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Re: [scrumdevelopment] Comments on Silver Bullets

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  • Nancy Van Schooenderwoert
    ... About the 2nd paragraph - At the end of it, I was hoping for an example. It got me thinking that source code control tools make life substantially easier,
    Message 1 of 14 , Dec 19, 1943
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      On Fri, 2004-01-16 at 10:57, Ken Schwaber wrote:
      > I'm looking for comments on the following "article."
      > Ken

      About the 2nd paragraph - At the end of it, I was hoping for an
      example. It got me thinking that source code control tools make life
      substantially easier, and I DO completely understand what they do - so
      that's not a silver bullet. I'll say that tools purporting to generate &
      maintain code directly from UML diagrams are a silver bullet because I
      don't fully understand how they can do it, and I haven't seen one fully
      prove itself.

      The fourth paragraph points out the shortage of people who know what
      they are doing. Reading this as a manager I'd want to know more about
      how I can tell who does know what they're doing. I suppose that's a
      different article. Just the same, it's a great spot to have a pointer to
      info on that topic.

      Fifth paragraph - You may wish to tie this insight ( agile processes
      simply make the impact of unskilled professionals very apparent very
      quickly ) to the "don't shoot the messenger" classic advice. The old
      fashioned thing was to yell at the messenger. Now the way is to set up
      that plausible deniability - blame a tool, blame an outsourcer, etc.
      I'll bet every manager on earth will say they never "shoot the
      messenger", but they have a million ways to duck the message or get the
      messenger to go away. It amounts to the same thing: refusing to accept
      reality. Agile will never work in a place where success = failure +
      someone to blame. There has to be a genuine commitment to succeed in the
      Agile manager. You make that point very nicely in the last paragraph.

      I really like this article - it's excellent.

      -njv
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      Nancy Van Schooenderwoert XP Embedded Company nancyv@...
      http://www.xp-embedded.com
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    • fredb001
      Great article. Thank you! ... I remember reading that the first programming language in the late 40 s was thought to signify the end of the need for
      Message 2 of 14 , Dec 20, 1943
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        Great article. Thank you!

        > The belief that there will be some magical
        > incantation, tool, or facility that will kill the difficulty of >
        > software development has haunted our industry as long as I've been
        > developing software, and I remember the 60's.

        I remember reading that the first programming language in the late
        40's was thought to signify the end of the need for programmers.

        > Remember heavyweight methodologies?

        All too well. All too painfully. I'm afraid heavyweight
        methodologies' legacy is an aversion to any methodology at all. Not
        that this aversion wasn't present to begin with. But I'd say
        heavyweight methodologies reinforced it dramatically at every level
        in the organization: the programmers didn't like using them and
        management didn't like the drop in productivity.

        > Agile processes are sometimes thought of as silver bullets.

        Being a silver bullet does seem to be the chief criticism leveled at
        agile processes -- at least the opening volley. "Look at the new
        cure-all fad they're trying to foist on us." (The middle of these
        arguments is usually "It's just commonsense" and end with "Of
        course, we were doing it this way all along.")

        > The reason is the shortage of people who know what they are doing.

        Truer words were never spoken. Also, I think things would be more
        hopeful if a lot more people know, as Phil Armour might put it, that
        they don't know what they are doing.

        In particular, I hope the last four paragraphs get the widest
        circulation possible. Maybe we could all pitch in for a spot during
        the Super Bowl?

        Fred
      • Bishop, Murray
        Sorry for the lateness of this reply, and thanks for the article, which I liked. ... Maybe say and I ve been doing that since the 60 s , after all - if you
        Message 3 of 14 , Dec 20, 1943
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          Sorry for the lateness of this reply, and thanks for the article, which I
          liked.

          > I don't know if other industries fall prey to the silver bullet myth as
          > hard
          > as systems development. The belief that there will be some magical
          > incantation, tool, or facility that will kill the difficulty of software
          > development has haunted our industry as long as I've been developing
          > software, and I remember the 60's.

          Maybe say "and I've been doing that since the 60's", after all - if you
          remember the 60's, you weren't there. 8-)

          Best Regards,
          Murray
        • Ken Schwaber
          I think we might get Coors to include us. Ken ... From: fredb001 [mailto:fredb001@comcast.net] Sent: Monday, January 19, 2004 10:17 PM To:
          Message 4 of 14 , Dec 22, 1943
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            I think we might get Coors to include us.
            Ken

            -----Original Message-----
            From: fredb001 [mailto:fredb001@...]
            Sent: Monday, January 19, 2004 10:17 PM
            To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Comments on Silver Bullets


            Great article. Thank you!

            > The belief that there will be some magical
            > incantation, tool, or facility that will kill the difficulty of >
            > software development has haunted our industry as long as I've been
            > developing software, and I remember the 60's.

            I remember reading that the first programming language in the late
            40's was thought to signify the end of the need for programmers.

            > Remember heavyweight methodologies?

            All too well. All too painfully. I'm afraid heavyweight
            methodologies' legacy is an aversion to any methodology at all. Not
            that this aversion wasn't present to begin with. But I'd say
            heavyweight methodologies reinforced it dramatically at every level
            in the organization: the programmers didn't like using them and
            management didn't like the drop in productivity.

            > Agile processes are sometimes thought of as silver bullets.

            Being a silver bullet does seem to be the chief criticism leveled at
            agile processes -- at least the opening volley. "Look at the new
            cure-all fad they're trying to foist on us." (The middle of these
            arguments is usually "It's just commonsense" and end with "Of
            course, we were doing it this way all along.")

            > The reason is the shortage of people who know what they are doing.

            Truer words were never spoken. Also, I think things would be more
            hopeful if a lot more people know, as Phil Armour might put it, that
            they don't know what they are doing.

            In particular, I hope the last four paragraphs get the widest
            circulation possible. Maybe we could all pitch in for a spot during
            the Super Bowl?

            Fred



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