software development

Software Architecture: There Is No One Right Way

Looking down at Château-d'Oex from our chateau on after a snowfall. © E. Forrest Christian.

I spent some time perusing the programming stacks at Seattle’s main library today, and skimmed through some texts on software architecture. Perhaps the most interesting was 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know: Collective Wisdom from the Experts (ed. Richard Monson-Haefel). It’s a collection of various two-page thoughts from people who do software architecture from across t…

Why Managers Should Not Write Technical Job Postings

Yardmaster in railroad yards working, Amarillo, TX, 1943. By Jack Delano via Library of Congress Collection (LOC)

A friend of mine encouraged me to tell this story which I watched unfold first hand while a software development manager for a mid-sized consulting firm. One of my best developers — a software architect, really — started laughing in the middle of the day. We all needed something to release the strain of our bi-weekly drop work, so all us meerkats gathered around his desk.

“Look at…

Details Matter If You Want to Succeed

You can make money by taking advantage of people’s arrogance that the small stuff is idiot’s work. Sweating the details means raising the level of work up, not dumbing it down.

Requisite Organization in Software Development & Information Technology

Château-d'Oex at night, looking across to the mountain. (c) E. Forrest Christian.

Software development groups almost always form a shadow hierarchy or pecking order of merit. Elliott Jaques’s theory of Requisite Organization explains why.

Rapid Talent Pool Evaluation for Merger and Acquisitions Using Requisite Organization

Old watch mechanism. © Günay Mutlu — iStock

A new periodic feature. I wrote the following for another website. It describes the success that Glenn Mehltretter of PeopleFit has had in using Requiste Organization informed practices to create a better merger of two companies.

Requisite Organization Lens On Software Development vs Maintenance

Roadside stand near Birmingham Alabama (1936). FSA photograph by Walker Evans. Via Library of Congress collection.

Some time ago, Gordon had an interesting comment about a couple of posts (see “Getting Work Done at the Right Level” and “Ready, Fire, Aim”: Intuition, Analysis and Tacit vs. Explicit Knowledge). I wanted to finally get around to addressing some of his points.

I’m reading this just after reading your “Ready, Fire, Aim…” post, and just wondering “how do you tell what level certain tasks…

Formalism vs. Constructivism in Software Development

Flowing artesian well in the meadow near the *Laghi di Fusine-superiore*, Valromana, Italia. (c) 2009 Michael Gäbler (CC BY 3.0). Via Wikimedia Commons.

West reviews the philosophical underpinnings of the battle between structured programming and object-oriented programming. It’s an interesting read, as he goes back to the basic fight between the rationalist/formalist Enlightenment camp and their pesky detractors, variously called “hermeneutics”, “constructivist” or “interpretationalism”.

Learning Curves Need To Be Steep!

Training in China for the AP1000 reactor. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Raccoon describes the basics of learning curves — they go down and start at the top, so you actually want them to be as steep as possible to get back to parity and start process improvement. He points out that all people learn.

Making Software Correct By Design?

Belgian royal conservatory's dome, interior with sun. (c) E. Forrest Christian

Jesse Poore, the University of Tennessee professor, is interviewed by ACM’s Ubiquity for his recent article in IEEE Computer, “A Tale of Three Disciplines… And a Revolution”. Poore talks about how if we made correct specifications, our software would work. While I agree that software should not fail as often as it does, I think that he misses the point about software not doing what the user…

Why Developers Don’t Do The Necessary Professional Development (Hint: It’s partly management)

They set out to understand why, if professional development is so important to their own careers and corporate performance, don’t more developers do it. They studied quite a few from several organizations and discovered, well, what I expected:

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