One ‘reason’ why folx don’t want to learn technical practices seems to be that they expect no benefit. Sometimes that’s more about futility than actual benefit.

I’ve been trying to find out, and to understand, why some people don’t seem to want to learn to improve their development process, either as a team or as individuals. I haven’t felt like working on any of my open programs lately. Not the dungeon, not the extended sets, not the Lisp thing. I have some reasons, and I think they may be helping me to understand why folx might decline to take part in team and self improvement.

I have some specific reasons why the programs are not paying me back. The currency in which I’m paid for programming is learning, the joy of doing something nice and making it nicer, and providing ideas about which to write. Individually:

I set myself the task of making the program, which was built around square tiles, run on hex tiles as well. This has become tedious without much learning. There may be a meta-article in there about sudden big changes late in a project.
Extended Sets
In the XSet thing itself, things are in pretty good shape. I may go back and look again, see what else might be fun to do. Optimization is turning out to be a bit tedious and mostly obvious. I diverted to the Lisp idea, so possibly there is fun still remaining in the XSet project itself.
This has been somewhat fun, but I picked an article to work from that was not ideal. It doesn’t include clear statements of what is supposed to happen, doesn’t have tests, and, I think, is not implementing a legitimate Lisp. As such, I feel thwarted and uncertain about the outcome. If I want to do a Lisp in the future, I’ll start from a more solid description, probably the SICP book unless I can find something shorter.

Overall, however, I think it’s more than just that these three efforts are all in “slog” mode, although that is part of it.

For me, it is also the world. Some of our “leaders” seem to be trying to reverse social progress, and seem even to be trying to cause dissent and violence. Rudeness and violence seem to be acceptable against people with whom we disagree. Hatred of those unlike us seems to be becoming acceptable and even desirable according to some.

This disturbs me, a lot. I’m at a high point of listening to people unlike me, on Twitter and elsewhere, and the pain they are suffering, and their reactions to it, and the things they link to, are bringing me down. I am going to have to unfollow some of them for my own mental health.

These thoughts make me feel that there is no hope, that things will surely get worse before they get better, and that they may get seriously worse. How long will it be before we get out stuff together enough to deal with global warming, the destruction of environment and species, and other big problems? How close do we have to come to a world war? Do we have to have one?

This line of thinking brings me down. And it makes little things like trying to discover better ways of programming seem pretty darn unimportant.

So I can imagine that if someone works in a faux-Scrum situation where the only things that matter are hitting your forced commitment, and making your actual story points match your planned ones (which were raised as a “stretch goal”), they might not have any interest in “improvement”. Heck, if they did improve, management, or even their own rat-bastard ScrumMaster servant leader my tail, would just absorb any improvement by raising the goals, and the pressure, even more.

If that’s what’s going on for folx, well, I get it. And I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t even know what I’d do if I were in that box, because, at least today, I don’t know what to do given the box that I’m in.

People are so wonderful. People are so horrible.

It’s a puzzlement, and not a happy one.