September 2009

Software Analysis Paralysis

September 22, 2009

Programmers and managers are obsessed with finding the best way to solve a particular challenge. This is a good thing because that is what quality is all about. Sometimes, though, it can be taken to extremes and the project gets stuck in discussions of minutiae. I was reminded about this when I read about the Chandler […]

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The Economics of Content

September 21, 2009

Paul Graham has a strange take on publishing (emphasis mine): Publishers of all types, from news to music, are unhappy that consumers won’t pay for content anymore. At least, that’s how they see it. In fact consumers never really were paying for content, and publishers weren’t really selling it either. If the content was what they […]

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Avoiding Software Car Wrecks

September 15, 2009

I.M. Wright’s post on risk management is worth reading: Software engineers do this all the time. They come up with a development schedule, unexpected issues come up, and they end up being late. Instead of informing their managers of the delay, they avoid facing conflict, rush the work, sacrifice quality, and slip the schedule, all […]

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Time, Budget, Scope

September 14, 2009

I understand what Glen Alleman is trying to do here when he insists that you can pick all three of time, budget and scope, but he totally misses the point: Put these estimates into a schedule, sequence the work. See what you get. Don’t like the outcome? Adjust One, Two, or Three of the variables and […]

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Serialize Your Projects

September 13, 2009

Stephan Schmidt explains how doing several projects in parallel is counter-productive because of the high overhead costs involved. Projects must be tracked much longer, more documents are produced and must be tracked. All those status messages aggregate, flow upwards toward upper management, clog thinking and time. All those status messages flow to all stakeholders. Each […]

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It is Time to be Optimistic About Software Development

September 12, 2009

A significant part of software literature is devoted to stories of software failures. The best classics of our industry like Fred Brooks’s “The Mythical Man-Month” are based on the analysis of the failures of software projects. Software engineering was created as a way to reduce the number of abandoned projects and keep budgets and timelines […]

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The Twin Demons of Programmers

September 3, 2009

Two somewhat conflicting needs of programmers: Write as little code as possible. Reduce coupling as much as possible. I wonder if they can ever be achieved together entirely, but one thing that seems to be happening is that Item (2) is getting done with more and more functionality getting into the software environment (operating system, […]

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Managing Perceptions

September 2, 2009

Suppose you are about to sign a contract with a company and you send the contract to your lawyer to see if everything is okay with it. You get a reply back saying that the contract is perfect and you don’t need to make any changes. You later get a bill for the time spent […]

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