Roy Osherove’s interview with Kent Beck

I listened to Roy Osherove’s interview with Kent Beck.  My major thought throughout the interview was that they have very different discussion types. It largely reminded me of Marry Wilson from Checkpoint on National radio whose style is described as “uncompromising tenacious” that “has won respect from commentators, interviewees and listeners” and I have to say I hate her style. It would appear to me that she has the interview route pre planned, and when the interviewee does not confess the sin Marry is after see keeps asking more or less the same question with disregard to the answer given. Often interrupting a victim interviewee who is giving the non expected answer.

The common trait is that they both have a preconceived idea of where the conversation is going, thus ask highly focused closed questions. Then don’t listen when the answer is not as expected, well they listen, but they don’t dynamically change the conversation path to account to the feedback.

The best example is when Kent had to answer “Moo” “mu“ due to the question been overly complex and not making sense.

Another example was when Roy was asking Kent about how to deal with people not following the XP rules, and Kent reply that people follow the rules due to belief in the system not been told to do it. Roy just didn’t seem to comprehend what Kent was saying, and kept asking the same concept in different forms. I felt frustrated on Kent’s behalf.

When Roy was explaining how blunt Israeli developers can be reminded me of the Russian-ish (-ish because most weren’t from Russia and would be offended for been called Russian) co-workers I have worked with in the past, they come across as arrogant and contempt for others, but really they don’t attach emotions to ideas, so the concept of your code is not the best (usually said “your code is crap”), is just the expression of technical opinion. This is vastly different to the passive confrontational style most westerners would use.