[lug] Developer abuse

John Mueller jmueller at smartbond.net
Tue Nov 16 12:47:23 MST 2004

It would be interesting to see how things were during the early stages of
the construction industry and how it compares to the early stages of the
software industry in terms of project management and estimating.  With the
construction industry being a "mature" industry and the software industry
being relatively new (definitely not "mature" in comparison to the
construction industry) I would think you could draw some strong similarities
in regards to how things developed or are developing.  In the mature
industry it is a lot easier to use past experiences of your own and others
to think about the future.  Whereas, in an "non-mature" industry there are
less experiences to draw upon to think about the future.

Now there is a big difference between the construction industry and the
software development industry in that construction deals with the physical
aspects of the world primarily (so there are physical limitations) and the
software development industry deals with the virtual (which has less
limitations than the physical world)......

Plus, the aspect of change, which others have definitely alluded to in this
discussion thread, doesn't help any in terms of project management and
estimating in the software development industry.  The amount of change in a
software development project dollar for dollar in terms of the size of the
project would hurt the estimate and project management of the construction
industry as well.


John Mueller

e: jmueller at smartbond.net
p: 303-651-0200

Timeline Resume: http://www.vcgloal.com/jmm-resume/

-----Original Message-----
From: lug-bounces at lug.boulder.co.us
[mailto:lug-bounces at lug.boulder.co.us]On Behalf Of David Morris
Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 2004 12:35 PM
To: Boulder (Colorado) Linux Users Group -- General Mailing List
Subject: Re: [lug] Developer abuse

On Mon, Nov 15, 2004 at 06:45:06PM -0700, Timothy Klein wrote:
> On Monday 15 November 2004 06:28 pm, David Morris wrote:
> > Now, the project hasn't gone completely smoothly because the
> > overall project (building the payload for a sattelite) ran
> > into some fundamental hardware problems and the customer (we
> > are a contractor) ran out of money for a short bit,
> Ah, see, you gave it away.  I now see why your project
> went so well.  Certain industries (like space vehicles)
> tend to take things very seriously, and plan software
> right (or maybe you just work for an independent firm that
> got picked because your company knew how to do it).
> From my (very) limited experience, the culture that
> demands doing things right (with respect to software)
> simply does not exist in a large part of the American
> business world.

You are right, the Aerospace industry takes its work very
seriously because a bug could potentially transform a
billion-dollar piece of hardware into another piece of junk.
Yet this fact doesn't make software written for a sattelite
any better quality than the standard software which has bugs
everywhere and comes in over-budget and behind schedule.
I've worked on or seen plenty of projects that had severe
problems to the point that the entire project was canceled
because the software was so poorly managed.

What made the difference is one person who was given
complete freedom to do the job the right way, someone who
knew exactly what it would take to do the project the right

What has to change in the software industry is that
management must see the people who work on software as
Software Engineers (and all the word "Engineer" entails)
rather than as programmers and hackers who produce code.
With software so prevelant in everything, this will happen
naturally, though the change is a slow process.

-- David

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