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Re: OT: The mythical man month - have we learned nothing?

by zentara (Archbishop)
on Feb 20, 2006 at 13:03 UTC ( #531396=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to OT: The mythical man month - have we learned nothing?

A dictator ( lone programmer) will almost always produce code faster than a group, because he is only concerned with implementing his own vision of how things should be done. A group will slow that process down, unless the group has a strong leader......thus the need for more management, which to them is a good thing. Eventually it leads to a company full of management, outsourcing work to Bangalore. Just think how efficient that would be.

What stock holders need, is a way to outsource management. :-)


I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. flash japh


Comment on Re: OT: The mythical man month - have we learned nothing?
Re^2: OT: The mythical man month - have we learned nothing?
by CountZero (Bishop) on Feb 20, 2006 at 20:40 UTC
    A "dictator"-type programmer might indeed code faster, but then he has coded his very own ideas, which might not be your or the client's ideas. So what good is a project which gets done "under time" but is not what it is expected to be?

    I'm a great believer in the Extreme Programming paradigma but for lack of co-programmers I'm necessarily trust into the role of the "Dictator". Fortunately, most of the programs I write are for my own use, so the Dictator's and the client's ideas coincide!

    CountZero

    "If you have four groups working on a compiler, you'll get a 4-pass compiler." - Conway's Law

      Fortunately, most of the programs I write are for my own use

      Yeah, I'm the same way. I think most programmers are writing for themselves, and their own projects.

      The other problem with the "dictator programmer" is that he may not always do it the BEST way. When more minds look at a problem, the best solution tends to float to the top, like cream. Just like perlmonks. :-)


      I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. flash japh

        At one of my former employers there was an anecdote about a "dictator" programmer (I think "hermit" may be a more accurate term).

        The story is this programmer was assigned a fairly long, complex task (iirc, analysis of a helicopter rotor in hover). One of the requirements was that this program run on a CDC 6600 or 6700 (which model doesn't really matter). After several months of great demos and the programmer's wonderful progress reports during development on the company's IBM 360 mainframe, the programmer said it was ready for delivery.

        He showed the managers his code.

        It was in IBM assembler.

        The company had to return a fairly large chunk of cash to the contracting agency.

        And, no, it wasn't me. It was before my time there. In any case, I was sensible enough to realize IBM assembler won't work on CDC machines roughly 1 week into my first programming class.

        emc

        " When in doubt, use brute force." — Ken Thompson
        It's not just cream that floats.

         

Re^2: OT: The mythical man month - have we learned nothing?
by chaoticset (Chaplain) on Feb 21, 2006 at 16:06 UTC
    Give it time. There's virtually no reason that middle management won't be outsourced eventually (no direct contact necessary with the skilled employees, no direct contact with the highest levels of management), and then it will climb up and down the ranks slowly ("Hey, if we replaced N, why can't we replace M and O?").

    Eventually there will be a stockholder meeting somewhere to discuss how the managers in Beijing need to be replaced with some other managers from Bangalore. Nobody will bat an eyelash. There will be two janitors in the building, but those will be the only onsite employees.



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