This may be a good idea… it also may be a terrible idea. Either way it’s worth a shot. You’ve heard of take your kid to work? Well, this is kind of like that except the kid is a hardware developer.
Here’s the pitch… in hardware development, we have next to no track record in agile development. If you’ve been on this site before, you’ll know it exists to alert hardware developers to the possibilities. There are lots of possibilities. We’ve got articles, video and projects on the go. The word is getting around, slowly, which is great… but then I realize my big a-ha moments haven’t come from websites, they’ve come from talking to agile software developers patient enough to take the time to sit down and explain things to me. If you read this interview with Lisa Crispin, agile test expert, you’ll see she’s been fortunate to have learned some of what she knows by bumping into the same type of people (even the same person, as it were, in Elisabeth Hendrickson). I’m quite sure few hardware developers have had that same opportunities to talk to agile development experts so I’d like to take a stab at creating them by helping set up face-to-face time between software developers willing to talk and hardware developers wanting to listen. Hence, take-a-hardware-developer-to-work day. Or even meet-a-hardware-developer-for-coffee. Maybe skype-with-a-hardware-developer? Buy-a-hardware-developer-a-beer?? Something… anything really… to get people together to give them the same opportunities to learn that I feel I’ve had.
So is this a good idea? Does anyone care? Please let me know. If you care enough to vote, I’ll take it as a “yes, I do care”. If you care enough to send me an email at email@example.com, I’ll take it as a “yes, I really care and I’m interested in getting involved”. If enough people care, I’ll take it further. If no one cares, it’s about 20min of my time down the drain to write this up. No harm done.
Now to quickly hit the publish button before I decide for myself this is a dumb idea and change my mind…
UPDATE: as of this morning, AgileSoC forums are up and running. We’ve now got a way for people to connect with each other, agile software developers with hardware developers, in the spirit of knowledge exchange. You can get to the forums here. Please consider participating.