Sunday, July 12, 2015

Why big corporations don't like retrospectives?

Not too long ago, I used to facilitate retrospectives for some of the teams in the department.
But for some strange reason their interest in retrospectives just disappeared.
I thought a lot about it, but I couldn't come up with an answer. Why?

Is it that they don't understand the advantages of retrospectives?
Is it that they have no time for retrospectives?
Or is it that they feel powerless when they do a retrospective?

In this brief text I want to just share my opinion on why I think corporations, have no interest in retrospectives(A bit of an speculative opinion, but just an opinion).

A retrospective is well known Agile practice that aims to improve any aspect of work. During a retrospective a team debates about things that matter for them and for the company: ideas, solutions, process, collaboration, communication, quality, recruitment, salaries, etc...
This are just some topics.

Unfortunately retrospectives are not being taken serious in many companies:
- in some, retrospectives are discouraged and seen as a waste of time
- in others shyly implemented within a constraint environment without visibility or power to
take any action. Just as a way of ventilating frustrations. 

So why is this that they are so unpopular?

The Answer is simple:
Companies fear change but specially, they fear decentralisation and lose of control.

The fact is that well organised regular retrospectives, could easily challenge the stablish organisational structure by making evident and visible its inefficiencies.

Many young technical companies quickly gain terrain to the prehistoric corporates not just because their decentralized and autonomous nature but also because of their eagerness and necessity to communicate and improve. Most of the successful ones often practice retrospectives.

The old school of building software companies has its days counted. What employees have to say about process inefficiencies, technical challenges, etc ... Is as important, if not more than the absolutely false illusion of rush that the corporation sees in the market.

Big corporations are organisations with huge amounts of resources and great potential for making significant impact in industry. Helping them getting rid of their fears is key for building not just good companies but a
healthy industry.

Software is continuous change, so embrace change, embrace retrospectives, embrace the future

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Maven build in colours

Did you ever wonder, how you can make your maven build display colours?
In this quick post I will show you what you need to do to show colours in your maven build.

  1. Navigate to wherever you have installed maven and go into the lib folder ~/apache-maven-3.3.1/lib
  2. Delete slf4j-simple-1.7.5.jar
  3. Find on the internet the following jars and add them to the lib folder
    log4j-api-2.2.jar
    log4j-core-2.2.jar
    log4j-slf4j-impl-2.2.jar
    slf4j-ext-1.7.5.jar

  4. Get out of the lib folder and navigate into the conf folder once in there create a file called log4j2.xml and add the following content:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
    <Configuration>
      <Properties>
        <Property name="maven.logging.root.level">INFO</Property>
      </Properties>
      <Appenders>
        <Console name="console" target="SYSTEM_OUT">
          <PatternLayout pattern="%highlight{[%p] %msg%n%throwable}" />
        </Console>
      </Appenders>
      <Loggers>
        <Root level="${sys:maven.logging.root.level}">
          <Appender-ref ref="console"/>
        </Root>
      </Loggers>
    </Configuration>
     
  5. Go to the terminal and try building a maven project

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