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Re: [XP] Deep Concern

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  • Kurt Häusler
    But the majority of developers ARE monkeys aren t they? Maybe he was calling how it is, rather than how it should be. I suspect, with the general derision that
    Message 1 of 53 , May 4, 2010
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      But the majority of developers ARE monkeys aren't they? Maybe he was calling
      how it is, rather than how it should be.

      I suspect, with the general derision that developers show to professionalism
      in general, even in the agile and craftsmanship communities, that the future
      is indeed going to be something like a few, educated, engaged, professional
      developers acting as architects, or team leads, or software developers, or
      craftsmen or whatever you want to call them, but I see nothing to suggest
      that all developers are suddenly going to engage with the communities, start
      reading books, getting advanced degrees, joining professional societies,
      writing papers, presenting at conferences, agreeing to being bound by codes
      of ethics, and understanding the business, when all they want to do is code.

      But the majority of "programming" these days IS only plugging libraries
      together, merely shoveling data from the DB to the GUI and back again. It is
      like what I wrote about a while back on another mailing list, the ADS one I
      think, when I talked about where I used to work a decade ago and how the C++
      programmers could get stuff done, they could write their own customer
      sorting and searching algorithms, memory defraggers, dsp simulators, but
      mocked the whole XP thing, while the Java devs could quote Design Patterns
      and Refactoring off my heart but couldn't do much more than GUIs, plumbing
      and cookie cutter data access modules. You ask them to code something up
      that actually does some statistical analysis or image processing and if they
      can't find a pattern for it, or a lib, or a domain specialist they are
      stuck. I thought programmers WERE the domain specialists when it came to
      data structures and algorithms.

      If the future consists of 95% plugging in libraries, and 5% actual
      programming in the algorithms and data structures sense, then I see we
      probably do need 95% monkeys and 5 % engaged professional developers. (I
      won't call them architects but it sounds like that is what the "software
      legend" might have meant).

      You know I think the community has taken it's frothing hatred of
      certification so far that we even hate computer science degrees, and the
      fundamental concepts that go with it. Sure you don't need a degree to whack
      up a quick site in Ruby and Rails but those that do have one are going to
      have an easier time writing an optimized algorithm to analyze energy
      efficiency in a microchip for example.

      It is time for software development to become a chartered professional
      discipline, requiring a graduate degree, further continuing education,
      society membership and participation, including teaching and mentoring
      responsibilities, just like lawyers, doctors, accountants, and REAL

      If you don't want that then that is cool, cos 95% of the work out there has
      never needed much professionalism anyway, just a few patterns and libraries.

      On Tue, May 4, 2010 at 2:44 PM, fromconcept

      > Hi-
      > This is a rant - ignore if you like.
      > In 2000, I worked as a chief architect at GSK. During that time I came
      > across what I felt then (and still feel now) was a very toxic, vitriolic
      > stipulation that software development simply requires good architects, and
      > the industry could easily commoditize the construction process. Around the
      > same time I also read something from Microsoft, with its push for .Net and
      > tool suite, that projected a future where development was all outsourced,
      > and all we needed were good architects - developers are essentially monkeys
      > was the proposition.
      > Cut to Monday, 3rd May, 2010: I was sat in a course presented by a
      > "software legend", who professed on day one that all we need is a good
      > architect, and the developers, while we would do better to hire better
      > rather than worse, are essentially nothing more than monkeys. Furthermore,
      > those monkeys are the basis to the software crisis, are worse than debt
      > collectors and used care salesman, and are highly unprofessional.
      > Furthermore, his anathema of the modern industry is that these so called
      > monkeys will most definitely adhere to Parkinsons Law, will thus over
      > estimate (probably, but for different reasons than) because thats what
      > monkeys do - they will over-estimate, cut corners, do little or nothing to
      > keep abreast of new waves of technology and principles, and will during
      > these moments of buffer where they have free time due to their estimates,
      > play foosball.
      > During part of the mornings oratory, the speaker shared with us his belief
      > that developers a la monkeys should indeed be forced to learn very little -
      > it is the architect who should have the knowledge of how things are done. He
      > went as far as to say threading is for architects only, and he hopes
      > sincerely that this is rectified by the industry like a market correction.
      > Surely I dreamed all of this? According to my calendar, it wasnt a dream
      > after all. I cannot dispute it was a nightmare.
      > Nick.

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    • Israel Antezana
      Dear Friends of the XP community, The Ágiles 2010 Organizing Committee (http://agiles2010.agiles.org/lang/en/) is pleased to invite you to attend our event as
      Message 53 of 53 , May 6, 2010
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        Dear Friends of the XP community,
        The Ágiles 2010 Organizing Committee (http://agiles2010.agiles.org/lang/en/) is pleased to invite you to attend our event as a speaker! Our Latin American community of Agile Methodologies wants to hear your ideas, experiences and learn about your working techniques. 
        Ágiles 20xx is the flagship conference of the Latin American Agile community.Ágiles 2010 will be the third edition of the conference, featuring keynote speakers Lee Devin and Joshua Kerievsky.
        If you are interested to submit a proposal please check further details here:http://agiles2010.agiles.org/lang/en/programa/call-for-papers/
        Hope to see you in the conference!,
        Ágiles 2010 Organizing Committee

        Israel Antezana R.


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