6 Videos I Show During My Classes

In this post I will share six videos that I show in order to breathe life into my presentations. Just when the students are beginning to show signs of boredom, especially after lunch, I reset the energy level with a video. I plan for one video clip towards the end of every 90 minute interval of teaching.

I find, six hours of learning per day is the maximum that most people's brain can comfortably absorb. It's critical to make the most of each 90 minute chunk of learning and then break before burnout and boredom set in. Over the years, I've collected these (and many more) videos that have high edutainment value. Enjoy.

1) Stuff Bad Scrum Masters Say

This is an awesome satirical clip by Adam Weisbart (CST) about a day in the life of a Scrum Master and his team. It highlights the serious dysfunctions that are caused by a bad Scrum Master. What I like to ask after showing this video is "Are the people in the video doing Scrum?" The answer I get is 50/50 between yes and no. "Yes," they are following the Scrum mechanics by having a Scrum Master, daily stand-ups, retrospectives, sprint planning, etc. "No," they are completely missing the spirit and original intent of Scrum which is to have a self-managed, collaborating team, facilitated by a servant-leader.

This video also acts as a good ice breaker. Most people laugh, even those those that find it a bit too close to home.


2)Agile Engineering Culture at Spotify

This video is a huge hit with professionals at all levels of the organization. What I find remarkable in Spotify's story is their balanced approach towards system architecture, professional development, operational efficiency and relentless improvement. If I only have time for two videos, this is my second pick (my first pick is "Drive" - see below). This 2-part video is dense with information about Spotify's philosophy and the nuts and bolts of their implementation of this strategy.


3) DevOps and Lean in Legacy Environments

This is a message of hope for companies that feel hamstrung by high amounts of legacy code and culture. Scott Prugh unpacks their four year his company, CSG as it implemented SAFe® throughout their enterprise. The emphasis of the talk is on DevOps and how recovery from large system deployments can be dramatically improved through the use of telemetry, smaller and more frequent batches of change, and the automation of deployments. The full case study can be found here.

4) Drive- The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

This is a fun animation illustrating the counter-intuitive truth that money and motivation are not directly related. In fact, motivating through bonuses can backfire since workers can become too fixated about the money instead of focusing on the work. The conclusion is: The three things motivate knowledge workers are Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. I'm fond of pointing out the surprising truth that it's NOT about more pay, better benefits, work-life balance, or job security.


5) Globally aware collaboration

This video gives deep insight into how emotional and confrontational behavior varies significantly between countries. Understanding these cultural norms is essential when collaborating in an increasingly global workforce where even collocated teams are made up of individuals with diverse cultural backgrounds.


6) How Too Many Rules at Work Keep You from Getting Things Done

This TED speaker laments the steady decline in the rate of productivity of the last 75 years despite all the technological advances. He lays the blame on the management practices that overemphasize accountability, clarity, and measurement. He proposes that increasing efficiency can be only be achieved through removing constraints imposed by too many rules and encouraging cooperation between the workers. 

I'm curious about a couple of things:

  1. Which video clips did you like the most
  2. What other videos have you found useful?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

-Armond Mehrabian, SPCT