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Adaptive Methods for reality

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  • Marco Dorantes
    As a general reflection about our personal steps on software development, on the current agile paths, and on the fact that the essence of many good ideas
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 3, 2008
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      As a general reflection about our personal steps on software
      development, on the current agile paths, and on the fact that the
      essence of many good ideas usually gets lost entering the mainstream
      —there is a well documented rule called The Law of Raspberry Jam by
      Gerald M. Weinberg <http://www.addall.com/detail/0932633013.html> , the
      wider you spread it, the thinner it gets— I wrote some thoughts
      here: Adaptive Methods for reality
      <http://blogs.msdn.com/marcod/archive/2008/09/30/AdaptiveMethodsForReali\
      ty.aspx> , trying to learn from the field of philosophy of science which
      has a long history of many struggles to keep the good work however the
      enemies —ourselves. The choice —as always— is personal: to
      get lost in the buzzwords or improve from the inside out.

      —your critical feedback will be much appreciated.





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Dale Emery
      Hi Marco, —your critical feedback will be much appreciated. I think the scientific methods fits software development better in the long term than in the
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 3, 2008
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        Hi Marco,

        �your critical feedback will be much appreciated.


        I think the scientific methods fits software development better in the long
        term than in the short term. I'm glad there are folks like you taking the
        scientific approach. Being less patient than you, I personally have more
        energy for the crucible of the marketplace, which works faster, though at
        the expense of rigor.

        I recommend that you introduce yourself to James Bach, who also takes a
        deeply philosophical approach to the software world, especially to testing
        (and also to learning in general, the subject of his upcoming book).
        James's motto says volumes about his approach: "Epistemology for the rest of
        us." I'm guessing that you could have some rich, rewarding conversations
        with James.

        I also recommend that you improve your writing style. Though I like your
        ideas, I had to work harder to understand your writing than I prefer. I
        think there are a few stylistic changes that would make a big difference for
        you, and help you to reach a wider audience.

        One important style tip: First connect, then inform. Begin sentences (and
        paragraphs, and sections, and articles) with information people already
        know, and put new information at the end. This allows readers to read
        without having to keep so much information in their heads. Your first
        sentence violates that in a way that makes your point hard to understand:

        "The attitude of mind to approach reality that has helped humans to explain
        and to predict phenomena (observed facts) consistently and precisely, the
        scientific mindset, is one among those things computer professionals could
        adopt to better understand software development fundamentals."

        Consider this inversion: "One thing computer professionals could adopt to
        better understand software development fundamentals is the scientific
        mindset, the attitude of mind to approach reality that has helped humans to
        explain and to predict phenomena (observed facts) consistently and
        precisely."

        This inversion starts by connecting with an intention, which immediately
        lets readers know whether this article is relevant for them. If they want
        to understand software development fundamentals, they'll read on. If not,
        not.

        I would probably invert further: "To better understand software development
        fundamentals ..." This moves the connection even further to the front of
        the sentence. This inversion expresses the same concepts in the same words
        as your original, but in an order that connects sooner and more forcefully
        with the reader, and that doesn't require readers to keep so much in their
        heads.

        I highly recommend Joseph M. Willams's book STYLE. Williams describes the
        stylistic choices available to the writer, and how each choice affects
        readers. There are two versions:
        Longer version:
        http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0321479351/dalehemery-20
        Summary version:
        http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0321330854/dalehemery-20

        Also good is Martha Kolln's RHETORICAL GRAMMAR:
        http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0321397231/dalehemery-20

        Finally, what is the source of the Boulding quote? I'm a huge fan of
        Boulding and would love a reason to read something of his that I haven't
        read yet.

        Dale

        --
        Dale Emery, Consultant
        Inspiring Leadership for Software People
        Web: http://dhemery.com
        Weblog: http://cwd.dhemery.com


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Marco Dorantes
        Thank you very much Dale, your feedback has helped me a lot. Kenneth Boulding was quoted by John C. Gordon in this book
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 3, 2008
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          Thank you very much Dale, your feedback has helped me a lot.

          Kenneth Boulding was quoted by John C. Gordon in this book
          <http://www.addall.com/detail/0300120060.html> , which refers to this
          source:

          Science: our common heritage
          Kenneth Boulding
          Science 22 February 1980: 831-836
          DOI: 10.1126/science.6766564

          Best regards.


          --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "Dale Emery" <dale@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Hi Marco,
          >
          > —your critical feedback will be much appreciated.
          >
          >
          > I think the scientific methods fits software development better in the
          long
          > term than in the short term. I'm glad there are folks like you taking
          the
          > scientific approach. Being less patient than you, I personally have
          more
          > energy for the crucible of the marketplace, which works faster, though
          at
          > the expense of rigor.
          >
          > I recommend that you introduce yourself to James Bach, who also takes
          a
          > deeply philosophical approach to the software world, especially to
          testing
          > (and also to learning in general, the subject of his upcoming book).
          > James's motto says volumes about his approach: "Epistemology for the
          rest of
          > us." I'm guessing that you could have some rich, rewarding
          conversations
          > with James.
          >
          > I also recommend that you improve your writing style. Though I like
          your
          > ideas, I had to work harder to understand your writing than I prefer.
          I
          > think there are a few stylistic changes that would make a big
          difference for
          > you, and help you to reach a wider audience.
          >
          > One important style tip: First connect, then inform. Begin sentences
          (and
          > paragraphs, and sections, and articles) with information people
          already
          > know, and put new information at the end. This allows readers to read
          > without having to keep so much information in their heads. Your first
          > sentence violates that in a way that makes your point hard to
          understand:
          >
          > "The attitude of mind to approach reality that has helped humans to
          explain
          > and to predict phenomena (observed facts) consistently and precisely,
          the
          > scientific mindset, is one among those things computer professionals
          could
          > adopt to better understand software development fundamentals."
          >
          > Consider this inversion: "One thing computer professionals could adopt
          to
          > better understand software development fundamentals is the scientific
          > mindset, the attitude of mind to approach reality that has helped
          humans to
          > explain and to predict phenomena (observed facts) consistently and
          > precisely."
          >
          > This inversion starts by connecting with an intention, which
          immediately
          > lets readers know whether this article is relevant for them. If they
          want
          > to understand software development fundamentals, they'll read on. If
          not,
          > not.
          >
          > I would probably invert further: "To better understand software
          development
          > fundamentals ..." This moves the connection even further to the front
          of
          > the sentence. This inversion expresses the same concepts in the same
          words
          > as your original, but in an order that connects sooner and more
          forcefully
          > with the reader, and that doesn't require readers to keep so much in
          their
          > heads.
          >
          > I highly recommend Joseph M. Willams's book STYLE. Williams describes
          the
          > stylistic choices available to the writer, and how each choice affects
          > readers. There are two versions:
          > Longer version:
          > http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0321479351/dalehemery-20
          > Summary version:
          > http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0321330854/dalehemery-20
          >
          > Also good is Martha Kolln's RHETORICAL GRAMMAR:
          > http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0321397231/dalehemery-20
          >
          > Finally, what is the source of the Boulding quote? I'm a huge fan of
          > Boulding and would love a reason to read something of his that I
          haven't
          > read yet.
          >
          > Dale
          >
          > --
          > Dale Emery, Consultant
          > Inspiring Leadership for Software People
          > Web: http://dhemery.com
          > Weblog: http://cwd.dhemery.com
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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