Tuesday, November 13, 2007

re: The Shade Tree Developer

Jeremy D. Miller -- The Shade Tree Developer wrote two blogs today. i read both and i agree with a couple parts and disagree with another. here are two that i like to highlight.

in little observations jeremy writes

Cubicles == Collaboration Proof Force Field. Is there any worse way possible to arrange a development team?

woah.. i've never heard that from any software developer before. i wonder if he read things like Peopleware. anyway, i realize that offices are the best possible situation as peopleware points out, it really depends on how your cubicles are situated. if they look like this then i doubt he would be complaining about them. anyway... i'm not sure jeremy knows what its like without the walls.

invest in people not the tools
from A Train of Thought: November 13th, 2007 Edition jeremy writes
Invest in People before investing in Tools

I see sooooooo much effort and money going into producing or purchasing tooling that will "enable" bad or undertrained developers to write software with adequate results. Software factories to tell them what to do next. Methodologies try to straitjacket developers into being spec programmers. Tools that frankly have no power because the makers are favoring safety to keep developers from hurting themselves. All powerful frameworks that try to do ease development by leaving developers very little choice or freedom. Yes, the average developer might be underskilled and undertrained, and we generally need to do something about that to make them more effective. My constant contention is that we'd be better off to raise the average developer skill level across the board. In economic terms I think it's cheaper to invest more in developing developers than it is in fancy tooling.

What is so wrong with our value system that we favor using tooling to make people interchangeable instead of investing in people to make them, and us, more effective?

this serves as reminder of what not to do with hackystat. hopefully, hackystat will never be pitched as a straitjacket for productivity. i've said it over and over again, people and their unique skills are the most important thing in software. no tool, even hackystat, will ever replace a person's skills and knowledge. i don't get why tool marketers can't just stop with the crazy silver bullet talk. it just makes smart people angry.

0-4 worse than striking out (inside joke).

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