Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Agile Development Process

Software development in bigger shops is getting more complicated due to the movement toward agile processes. Management often seems to think "oh great, I can deliver more product faster" without getting rid of any of the overhead their old process incurred.

So now we have a situation where we have an 80 hour development effort saddled with 20 hours of meetings, status reports, use case writeups, blah blah blah. None of which is actually used for actual development and none of which enhances the interaction with the customer. There is a sore need to bring the agile process into the fold of SDLC and start espousing that Agile IS SDLC, just a different version from waterfall.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Corporate Open Source Software

Why do many corporations insist on reinventing the wheel?

I recently proposed we open source some software we are writing. I did this it's a pretty cool concept and we cannot afford any developers. I went and spoke with a few of my cohorts at other companies and they thought it would be a cool project to work on, but our company cannot currently afford to pay these folks.

Hmmmm, what to do? I know! we'll make the core infrastructure of the project open-source.... perhaps get a free version of Jira/confluence and start building a communnity around it.

This has the benefit of getting some (potentially) high quality developers to work in it for free, and additionally if I leave, I get to use this software at my new location. From my employers perspective, they will still get fixes after I leave (it's open source, everyone will right?). This sounds like such a win win win situation that I was excited to share this idea with my team.

Needless to say it did not fly well and a somewhat blank stare was about all I got. I see it will take some more wrangling to drum up support for this, there was not a huge amount of support for the concept.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Wasted compute cycles running screen savers

In the spirit of the SETI project, I'm asking myself again... Why do we spend money for really expensive machines that spend over 1/2 their time rendering whiz bang screen savers? A company could make a killing with a distributed agent that used those cycles to solve business problems instead of displaying a screen saver.