Recently I observed another wave of publicly shared opinions about a specific tool. Yet again it was shared in short messages and omitted anything related to the behavior behind it. It was blaming just the tool. Things like these happened in the past and will for sure happen again. I’m not the saint here and probably I could bring a few statements from my own history where I did the same. Let’s treat this post as a friendly reminder, that it’s the behavior of a user that matters not the tool. To go through this list, a sense of humor is strongly advised.
If you work in the IT you heard Jira complains or jokes at least once. Whether it’s treated as a tool of the ultimate oppression of poor engineering souls or blamed for faulty processes with measures set in a way that issue ping pong allows to to observe McNamara fallacy in action. It’s important to blame Jira though, not it’s faulty and simply wrong usage.
PRs are another root of evil. Why on earth GitHub created a tool and added it to the platform that allows people to get their code reviewed before it’s merged. Let’s merge as we go and let’s keep up our disappointment in the platform! Let’s not ask questions like how to minimize the time of the review. Let’s not provide feedback to other peers that could improve our relation and have a positive impact on the workplace. If these bloody PRs are gone, we’ll be saved!
(If you haven’t heard about Calendly drama, please do search it). This is where the situation is really mixed. It’s about the tool but also the mighty supremacy that it supports. The calendar supremacists abuse a tool sending a link to you. This link does not allow you to have a discussion when should the meeting happen. This link breaks the fabric of the society! It’s really weird that after raising this the tool was not destroyed!
All the situations above resonates in my head with the Quillette article that discusses cancellations of various scientists. Somehow, with all the modern technology advancements and general improvement of human life conditions (if you perceive it other way, please read Factfullness) we are still prone to applying blanket on fine grained things. We still jump from specific behaviors, deeds, to general. We do still throw the baby out with the bathwater. And this makes me sad.
At the same time, the very same perception makes me happy. Especially, when I look at people I work with and live with. I’m really grateful to be able to have meaningful, full of merit conversations that does not blame the proverbial tool, but rather focus on the crux of specific situations. And I wish you the same.