Home > General Software Development > Has Catch Phrase Loyalty Compromised your Software Development Process

Has Catch Phrase Loyalty Compromised your Software Development Process

July 29th 2010 | Jimmy Bosse

Has Catch Phrase Loyalty Compromised your Software Development Process?

The software development landscape is full of buzz words and catchy names.

‘Competing process’ and ‘best practices’ abound. Then we have Waterfall, Agile, Scrum, Lean, Scrum, Kanban (both with big K and little k), and Alt.Net. Each of these groups has its fanatics. You know them. Their ears go bright red when you mention a successful project using another methodology. I used to be one of them. Sometimes I still am.
But since reading the book “Sofware Craftmanship” by Pete McBreen, and an old blog post “Composition over Inheritance and other Pithy Catch Phrases” by Phil Haack it dawned on me: we all want to write great software, and we all want to enjoy doing it.

The thing I love most about my current development project is that our client listens to the team, and the team is striving to make things better. This is the nature of the Agile environment. But while we identify ourselves as an Agile development company, there’s more to what makes us tick than the adoption of a label. We want to deliver great software to our clients, and Agile helps us do that.

The right tool for the right job.

In his book “Sofware Craftmanship”, Pete McBreen is selling the idea of adopting the craftsman model of software development. It is a response to the heavy weight of the Software Engineering paradigm that has reigned since the late 60s. What is most striking about his argument is not what he argues, but rather how he argues. He does not come out guns blazing, trying to convince us that we’ve had it wrong the whole time. Instead he explains what Software Engineering does really well and why it’s great for implementing the sort of projects for which it was created. He then shows us how many of today’s software development projects are quite different, and how those differences make Software Engineering the wrong tool for those projects. He then proposes a new one to take its place.

Think for yourself and strive to improve.

In his post “Composition over Inheritance and other Pithy Catch Phrases”, Phil Haack raises a discussion he was having about a design pattern and the manner in which the other person was arguing his point. What I took away from Phil’s post is that he is asking developers not to blindly adopt one practice or another, but rather consider all of them as they pertain to the problem at hand. Your job as a developer is to write good software—and the right solution might be under someone else’s catch phrase.

Don’t be a slave to your catch-phrase.

By not taking sides with any particular camp, I suggest we open ourselves up to learning about the merits of each camp, and bring to our projects an open mind that is willing to use a method or process that works, even if it’s from a different camp.

Jimmy Bosse is a Team Lead at Thycotic Software, an agile software services and product development company based in Washington DC. Secret Server is our flagship password management software product. On Twitter? Follow Jimmy

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: