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Re^8: Nobody Expects the Agile Imposition (Part VIII): Software Craftsmanship (terrible)

by BrowserUk (Pope)
on Jun 14, 2015 at 08:51 UTC ( #1130350=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^7: Nobody Expects the Agile Imposition (Part VIII): Software Craftsmanship (terrible)
in thread Nobody Expects the Agile Imposition (Part VIII): Software Craftsmanship

As for my personal experiences, to spare you having to read all eight parts of this series,

I think I have read them. Or at least scanned most of them. I enjoy reading your articles; even if I'm not really that interested in the subject matter.

Eg. I enjoy a good game of code golf. Up to the point where shedding the extra character come down to spotting (or knowing) that you can game the syntax in some obscure way to shave a point or two. I enjoy looking for an alternative approach to solving the problem that leads to a shorter solution; but I could never get into the whole running iterations for hours or weeks to discover magic numbers to shave another point. But I thoroughly enjoyed reading about how you went about it.

I felt sad and alone, ostracized by this new religious order.

I've seen that happen on two occasions.

Since the abrupt end to my second ever programming position was brought about by a non-software manager, taking the advice from a 4GL team leader about the very complex and very low-level (C and assembler) re-design of a system I had been brought in specifically to do, and which he -- the 4GL guy from a different division -- clearly hadn't even the most basic understanding of; I chose not to be an employee ever again in my career.

(*I've posted more details of this in the distant past; but basically, I estimated a total cost for the project of 30,000 (1980s), and added 25% for contingencies: 40,000. The 4GL guy didn't understand a word, but applied his rule of thumb and doubled my estimate. The non-software manager applied his rule of thumb (x 2 1/2) to that, and arrived at 1/4 of a million. Four programmers including me took the jump later that same day.)

Since then, I've never been an employee who could be forced to be subject to such impositions; but as an independent contractor, I have been subcontracted to companies that ran under similar (but older) methodologies, and seen how they can change the nature of a work place entirely.

Though it hadn't been written back then, I can therefore relate to this quote from Michael O Church:

My brother, a post-sales support specialist (a salesman with pretty good general technical knowledge) who lives and works in the US; recently took his options and sold his stock (at something of a reduced price) in order to effectively buy his way out of the company he helped build.

His reason was mostly down to watching the changes wrought to the company by the zealous imposition of Agile (sounds like a scrum-like variant; but I don't know the details) by a newly hired (more co-partnered) CTO.

His words were something along the lines of: I got sick to the stomach watching the programmers and analysts, senior and junior -- many of whom had been around for most of the 7 years of the company's existence; and most of them good friends and trusted & talented professional colleagues -- being forced into performing ritualised self-humiliation to atone for the "technical debt" they had "lumbered the company with". It was more than he could bear and he effectively bought his way out of the company rather than watch it happen.

That was late last year, so when this installment popped up; my previous passing interest and shallow distaste based mostly upon a gut-feel dislike of what I read about it; became more focused. Hence my question.

I've got a half-written outline of my viewed-from-the-side-lines opinion about what I read about agile/scrum/et.al (and yes; that says that I don't really know the differences), kicking around on my hard drive somewhere. If you think you might be interested I could look it out, clean it up and finish it.

Thanks for your reply. It makes for interesting reading and confirms some of my feelings whilst perhaps weakening others.


With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
"Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority". I'm with torvalds on this
In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice. Agile (and TDD) debunked
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