selective focus photo of brown and blue hourglass on stones

Competency in software development, the hidden cost

There’s a hidden cost in the software development industry that often gets left behind by any kind of productivity metric that processes like Agile try to quantify. In fact, unless you do rigorous Agile in the sense of proper planning poker between the senior and junior developers and striving hard to have a facilitator on-board to ground the discussions and communication towards finding the balance of complexity a feature or user-story has, it will be probably impossible to pinpoint this hidden cost.

Now we all know that nobody does Agile rigorously. In fact many have “adopted” Agile to their business which basically means there’s a faux-Agile in the interest of business only hidden as a form of corrupt and evil project management. In such an environment, this hidden cost that grows can only thrive and flourish.

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The dynamic equilibrium of code, flexibility in software development

It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out nor more doubtful of success nor more dangerous to handle than to initiate a new order of things; for the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order; this lukewarmness arising partly from the incredulity of mankind who does not truly believe in anything new until they actually have experience of it.

Niccolò Machiavelli (1469 – 1572)

The above words are as true for software development as they are true for politics and human nature. Though unlike politics which requires a shift of mentality of the majority of the population and unlike the human nature which usually takes years to change or a very aggressive and disturbing moment of life (death, pain, illness) … we are “blessed” let’s say, in software development to have a choice.

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The software industry needs to learn to go slow in order to move fast

When I was young and deciding what career path would I take and when our teachers would ask what do we want to pursue, I’d always answer something along the lines of: “software engineer”. Twenty or so years ago I had much esteem for the trade. The principles of automating repetitive tasks, freeing someone from the day to day burden of repetitive chores and of course, of their salary, leaving them naked in the street, unable to feed their family, hunting for mice to survive seemed such a good investment of my time and skills.

Of course, I’m joking! Jesus! But the software industry is not and the reason that is happening is because pretty much any other industry, be it automotive, manufacturing, even sending satellites to space (and trust me, I know) is full of repetitive tasks that can be easily coded to perfection.

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