Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Lego City Police station construction project

I just today completed the Lego City Police station construction project. Off budget to start with, and a bit late of schedule.

While doing it, I quickly noticed some similarities to a normal construction project, in my world a software system construction (or acquisition) project that is. Thought to write them up, as they felt kinda funny.

A meeting with the dev lead and the product owner
First of all, the whole thing would have been a lot easier to build without the constant pressure by the product owner...

Secondly I gotta hand it to the Lego architect - the whole thing was really nicely packed and arranged, the building instructions were fantastic, and the pieces and puzzles clearly thought through. So building something with this kind of a fantastic specification, was rather easy even though it's over twenty years I've last done something this big with Legos. Without the spec, or even worse with an incorrect one, it would have been sheer hell.

Third similarity: Some developers are better (or have more experience) than others, some are quicker and sloppier, some slower and more careful. Although I think with our dev team my wife was quick and careful and I was slow and sloppy.. Team work wasn't that easy either, but it seemed to go well after we established some kind of roles and responsibilities.

Fourth similarity: When a bug was found it usually (not always) was a lot easier to fix if found early, compared to a one found late having many layers already built on top of it. Also the rework caused by this was really frustrating. There were differences also in the ways and timelines of finding the bugs - most were quickly noticed and immediately fixed, but some were harder to spot early and were only noticed by some mysterious extra pieces, or due to integration issues with new layers.

In the end everybody involved in the project was so tired with the whole thing that nobody really wanted to use it anymore (is that a fifth one?). But it looks pretty nice! Hopefully the product owner will still grow into it..

Lego City police station - large

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