Showing posts from May, 2015

PragmaticAndy Burns Down the House

I've been a software developer throughout the "Agile Revolution."  My first team lead, back in 2001 said these words to me and I've always taken them to heart:
I think the world's pretty done with us [Software Developers].  I feel like we've got about 5 years to get our act together or that's it. Apropos, that same year a highly influential group of practitioners signed the Agile Manifesto.   Amid waves of Dot-Com-Bubble-Bursting, offshoring, and right-sizing, they kept it simple:  Here's what works; apply liberally.

That was 14 years ago.  In the intervening time, much like Protestantism after Luther, factions emerged:  eXtreme Programming, Scrum, Kanban, Scaled Agile Framework.  Characteristically, 25-year-old me thought these were all leaps forward.   At 36-and-a-half, my cynicism grows: I've seen Agile roll-out to 1000+ developers in 2 world-wide organization across different corporate and civic cultures.  I'll gladly replace Sisyphus rolli…

Programming via Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes is Solomon's valediction as an old man.  From the purported wisest man that ever lived--gifted with wisdom from God Himself--comes a book that seems a real downer on the hollowness of nearly every pursuit in his hedonistic life.

Sometimes, having worked as a developer for 16 years, I'm reminded off Ecclesiastes.

With apologies to Solomon:

To everything there is a season:
  A time to build big, and a time to build small,
  A time to write, and lots more time to sustain,
  A time to break systems apart,
  A time to pull systems together.
A time to delete, and a time to merge.

Most telling is the author's refrain:  "All is vanity! There is nothing new under the sun."

It doesn't discourage me, but it does make me think:  Is this worth rewriting/redoing, or should I just use something off-the-shelf?  The thrill of just writing everything myself is gone, replaced by the understanding that whatever I write is more "mental surface area" for the rest…