Inspect and Adapt – A Fable

There once was a carpenter building a metal box. Try as he might, he couldn’t get nails to stick into much less attach two pieces of metal.

Apparently, other people were having a lot of success using nuts and bolts. So he got some.

Hammer as he might, all he ended up with was dented metal and bent bolts.

Tools - collage made with Ript

So he consulted an expert. Careful observation indicated the expert used a screwdriver. Great! He happened to have one in his toolbox.

He noted that the useful part of a screwdriver was the slotted tip at the end. So, he cut it off and taped it to the head of his hammer.

After one strike, the tip broke off and fell to the floor.

“Boy, my hammer is really letting me down,” he thought to himself. “I guess I’ll have to use the whole screwdriver.”

He went to the store and bought another one.

Once he got home, the man held it in his hand. It didn’t feel right. Any decent tool has a grip that goes at right angles to the head. He found a piece of wood and attached the screwdriver to the end.

That felt a little better but the screwdriver was very light. No decent tool was that insubstantial. So he attached a weight to the tip. That felt better! Now he was making progress!

Confident in his tool, the man pounded away at more bolts.

He managed to make a dozen deep scratches and bend several bolts before the screwdriver broke.

“That was worse than before! Screwdrivers are really overrated and it took so much work before I could even use it, ” the man said to himself.

“I’m not making that mistake again. I’m going out and get a really good hammer!”

This entry was posted in personal and tagged , , , , , , by Ken Judy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ken Judy

I am an executive manager, software developer, father and husband trying to do more good than harm. I am an agile practitioner. I say this fully aware I say nothing. Sold as a tool to solve problems, agile is more a set of principles that encourage us to confront problems. Broad adoption of the jargon has not resulted in wide embrace of these principles. I strive to create material and human good by respecting co-workers, telling truth to employers, improving my skills, and caring for the people affected by the software I help build.