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Comment: Re:Since there's no downside, why not go all out? (Score 1) 1065

by eric_harris_76 (#49741185) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

OK, it seems we're in agreement that there is a downside to having a minimum wage. So, what is it, and how can it be discovered if there's been too great an increase in the minimum wage?

Or to put it differently, how does one discover what the optimum minimum wage is? Is it the same everywhere in the country? Is it the same for every type of employee? Every type of job?

Comment: Re:Since there's no downside, why not go all out? (Score 1) 1065

by eric_harris_76 (#49741175) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

Why not abolish the minimum wage? I can't think of a good reason. (Bad reasons abound.)

And if you don't know what it is you're optimizing, it's a little hard to say that something is sub-optimal or not.

So, what do you think should be optimized when setting a minimum wage?

Comment: Since there's no downside, why not go all out? (Score 1) 1065

by eric_harris_76 (#49732399) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

Since apparently there is no downside to raising the minimum wage some, why not raise it a bunch?

If some is good, more is better, and much more is much more better, right?

Why not a minimum wage of $500/hr, and make almost everyone rich? (Except for the people who are already pulling in a megabuck per year.)

Comment: I guess we're doing it better than I thought (Score 1) 507

by eric_harris_76 (#49710977) Attached to: Is Agile Development a Failing Concept?

After reading some of the comments about how Agile is being done elsewhere, I'm pretty pleased with how well it's going where I work. I do wonder why the difference, though.

Standups are 15 minutes (officially) but went longer because we had two scrum teams (called "pods", which name no longer irritates me) working on a project that affected both. We needed the expertise and the resources.

We don't spend a lot of time on backlog grooming, in part because we don't have to split many of our user stories. Things were pretty well broken-down into manageable size when we laid out our work, up front. (Somewhat waterfall-ish, but it has worked out OK.)

Another reason is we have a separate meeting (which we call a "champion meeting" for some reason) where a subset of the whole team identifies uncertainties and determines things that were TBD, if they have to be before the user story can be sized. User stories normally are sized at that time.

We used to use "planning poker" cards, but now people are comfortable singing out their estimates or doubts about the estimates of others, and working to a consensus. If we can't come to a consensus, we'll go with the higher of point estimates.

Teams are small, 5 or 6. (Except for our duo-Pod team, during that project.) About half our people are in St. Louis, the other half are contractors in India. Almost always a St. Louis QA tests what a St. Louis Dev produced, and an India QA tests what an India Dev produced. One BA/scrummaster for the team. (Two, during the duo-Pod project.) Only St. Louis folks attend the "champion meeting", but all attend the daily standup and a weekly coordination meeting (at the end of the India day and the start of the St. Louis day).

Much of the above applies all Pods, some only to the the duo-Pod team, which is breaking up now. Next week, some are going half-time on the duo-Pod work, and then it's just going to be one of the pods.

We've not been slavish in following Agile rules, or our own. The "champion meeting" was added a few months back. And with the end of the duo-Pod, we'll no doubt have to make more changes. We've already started on that.

Why has it gone so well? A couple explanations.

Management had a strong commitment to it, and for the most part hasn't micromanaged it, or even come close. All pods are now on 2-week sprints, and are synchronized, with a 6-2-1 at the end of each quarter. Initially we had a requirement to maintain a somewhat even velocity. If the points accomplished per sprint weren't sufficiently consistent over time, we got "dinged". Now we have to commit to calendar dates for big chunks of functionality, instead, but we get to choose our commitments. (We can't be silly about it, of course.)

We got some training, pretty much from the get-go. Some general Agile training initially, and when we were ready or almost ready for it, more detailed training, like on user story splitting.

Another part is the company culture. There's more of a "fix the problem, not the blame" when things go awry, and the concept of technical debt is understood pretty well, even in the business. (We're about 2 weeks away from removing the last of the Visual FoxPro code from production -- in our Pod's code. We're not quite the first Pod, and won't be the last. So, they know what happens when important-but-not-urgent work is deferred too long.)

Comment: Re:Hate for Uber (Score 1) 132

Speaking of traffic court, a bill in the Missouri General Assembly would limit the percentage of a municipality's revenue that could come from traffic fines (or fines in general -- I forget which). It's 12.5% in St. Louis County (where Ferguson and other ticket-heavy municipalities are), and 20% elsewhere in the state.

The governor is expected to sign it.

Comment: Re:Hate for Uber (Score 1) 132

We need to pick one

Uh, no. (Also, who is this "we"? The Commissariat for Personal Transportation Services?)

Some people want the better service enough to pay more for it. Some prefer something more affordable, and are willing to tolerate the lower quality, so they can spend the difference on other things. Maybe they'd rather put up with the lower quality than do without.

What's wrong with allowing diversity in this area, too?

Comment: Re:Hate for Uber (Score 1) 132

That's refreshingly honest. The laws exist to protect jobs in that particular industry.

Despicable, but honest. Usually people bleat about how unlicensed hair-braiders (or tour guides, or interior decorators, or whatever) will cause the apocalypse, as unsuspecting customers get back-alley hair-braidings (or whatever).

But not this time. Just a flat-out claim that without government stifling competitors, they wouldn't have jobs.

Kudos to you!

Comment: Re:AWESOME! (Score 1) 372

by eric_harris_76 (#49651055) Attached to: Global Carbon Dioxide Levels Reach New Monthly Record

Speaking of making money: if the climate models are right (or right enough) to make major economic policy changes that affect literally billions of people, a savvy person could make money off those denier rubes.

Just apply Allison's Precept, and bet them about near-future climate changes. They'll think the models are hooey, bet against them being right, be wrong (of course) and you'll not only win money, but they'll lose money.

You ever try that?

So far, I've not found a believer in AGW who is willing to risk their own money on the validity of those climate models, but is perfectly willing to risk the chances of increased prosperity for the poorest of the world's people on their validity.

Maybe today will be different.

Comment: Re:AWESOME! (Score 1) 372

by eric_harris_76 (#49651031) Attached to: Global Carbon Dioxide Levels Reach New Monthly Record

Never make the mistake to think the deniers are disbelievers, they are not, all they care about is how much they can make and how much power they have and totally disregard the consequences of their actions upon other people.

You should get your money back on those mind-reading lessons.

Some think that the science is flawed, and have either specific or general reasons for thinking so.

Half a century from now, or less, we may find out that AGW is as incorrect and supportable as the "scientific" proof of white supremacy.

Science marches on -- sometimes after being off-course for a while.