Sunday, September 16, 2018

All great systems are made by great people

About great people as the actual source of great systems, I think we should go deeper on what entails to be called “great”, both, people and systems. The act of design, and its related dexterities, is one factor towards such professional greatness. Much of these questions have been thoroughly researched by many authors. I have quoted one of them in the following old post: Good designs come from good designers, good designers come from....

Furthermore, great people are required for great systems on both closely related realms: technical and management. Great teams grouping individual designers of all sorts of artifacts, e.g., test cases or executable software components, should afford great data processing systems; likewise, management should afford great organizational systems as supportive environments for those teams.

Gerald M. Weinberg —and many others— have already pointed out that the history of software development is paved with failed attempts to realize gains in quality and productivity without first creating a supportive environment. To improve bad situations, many managers spend their money on tooling, methodologies, outsourcing, training, application packages, etc., but they rarely spend enough to remove the management that made those situations in the first place or they hardly spend enough to improve them.

As Gerald M. Weinberg also said, we —software developers— have always been a would-be profession, and we will remain a would-be profession until we outgrow our obsession with quick fixes that don’t involve fixing the managers themselves.

Of course, as the saying goes, «you’ll never clear the water until you get the hogs out of the creek». But, let’s be crystal clear: such hogs are not bad people, but bad ideas. In other words, many underlying theories of software development management are obsolete; including many theories of project management.

This is already known since decades ago. I just recall an old post about it: The Underlying Theory of Project Management is Obsolete.

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