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Re: [XP] Theologists and missionaries

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  • Steven Gordon
    ... While there is some natural intertia/stagnation, in this particular case the bigger factors are: 1. the customer for research seeing more value in solving
    Message 1 of 31 , May 1, 2007
      On 5/1/07, dnicolet99 <dnicolet@...> wrote:
      >
      > That's an interesting phenomenon. It sounds as if institutions become
      > comfortable with what they believe they already know, and stop
      > reassessing those things. I can see it can save time by avoiding
      > repeating research that has already been done, but I can also see it
      > leading to stagnation.

      While there is some natural intertia/stagnation, in this particular
      case the bigger factors are:
      1. the customer for research seeing more value in solving newer,
      sexier problems, and
      2. academic institutions seeing more value in specialization and
      research dollars than generalization or improvement of already
      accepted ideas.

      IMNSHO, agile software development is not pure computer science, but
      rather a fascinatingly interdisciplinary topic and an educationally
      invaluable one. Many large academic institutions claim to care about
      education and interdisplinary studies, but when push comes to shove,
      making either of them your primary activity is usually a dead-end for
      a professor.

      The pressures and dynamics of smaller institutions (and probably most
      outside of North America and Western Europe) would likely allow
      greater flexibility in research programs, but would also have much
      less global influence on computer science.

      Steve

      >
      > I noticed in a recent post someone stated that they had picked up
      > better-qualified applicants for agile development from Poland than
      > they could find from UK universities. I wonder if this is a mechanism
      > that enables emerging countries to overtake the existing leaders in
      > various fields. The existing leaders become stagnant and fail to
      > embrace improvements in the field, thus allowing an emerging country
      > to become the new leader.

      I did work at a large US academic institution leading a lab where
      student worker were paid to develop software needed by researchers
      outside of computer science. We utilized agile methods and obtained
      above 90% success, very high customer satisfaction, and 100% student
      placement in jobs at competitive companies such as MS. Despite that,
      the university refused to fund the project after the 3-year seed grant
      ran out because we found no way to pay our expenses out of the value
      we were generating for our customers, generate any hihg profile
      research papers of our own, or succeed in getting grants from anywhere
      else.

      If the same project had been attempted at a third-tier university, it
      might have survived, althought the potential impact would have been
      significantly smaller.

      Steve

      >
      > Dave
      >
    • Steve Freeman
      There are actually a few. Sheffield has been running a very interesting programme for several years now (that s why the XP conference was held there). I ve
      Message 31 of 31 , May 3, 2007
        There are actually a few. Sheffield has been running a very
        interesting programme for several years now (that's why the XP
        conference was held there). I've been teaching a few bits and pieces
        with Ivan Moore at University College. I think Huddersfield does
        something. It's not exactly a landslide, but it's catching on.

        S.

        On 1 May 2007, at 16:49, Elizabeth Keogh wrote:
        > IIRC Aberystwyth is the only university in the UK which teaches any
        > of the
        > Agile practices - there may be a second by now (?).
        >
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