Remembering Jerry Weinberg: The Psychology of Computer Programming

It’s been four years since – sadly – Gerald M. “Jerry” Weinberg passed away. Ever since then, I struggled with some public mourning about him, until recently I had just the right idea. On a weekly basis, I will publish a review of a book I read that Jerry either wrote himself or is about some of his work. Today, I picked the classic The Psychology of Computer Programming in its Silver Anniversary Edition from 1998, the original being published in 1971.

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Testing and Management Mistakes: The Inner Team

I found this old draft blog entry while going through some older blog entries. Since this has been laying around for many years now, I figured, it should be time to publish it now. Enjoy.

A couple of years ago Michael Bolton started a blog series on testing and management mistakes, to which I contributed four follow-up blog entries with an introduction, replacing blaming with placating, congruent responses, and causes. All of this was based on a single psychological model, or better, my understanding of it after having read through most of Jerry Weinberg’s work.

Recently I started to dive into some topics in psychology. While working through work from Schulz von Thun, I remembered this series when I crossed the idea of the inner team. I decided to revisit the original conversation and discuss it in the light of the inner team.

Schulz von Thun describes the inner team as a collective of personalities that each of us develops and carries with us. In any conversation, we face the struggle of forces for or against an argument. We also have a team leader, which could be stronger developed with some of us, or weaker, thereby yielding to different responses – sometimes even incongruent ones depending on the inner team member that cries the loudest at any given time.

Let’s revisit the conversation of the project manager asking a tester to work over the weekend, and take a closer look at the inner team within this tester.

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“Our release process pains us”

This week I had a conversation with several coaches at a client on something I consider pretty basic Agile knowledge, actually. To collect my thoughts together, I think it would be good practice to write all of them down for the time being. The topic at hand deals with test automation and enabling release-at-will through a zero-bug policy and how to get there. I think it’s going to be a brief blog entry, but fear my thoughts might run away there. So, stay with me.

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