quality of engineering - projectmethods

Posted by agent_008_nl on 21-Sep-2015 12:50

Very much agreed:

"It’s time for most of “Agile” and especially Scrum to die. These aren’t just bad ideas. They’re more dangerous than that, because there’s a generation of software engineers who are absorbing them without knowing any better. There are far too many young programmers being doomed to mediocrity by the idea that business-driven engineering and “user stories” are how things have always been done. This ought to be prevented; the future integrity of our industry may rely on it. “Agile” is a bucket of nonsense that has nothing to do with programming and certainly nothing to do with computer science, and it ought to be tossed back into the muck from which it came."

"Silicon Valley has gotten a lot wrong, especially in the past five years, but one of the things that it got right is the concept of the engineer-driven company. It’s not always the best for engineers to drive the entire company, but when engineers run engineering and set priorities, everyone wins: engineers are happier with the work they’re assigned (or, better yet, self-assigning) and the business is getting a much higher quality of engineering."

"Waterfall replicates the social model of a dysfunctional organization with a defined hierarchy. The most interesting work is done first and declared complete, and the grungy details are passed on to the level below. It’s called “Waterfall” because communication goes only one way. If the design is bad, it must be implemented anyway. (The original designers have probably moved to another project.) Agile, then, replicates the social model of a dysfunctional organization without a well-defined hierarchy. It has engineers still quite clearly below everyone else: the “product owners” and “scrum masters” outrank “team members”, who are the lowest of the low. Its effect is to disentitle the more senior, capable engineers by requiring them to adhere to a reporting process (work only on your assigned tickets, spend 5-10 hours per week in status meetings) designed for juniors. Like a failed communist state that equalizes by spreading poverty, Scrum in its purest form puts all of engineering at the same low level: not a clearly spelled-out one, but clearly below all the business people who are given full authority to decide what gets worked on.

Agile increases the feedback frequency while giving engineers no real power. That’s a losing bargain, because it means that they’re more likely to jerked around or punished when things take longer than they “seem” they should take. These decisions are invariably made by business people who will call shots based on emotion rather than deep insight into the technical challenges or the nature of the development."


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Posted by Martha Lynch on 21-Sep-2015 14:55

Any development process needs to be examined for effectiveness on several levels - management, engineering, customers - to allow teams/organizations to follow a methodology that  makes sense vs. abiding by strict process rules.

Posted by agent_008_nl on 28-Sep-2015 01:10

"Who can run at the top of their ability?

Right. A short distance runner.

You can’t run far at that speed.

We programmers have figured out how to fix that, though

We just fire the start pistol every hundred yards and call it a new sprint!"

An intelligent talk:


Whole talk recommended, but the fun part about agile starts at 00:14:00

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