Tuesday, May 4, 2010

We cannot just jump to the new

As I was checking the feeds for my daily dose of mindgum, I came across this interesting article "Plato’s Cave 2.0 A New Myth for Adoption". Written in a different context and with a different purpose but is still true for all other scenarios.

You may not be the cheiftain of a tribe and may not be leading a group of people into new ventures but if you are someone like me who likes to experiment the fundamentals with himself, there is a lesson. The story/scenario that he describes might sound like one right from an AOE game but I relate it to so many things I do in my personal life. Let me describe the one that is fresh on my mind.

I am the only BA sitting with 10 Devs on the same table and my work involves working very closely with them. And all of them work on Ubuntu. In the entire team, leaving aside the PM (who works on a MAC) it's only the QAs who work on Windows (XP). I figured that it would be a great chance to try my hands again at Ubuntu. The last time I tried it out was on my personal machine but I hardly ever booted into it after I figured out a way to restore my windows partition.

This time around I did stick longer. My work here does not have much of dependency on using MS Office products. As an organisation, I think we are almost entirely into Web 2.0 apps. We use google mail, wave and docs. The collaboration within the distributed team happens mostly with Mingle. I used it continuously for almost a week and then small problems started surfacing. One fine day I wanted to draw up a process map and the open-source DIA was no match for visio. I kept missing OneNote (on which I am scribbling this note) although Tomboy Note seemed pretty good. Actually Tidlywiki or MoinMoin would also have served my purpose. I had trouble connecting to VPN (the RSA fob gave problems) while taking calls from home.

And next two weeks I kept shuffling between the two (Ubuntu and XP). But I now realize that, I haven't booted into Ubuntu for almost a month now!!

So this article struck me right on the face. These words seems like a reminder for me.

" We cannot just jump to the new. We have to explore it.  This exploration needs to be organized as history tells us successful explorations are conducted – using larger and longer staying expeditions. At some point some people have to stay in the new world."

Moving into Ubuntu was not just a whim for that moment. Well..I loved the exploration..finding out new things and new way to do things.. But I wanted to it because I thought, it is the right thing to do. It is the new world.

I guess I am going to take another exploration into this new world. This time hopefully for a much longer time.

Time also to think about how many such explorations I have aborted without trying hard enough. May be I also need to keep trying to take the jogging sessions in the morning also.