On the spot training with the folding chair

X — Funny how you have more chairs than people in your office ! I’d thought they should be placed in the meeting room.

Me — Have you noticed as well how simple these are ? Foldable and light, they actually have a very different purpose from the classical « office chair » with a set of wheels for mobility and adjustable height.

One of the folding chairs in the office

X — Don’t tell my there’s some Lean thinking behind them! I was actually joking when I hinted they could be a form of waste.

Me — Well, we do try to avoid meetings but we do need to coordinate actions. For example, when a junior developer wants to get his latest piece of code reviewed, he could add a patch to some digital queue and wait for someone else to pull it for review.

X — Yeah, I guess that would be lean in some way : there’s a pull system there.

Me — But what we actually want is to flow. Wouldn’t it be much better if the junior developer in question could commit his patch directly to the main trunk?

X — But that would require a very strict set of rules to follow, and procedures, and guidelines, and …

Me — Training.

X — You’ve lost me there.

Me — Every time he needs to have some code reviewed, one of the senior developer would grab the folding chair, sit next to him, and start a live review. It’s actually an opportunity to get some training as soon as possible, to create a feedback loop as close as possible to the work being done, when everything is still fresh in the head. And to put him on track to be able to commit his changes on his own.

X — So you don’t have any rules to follow and procedures and guidelines?

Me — Off course we do ! For example, we are in the underscore family (camelCaseStyle is banned) and force brackets in IF statement (even if PHP doesn’t care). We even have tests catching up common errors like forgetting translations or minification of CSS files.

X — Automated guidelines beyond the compiler!? Now that’s food for thought…