Wednesday, 6 February 2013

It doesn't make sense.

I stole this, I changed two words:

People work with one set of ideas about how the software is. Everything they do, be it experimental or theoretical work, is informed by, and framed within, that set of ideas. There will be some evidence that doesn't fit, however. At first, that evidence will be ignored or sabotaged. Eventually, though, the anomalies will pile up so high they simply cannot be ignored or sabotaged any longer. Then comes crisis.
13 Things That Don't Make Sense - Michael Brooks.

To me, this is a pretty good explanation of software development, although of course, not in all cases of software development.

It's also a pretty good reason why things like agile, devops, devs, bdd, etc have come about.

We do approach things with a set of ideas and we do frame things with that set of ideas in mind.

We stick to our own ideas, even though some of our ideas have been born out of others' ideas and thoughts and words and we've blindly made them our ideas and thoughts.
- For more on this train of thought refer to Leprechauns of Software Development or various kinds of certification.

When we have ideas that we have actually conceived it can be a good thing because we all have different experiences, we all have different thoughts, we can all add something.

I think the problems occur when we don't let go of theses ideas (when beneficial) and learn from others experiences and listen to others ideas.

A lot of time we don't conceive ideas together for something we are supposed to be working on together.

What's wrong with us?

Doesn't make sense to me.

Make sense to you?

Continuing with the excerpts from 13 Things That Don't Make Sense The next paragraph starts with the sentence:

Crisis, Kuhn said, is soon followed by the paradigm shift in which everyone gains a radically new way of looking at the world.

Does it? Not for software development, not as much as needed.

In the context of software development the sentence would read:

Crisis, Kuhn said, is soon followed by a attempt to throw more people at, work longer hours to stem and follow the procedures that caused the crisis in the first place until the next crisis arrives.

What's wrong with us?


  1. Great post Tony and I agree entirely with the points you are making. I am currently looking at design thinking and innovation and how our minds work from a creative perspective. The main focus I am discovering is the need to be flexible and willing to admit your ideas may be wrong and accept others thoughts and ideas. It links back to my thoughts about being comfortable with making mistakes and adapting your assumptions/ideas based upon what you uncover by tinkering, playing and doing stuff.

  2. I'd pretty much agree with that. The response to failure usually is to work harder doing the wrong things. When companies do twig that there is something seriously wrong they often get in consultancies who do more damage. They try to refine the bad practices so the client can go over the cliff in a more slickly professional manner. I have seen what I thought was rather cynical behaviour when the consultancy has gone with the grain of corporate culture. They have rolled out new processes doing the same old things more laboriously, because that is the easiest and most profitable line to take with the client.
    James Christie