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Day of the yak shave

November 6, 2012

Some times you just have one of those days where you need to accept that there is a hairy yak standing in front of you and get on with removing it’s hair…

One of the most useful terms I’ve learnt since working side by side with Devs is Yak Shaving.

Yak Shaving: Any seemingly pointless activity which is actually necessary to solve a problem which solves a problem which, several levels of recursion later, solves the real problem you’re working on.

Today has been a day focussed on becoming fully integrated with the Borg that I’m currently working at so that I can access all the internal systems/tools. At the end of the day I have far more hairless yaks to show than tasks completed.

Here’s the long version of the yak shaving story, courtesy of Seth Godin:

Yak Shaving is the last step of a series of steps that occurs when you find something you need to do. “I want to wax the car today.”
“Oops, the hose is still broken from the winter. I’ll need to buy a new one at Home Depot.”
“But Home Depot is on the other side of the Tappan Zee bridge and getting there without my EZPass is miserable because of the tolls.”
“But, wait! I could borrow my neighbor’s EZPass…”
“Bob won’t lend me his EZPass until I return the mooshi pillow my son borrowed, though.”
“And we haven’t returned it because some of the stuffing fell out and we need to get some yak hair to restuff it.”
And the next thing you know, you’re at the zoo, shaving a yak, all so you can wax your car.


One Comment leave one →
  1. November 7, 2012 12:13 am


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