Hands On

Okay, HandsOn is, basically, "stop whining and show". (Or stop blabbing and show.)

In the RichardFeynman story about the Challenger O-rings (in XpCourageValue), he simply showed those engineers that, despite the tables and stress factors and whatever, actually putting the rings in the cold and watching was valuable.

Feynman, in his book, SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman, says the idea about the O-rings was fed to him by an Air Force general on the Challenger commission, who Feynman believed got the idea fed to him by astronauts who didn't feel comfortable coming forward publicly. As an eminent scientist, Feynman could say things others could not.

This applies to a lot of fields others than physics/engineering... actually, Software Engineering usually benefits from this approach in most cases sooner or later... -- DavidDeLis

I recently read Tufte's book VisualExplanations and he uses the Challenger story as a case study for how poor explanations, visual or not, can hide the information that people need to make decisions (with the implication that this is often done deliberately, out of fear). I think there are parallels to some of the current methodology wars revolving around XP.

Anyway, Feynman's famous demonstration figures prominently, of course. It was visual, simple, and compelling. Tufte includes a quote from FreemanDyson where he expresses his excitement that so many average people saw a vivid demonstration of how science is done, how "a great scientist thinks with his hands ..." I couldn't help but think of the tight feedback loops in XP, the emphasis on trying things so that you actually know rather than just making guesses. It's a great example of how people who opine that we need to get software development DownToaScience usually don't really understand what that means. -- GlennVanderburg

"Put up or shut up"

"Show me, don't tell me" (a rule for writing fiction).

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