Agile 2018

Agile 2018
Speaking at Agile 2018

Monday, April 6, 2015

Disappointment is not the same as defeat

Learning a few lessons during the Easter week.
The life of the agilest is filled with manic depressive episodes.  This week what was supposed to be a client meeting and a possible business opportunity fell apart because a technical constraint I had not accounted.  It was a very bitter moment and it undermined over a year’s worth of development.  I was furious.  After settling down, I took some time to reflect.

One of the sayings of agile is, “fail early and often.”  This is easy to say when your business has regular customers and has steady billing.  It is not so easy when you have been working hand to mouth for five years writing code in your spare time and pitching clients when you get the chance.  Each pitch, opportunity feels like the last one that comes along.  So to call up a client and tell them that a product is not ready, is heartbreaking.

Failure hurts.  Failure is a deep blot of ink which covers up your reason and makes you feel defeated.  I have always been a sore looser so to fail always grates on me.  It made it hard for me to sleep and affected my mood.  I am still not over this failure this week.

I feel like a kid who was winning at Snakes and Ladders only to be denied in the last roll of the dice.  As the initial disappointment started to fade, I came to a realization.  I am not back to square one but rather few steps back.  I can choose to quit the game or I can pick up the dice and go again.  That is what I am doing.  The next few days are going to be learning new coding techniques and trying to build my product to accommodate the clients very particular technical specifications.

I am disappointed but I am not going to be defeated.  I think that is not a bad lesson to take into the Easter Weekend.

Until next time.