Collaborating at Pixar: Randy Nelson on using improvisation skills when collaborating

Randy Nelson talks about how collaboration in Pixar draws on to principles of improvisation:

  1. Accept any offer: when given a new idea try and work with it. Dismissing it causes the idea to be lost.
  2. Make your partner look good: don't extend work on the basis of making it better, think of it of adding value.

Distraction free writing

Anyone remember the old dumb terminals, where there wasn't a desktop to speak of. Once you learnt the keys often you'd get a lot more writing done. Write Room, for the Mac, is a productivity tool that avoids desktop distraction. Darkroom is a windows port.

Pair Programming and the Attention Deficit Trait

Of all the practices of eXtreme Programming perhaps the most contentious is pair programming. Partly because not everyone likes pair programming, but also to some managers it is counter-intuitive: how can doubling up resources on a task be more efficient?

There is evidence to suggest that not only pair programming more
productive , but the system has more longevity. Through collaborative learning the design improves. My experience with pair programming is that although it is harder work it is more rewarding.


Internet addiction

China have one thing right: the internet is addictive. The IEEE reported this month on China's Ejunkies, Beijing hostpitals are treating addiction to the internet.

I can remember Mudders at university that were addicted to text based adventure games. To the point where they wouldn't eat or do much else, they ended up failing courses. As the technology gets more like reality will the problem get worse?