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Friday, July 24, 2009

Software engineering is an idea whose time has come and gone

15:10 Friday, July 24, 2009 Posted by Markus Eisele
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Have you read the recent IEEE-Article from Tom DeMarco (PDF)?


My early metrics book, Controlling
Software Projects: Management,
Measurement, and
Estimation (Prentice Hall/Yourdon
Press, 1982), played a role
in the way many budding software
engineers quantified work
and planned their projects. In
my reflective mood, I’m wondering,
was its advice correct at the
time, is it still relevant, and do I
still believe that metrics are a must for any successful
software development effort? My answers
are no, no, and no.

[...]

I'm gradually coming to the conclusion that software engineering is an idea whose time has come and gone.

[...]

Software development is and always will be somewhat experimental. The actual software construction isn't necessarily experimental, but its conception is. And this is where our focus ought to be. It's where our focus always ought to have been.
(Tom DeMarco)


Dont forget to read the interpretation from Jeff Atwood.


What DeMarco seems to be saying -- and, at least, what I am definitely saying -- is that control is ultimately illusory on software development projects. If you want to move your project forward, the only reliable way to do that is to cultivate a deep sense of software craftsmanship and professionalism around it.
(Jeff Atwood)


What nearly anybody seems to know. This articel is not too new. Find a german version published in the ObjektSpektrum 08/2006 here.

What I love most in this discussion is a quote from Tom DeMarco:


“Software development is and always will be somewhat experimental.” (DeMarco)