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Re: [extremeperl] Book: Higher Order Perl

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  • Greg C
    ... I didn t say the choice of language doesn t make a difference, I said that it has less impact than the management of the project. Software people spend a
    Message 1 of 58 , Apr 8, 2005
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      --- Curtis Poe <curtis@...> wrote:
      >
      > > . . . Research into development has shown that the impact of project
      > > management outweighs the impact of the choice of languages (and
      > > development tools and programming techniques) by enormous margins --
      > > at least ten to one. . . .
      >
      > I wasn't going to say anything, but I'm surprised no one has commented
      > about this red herring. First, I wouldn't mind see a reference for
      > this research. I believe it's quite possibly true, but it's a
      > distraction from the point being made. Imagine identical inventory
      > tracking systems, both with competent project managent, but one's to be
      > written in assembler and the other's to be written in Ruby. Which
      > would you choose? Language choice makes a difference.

      I didn't say the choice of language doesn't make a difference, I said that it
      has less impact than the management of the project. Software people spend a
      disproportionate amount of time arguing about languages over management, when
      management has the larger impact.

      I don't have the books before me, but the impact of management over language is
      reported in works by Tom DeMarco ("Peopleware", with Timothy Lister) Gerald
      Weinberg (the "Quality Software Management" series) and McConnell ("Rapid
      Development").

      As I recall, in "Peopleware", when discussing languages, they point to research
      that shows how little effect the choice of languages has -- except for
      assembly, which has a 10-1 burden. But then, they observe that assembly
      language programmers are used to it.

      Consider: projects A and B have identical goals. In project A, you have free
      rein in your choice of software and hardware tools. However, the manager sets
      arbitrary deadlines, likes to stand behind people and criticize their code as
      they type, mandates overtime when schedules slip, demands contradictory
      requirements, changes requirements arbitrarily, insists that no meetings take
      place without him then ties up the meeting with rambling soliloquies, scans
      employee voicemail and email, frequently reorganizes the staff on the project,
      gives the best assignments to favored staff, regardless of their ability,
      insults anyone who disagrees with him, and doesn't allow any code to be checked
      in until he's approved it. He also buys the shortest cubicle partitions he can
      find (to save money after all you spent on hardware and software) and allots
      shelf space to the cubicles based on seniority. The focus of the weekly team
      meeting is to figure out who to blame this week for the latest delays, real or
      imagined. (If you think I"m making any of this up, I'm not; I'm just rolling up
      all the bad employers I've experienced into one person)

      On project B, the choice of langauge and hardware are made for youand there's
      only one computer per two programmers. On the other hand, the manager sees his
      people as people, negotiates requirements and schedules on a realistic basis,
      trusts his people, follows a set of best practices (be it XP or some other) and
      chases everyone out of the office at 5:30.

      Which project would you want to work on?

      Greg C



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    • Tom Vilot
      ... Wait. That sounds like Rob .... ;c) (kidding) ... Wait. That *also* sounds like Rob ... ... (not kidding!)
      Message 58 of 58 , Apr 8, 2005
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        Greg C wrote:

        >
        >
        > Consider: projects A and B have identical goals. In project A, you
        > have free
        > rein in your choice of software and hardware tools. However, the
        > manager sets
        > arbitrary deadlines, likes to stand behind people and criticize their
        > code as
        > they type,


        Wait. That sounds like Rob ....
        ;c) (kidding)

        > On project B, the choice of langauge and hardware are made for you and
        > there's
        > only one computer per two programmers. On the other hand, the manager
        > sees his
        > people as people, negotiates requirements and schedules on a realistic
        > basis,
        > trusts his people, follows a set of best practices (be it XP or some
        > other) and
        > chases everyone out of the office at 5:30.


        Wait. That *also* sounds like Rob ...

        :c)

        (not kidding!)
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