They were construction foremen, superintendents and project managers attending a course in construction planning from the Lean Construction Institute (LCI). Indeed, what was I doing there?
I started to explain: "In software development, we are told we should manage our projects like construction projects, where a building is designed at the start, cost and schedule are predictable, and customers get what they expect."
Silence. "You're kidding, right?" "No, honest, that's what we're told."
Incredulity turns to laughter. The idea that programmers would want to manage projects like the construction industry strikes my classmates as ludicrous.