ArticleS. MichaelFeathers.
RamonWalksHome [add child]

Ramon walks home.

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Ramon started to walk home. He used to ride his bicycle although he lived only seven blocks away from work, but since fall arrived he just liked to walk. There was something about the smell of autumn in the air and the orange glow of the sun as it dropped over the cityscape.. he always felt he could walk for hours in the evening.

Ramon started to think about work. The political situation wasn't getting any better. Frank's announcement was typical: Hire a manager secretively and spring him on the team. Sometimes, Ramon felt that Frank treated the team like they were a room full of auto parts, that he'd be just as happy managing inventory in an auto shop. But, Frank never seemed happy. The company had been in trouble for a while, and, in fairness, Frank got the brunt of that. Ramon didn't think that Marco was a great development manager, but at least he shielded the team.

Ramon had a couple of good friends at work. The first among them was Sally, even though she had an alarming tendency to fall for any idea that she read in a book.

It'll be interesting to see if she tries to push this legacy thing, Ramon thought. A few years ago, she got excited about XP. She managed to get Marco and Frank to give the team an open workspace, a lab; but the process fell apart. When crunch time came, the managers didn't want to play ball. "Get it all done before the end of the year or else" was the message. They spent all of November and December in the lab. Well, not all of it. They had Christmas morning off, but they were back to work Christmas evening. And what was it all for? To meet an arbitrary deadline. Politics. Another check box on someone else's review. It took two more months to debug that release well enough to put it in production.

But, that was last year. Ramon was glad to see that Sally was brightening up. He was scared that part of her died in that death march. For months after the holidays, she wasn't her usual sparky self. As much as Ramon hated to think of himself as that dependent, he really looked for that spark from her at work. It kept him from going sour whenever he received bad news at work. With this stealth manager arriving and the recent earnings report, Ramon felt that there was more bad news ahead.

Meanwhile, Sally is thinking about using nulls in tests.

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