseudonym. Not everyone is up to writing about his difficulties or experiences, but for issues that involves more than the writer itself it's important to remember that you only get to see one side of the coin.
I remember a few months back I had a post about ordering a new laptop where I work. My company refused to give me the Dell laptop that I wanted and told me they only buy HP (company policy). I know it sounds stupid, but at the time I was pissed off! I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t have a Dell. So I <a href="http://blog.torresdal.net/2006/10/new-laptop-finally.html">blogged about it</a>. The issue about which laptop to buy ended up in the company board, but to my dismay they voted for HP :( My point in this is that nobody was angry at me for posting this internal dispute on the web, because I blended in a bit of humor. Anyway if I had an anonymous blog it would be quite difficult to write about this topic without revealing who I was. I guess that’s the guy at OneMustCode’s problem to; some topics are untouchable, because he would not be anonymous anymore...
Well, as soon as I decided I wanted to write an anonymous blog, I wanted to research what other people thought about the idea. It's pretty enlightening. I don't want to dive into it yet, until I absorb some of the other ideas about it, like this: http://homepage.univie.ac.at/horst.prillinger/blog/stories/2003/06/20/whyImAgainstAnonymousBlogs.html
This is a fascinating subject, and I'm still considering it. I think we need to weigh the pros and cons before diving in.
I have three blogs (none of which anyone but myself and a few friends read so far), but which are focused on three different areas. I feel I can write about most things on these blogs (one is personal, one is about technology, and the third is just the format I decided on for a proposed .NET user group). But I still think there's room for an anonymous one. Not necessarily for trying to "hide" (although, reality states I'd be wise to), but more to get possible feedback for some really personal and controversial (for some people) topics. Nothing earth shattering, but stuff I'd rather not share publicly, but would still like a sounding board.
As you can tell, I'm still leaning towards it, despite some comments against such a thing.