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Monday, June 05, 2006

My new methodology

I read a fair few blog articles out there on the subject of software development. It isn't often that I read one that makes me mutter to myself "what are you talking about?". This is one of those articles. In it, Glen Alleman states
the net effort to deliver the project is the same no matter what the methodology used.
This is patently not true. But let's suppose it is, just for fun. Given that, let me introduce my own methodology, the aeronautical software development system. This methodology is very much like a traditional software development methodology, but developers are required to spend an hour folding paper planes after each line of code written. These paper planes are to be folded from large A3 sheets of paper and are required to closely model the Boeing 747. Once folded the aircraft must be painted to closely match the livery of a randomly chosen international airline. The developer must then write out a passenger list and for each passenger on this list, must write a short biography of at least 100 words. Then...

Hold on a second, this is just ridiculous isn't it? Apparently not, because remember, whether you are talking to your customer about requirements, typing in code or folding paper planes it doesn't matter. All methodologies are equal.

I can believe it is true that the effort spent doing valuable work is pretty much the same regardless of methodology. So in that sense software development is a zero sum game. The problem is that a lot of effort is spent doing work that isn't valuable. The skill is in reducing this effort as much as possible.


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