10-09-2014 by Sebastian Schürmann
There is some theoretical reasoning behind the “Dissident Trainings” Project. Here is a text that I wrote back in 2013.
Dissidents of (agile) Trainings This is the preamble of the effort to create a company providing trainings for the field of software development in the 21st century. The base assumptions we are building this company on are outlined in this text and should guide us whenever we have questions about the products that @d_trainigs is delivering.
Agile development started as a countermovement to traditional software methods, at least the business thought so. In fact most elements in the body of methods we call agile development today are either from manufacturing (lean, kanban etc.) or cold war WMD projects (IID – Incremental an Iterative Development, today called Scrum). We should not neglect the fact that, method-wise, these ways of working have proven to be effective and efficient to develop high quality software and products, but when building on the shoulders of the pasts giants to remix and craft new methods out of the knowledge of today we should be aware that not every aspect of the old is acceptable on an ethics level and therefore should be replaced.
Not subscribing to a predefined method and re-thinking an own variant on the basis of clear ethical values is always and option but requires a clear voiced “NO, we do not subscribe to this”. We shall rise this voice whenever it seems appropriate and work with those who do the same. There are many having the same concern but remain silent.
There is always the question how a organization stays visible in a market that is full of contenders and service offers that overlap with ours in many ways. There is always the question of how to communicate the information that a product exists and that it is what the customer needs. Most companies handle the product and it’s marketing as different things. This is a result of having a price in any case: if you want to buy the training, you have to pay for it. In order to communicate the offer to the customer a complete new channel has to be opened: marketing.
We have observed the rise of Open Source Licenses in Software and profited enough from them to have a good idea of how these ways of product licensing and pricing have an effect on marketing in order to apply the same mechanics to our own product. By publishing all of our Training-materials licensed on basis of Creative Commons we achieve a set of things:
The material will be copied and changed. Only for this reason it’s worth the publication with less restrictions. We believe we deliver stuff that adheres to the highest standards and it will prevail through spreading and the changes that come with it. Commercial use of this material by the “Copyist” is not only intended, it is encouraged.
There is less marketing involved when delivering this way. No need to build a big story when you can deliver the product itself quasi as marketing material. The product might seem a little less cool when delivered without cool storytelling, but we deeply believe that the product stays “real” and is less full of lies in order to depcept you into a payment Through Credit (Part of the license and we will enforce it), there will be always the notion that @dtrainings is the original creator and people will assume that @d_traings is the best organization to receive these trainings from.
Who ever copies the trainings and holds them for himself, there will be always the attribution to the original author(s). We save on parts of marketing, you have the product at your hand early on and even can choose to use another company to deliver the training to you. A perfect way for us put stuff out there that sticks and has relevancy.
One thing that all hackers have in common is a certain itch to research, creative play and a certain fun when it comes to destructive behavior. This is the way we want to deliver the trainings for you.
It’s the 21st century, Baby. It’s our intention to adhere to this situation and use many of the new findings that come out of research in the fields of arts, humanities technology and psychology. Some things need to be handled in a playful way because there is no fixed outcome we can plan. It’s important to be honest about that and then to play it out. We deeply believe this is the way to create novel things.
All methods have failures, and if it’s only the failure to admit that fact, but in the end: everything has errors and mistakes and we should be encouraged to find them and publicly state so. Worst case is always that a erroneous method stays in use. Sometimes do things need to be taken down in order to create place for new, better things with less flaws.