by Liam McLennan
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Published on Wed, 21 Apr 2010 16:14:09 GMT Indexed on 2010/04/21 22:23 UTC
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Thursday morning the Illinois public transport system came through for me again. I took the Metra train north from Union Station (which was seething with inbound commuters) to Prairie Crossing (Libertyville). At Prairie Crossing I met Paul and Justin from 8th Light and then Justin drove us to the office. The 8th Light office is in an small business park, in a semi-rural area, surrounded by ponds. Upstairs there are two spacious, open areas for developers.
At one end of the floor is Doug Bradbury’s walk-and-code station; a treadmill with a desk and computer so that a developer can get exercise at work. At the other end of the floor is a hammock. This irregular office furniture is indicative of the 8th Light philosophy, to pursue excellence without being limited by conventional wisdom.
8th Light have a wall covered in posters, each illustrating one person’s software craftsmanship journey. The posters are a fascinating visualisation of the similarities and differences between each of our progressions. The first thing I did Thursday morning was to create my own poster and add it to the wall.
Over two days at 8th Light I did some pairing with the 8th Lighters and we shared thoughts on software development. I am not accustomed to such a progressive and enlightened environment and I found the experience inspirational. At 8th Light TDD, clean code, pairing and kaizen are deeply ingrained in the culture.
Friday, during lunch, 8th Light hosted a ‘lunch and learn’ event. Paul Pagel lead us through a coding exercise using micro-pomodori. We worked in pairs, focusing on the pedagogy of pair programming and TDD.
After lunch I recorded this interview with Paul Pagel and Justin Martin. We discussed 8th light, craftsmanship, apprenticeships and the limelight framework.
Interview with Paul Pagel and Justin Martin
My time at Didit, Obtiva and 8th Light has convinced me that I need to give up some of my independence and go back to working in a team. Craftsmen advance their skills by learning from each other, and I can’t do that working at home by myself. The challenge is finding the right team, and becoming a part of it.
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