Reflections on #wol

Our class experience with working out loud during our recent session in The Garage had mixed results- there were two funĀ “call outs,” a way to recognize great work in a team and solicit feedback, but for a nearly two-hour session with 5 teams, the exercise of call outs was not utilized very heavily.

#msloc430 Twitter was certainly abuzz with tweets like these:

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 5.09.08 PM Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 5.09.16 PM Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 5.09.22 PM

Fun, celebratory, descriptive, but not necessarily in the spirit of purposeful, collaborative working out loud as described by Stepper (http://johnstepper.com/2014/01/04/the-5-elements-of-working-out-loud/). I didn’t see many tweets that I thought would lead to anyone in the room making their work better. I myself was perhaps the worst offender, tweeting one useful description of our work followed by a storm of GIFs, jokes, images, and emojis. Whoops.

Initially disappointed, I wondered what we might have done better to harness the power of working out loud. Thankfully, returning to Stepper showed me the way. His blog on developing working out loud as a skill over 12 weeks is highly encouraging (http://johnstepper.com/2013/11/23/working-out-loud-the-12-week-program/) and leads me to believe that our class, given the time, could progress from fun, community-building attempts at working out loud to true, purposeful progress in the spirit of Stepper’s articles.

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