Episode 105: Retrospectives with Linda Rising

Filed in Episodes by on July 30, 2008 18 Comments

Recording Venue: QCon London, 2008
Guest(s): Linda Rising

Host(s): Markus
In this episode we’re talking to Linda Rising about retrospectives. We start by defining what a retrospective is and discuss some of the logistics of making it work for software projects. We then look at the different phases of a retrospective. The main part then is a discussion about some of the practices or games that are used to facilitate the retrospective. We conclude the retrospective discussion with destroying some of the prejudices against it and the relationship to process improvement and CMM.
At the end of the interview we talk a little about Linda’s current interest: how does the brain work?


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Comments (18)

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  1. marialinks says:

    Thank you linda ,this is one of great episode Linda and to the SE-Radio team for this excellent episode.

  2. nlauffer says:

    I am still catching up on the episodes, one by one, and I just finished this one. And, in short, it was transformative. I am a strong believer in the human component to software development. In fact, I believe that the human component is what makes software development stand out as a discipline…making it one of the most complete arts that exist. And, Linda truly illustrates that. It’s the first time that I actually got a lump in my throat listening to a professional podcast. :-)

    I was inspired by this episode to introduce retrospectives to my team. I truly hope I can get buy in. I will by buying Linda’s book. She gives me something concrete to aspire to, and I greatly appreciate that.

    P.S. I should mention that I have a strong interest in the mind. I studied cognition before computer science, and it will always be my first academic love. I also studied anthropology which had a strong primate component.


  3. jthoenes says:

    this was a very great podcast with a very interesting theme. Just wanted to say thank you – as you requested, to do this more often ;-).

  4. daniell says:

    Good episode :)

  5. slobor says:

    Enjoyed the speaker, hope she will do another episode some day.
    aspiring CS student

  6. sheyll says:


    well done! Of course the topic was interesting, but also the interviewer did an excellent job!
    keep up the good work.

  7. Markus says:


  8. Mesirii says:

    I did a whole day training course by Linda at the QCon where she was interviewed by Markus.
    Its really impressive how insightful every conversation with this charming lady is.

    Thanks alot for the interview.

    Michael Hunger
    Independent Software Developer
    Don’t stop where you are Creating Passionate Developers

  9. Mesirii says:

    The notion of iterations as series of experiments is a great supporting idea of the approach Phil Armour takes who sees software development/process as a learning experience. Everything in a software project is about learning and extending your knowledge. (Listen to the Spamcast Podcast Interview). So perhaps we can suceed in applying all the stuff we know about learning to our daily software development (there the brain discussion Linda does, fits nicely).

    Regarding books on brain:
    Dan Auriely: Predictably Irrational
    Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow – The psychology of optimal experience
    Matthew McDonald: The Missing Manual: Your Brain
    Andy Hunt: Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor your wetware
    Kathy Sierras: Creating Passionate Users which draws heavily on learning techniques

    Michael Hunger
    Independent Software Developer
    Don’t stop where you are Creating Passionate Developers

  10. japonophile says:

    Many thanks to Linda and to the SE-Radio team for this excellent episode.

    This podcast is so full of passion, emotion, and opens up to much more than software engineering.

    We want more of these! Thank you!

  11. Gael Marziou says:

    One of the best episodes, keep up the good work!

  12. ernestof says:

    Those who followed this interview will surely find interesting the following presentation



  13. CharlesWeir says:

    … to the previous comments on how good this interview was. ;-)

    I’ve strongly recommended it to others in the team here.

    Charles Weir

  14. basti1302 says:

    This episode was really fantastic. I’m really looking forward to another episode with Linda Rising – and if it were about the book “Fearless Change” (as suggested in this episode by Markus) it would be amazing. I’ve just started to read that book and I have the impression that it contains a lot of deep insight and true understanding. Having an interview-episode with Linda Rising about that topic would be awesome!


    Bastian Krol

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