Day 20 – Auxano Sprint 2 Review & Retrospective

Project-Auxano-LogoIt might just be me, but the past four weeks have been a roller coaster ride. Highs, lows, plenty of turns, getting flipped upside down… but hey – we’re halfway through the boot camp, and I’ve experienced some major breakthroughs in coding, teamwork, presenting, personal reflection, and ping-pong. So a roller coaster ride it may be, but it’s been a good one so far.

TL;DR – Today we had our second sprint review and retrospective. It went well! In our retrospective we talked about our feelings. I have feelings. I share some of those feely feelings with you below should you choose to read about them. If you’d prefer, you can skip to the bottom to read my daily Scrum and watch our sprint review!

In place of a regular scrum retrospective this afternoon we talked for a while about our individual life stories and what people and events have lead up to us sitting in the same room with each other at the first Improving Boot Camp. I learned a lot about the other guys during this conversation, and I’m glad we did the exercise. I wasn’t expecting a group therapy session free of charge, but I think it was a good experience.

I struggled a lot with what to write and what to say about myself during this retrospective. I don’t talk about my “life story” that much because talking about myself in front of a group of people makes me pretty uncomfortable for many reasons I struggle to define. It might be trust issues, it might be shame, embarrassment, poor self-image, guilt, I can’t really say for sure. One of several major reasons for some of those negative feelings is that I hold myself to impossibly high standards, and I am frustrated and disappointed with myself for not achieving more of what I think I should have achieved at this point in my life. I feel like I’ve been blessed so richly, and should be held to higher standards because of those blessings.

I have a relatively sound mind and body in spite of some health issues. I had access to a good education and good enrichment opportunities from early childhood on up. I have loving, supportive, and exceptional family members who have believed in me and helped me in so many ways since I entered this world. If I find myself slacking, I feel like I’ve wronged them and anyone else who is less fortunate than I, and I judge myself harshly for that. I realize it’s counter productive, but that’s just the way my mind has been wired. My task is to fight that self-flagellating tendency and endeavor to believe in myself and try to recognize and enjoy some successes instead of focusing on avoiding failure or imperfection and berating myself for under-achieving. I will only overcome my insecurity by choosing to have a more positive and optimistic attitude in my daily life. This will make me a better consultant, team member, and person in general.

So anyways, I’m not going to type out what I talked about in our retrospective here (my severely abridged life story), but I’ll share the visual aid I made to help me while talking about myself in front of the group. The story is not linear and the influencing people and events are intertwined, but the infographic holds some of the major experiences, places, and people that made me “me” and lead me to where I am today – at the beginning of my career and the rest of my life. I’ve never thought of my “story” like this, and it’s interesting to see it mapped out. My life makes a little more sense today than it did yesterday, and I’m thankful for that.


After our retrospective, I revisited a question I’ve had many times since first hearing about the boot camp opportunity: do I deserve to be here? My answer is: I think we are blessed to be here. We’re fortunate and lucky to be here. Both grouped up with awesome people, and working for a company like Improving in a place like Addison, TX, USA. When I think of those who haven’t been lucky enough to find themselves in the right place at the right time in order to take advantage of great opportunities like this boot camp, it reminds me to appreciate just being here.

You might convince me to admit that each member of our group has worked hard and proven themselves worthy of this opportunity, but I still think we won the “job lottery,” and couldn’t ask for more at this point in our careers. Especially considering this is my first real job out of school. I take comfort in trusting that Jef saw something in each of us that convinced him we were worth a spot here.

Okay, enough about my “feelings.” Have a wonderful weekend! I’ll be recovering from this sinus infection, reading, writing, watching some Pluralsight, going to see X-Men with friends/family, eating sushi, taking my nieces swimming, eating some yummy BBQ, and resting as much as possible. See you Monday.


Non-Emotional Bloggity Stuff:

Scrum: Yesterday Jon and I continued setting dynamic links up in the Passport view. This morning we’re wrapping the week up and helping make sure the whole team is ready for the review this afternoon. Worked on fixing my major block yesterday, but it will take the weekend to start to recover from being sick.

Today we had our second sprint review: Turn up the volume to max, and put in headphones if you want to hear anything – the laptop mic was really far away. We’ll fix that next week!


Before our retrospective, we did an object modeling exercise where we mapped out a game of Monopoly on the whiteboard together. We’ll be practicing our object modeling skills every so often in the next few weeks before our board reviews. I’m thankful that Jef decided to do this. I know I specifically need to get better at this.


  • List “Nouns”
  • Relationships
    • Is-A
    • Navigability/Visibility
  • Attributes
  • Cardinality

That’s it for the first four weeks of boot camp! I can’t believe we’re halfway done.