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Thread: Positive experiences with software development
face picon face BY : email (remove spam text)(Olin Lathrop)

Vitaliy wrote:
> Well then it's pointless to continue this conversation, isn't it?
> Anything goes, develop your software any way you like, no one way is
> better any other way.

There are certainly some ways that are bad most or all of the time.  There
isn't the One Good Way though.  This depends on the project, people,
customer, facilities, manager, and lots of other stuff too complicated to
make rules about.

> I sense a double standard, however. Both of you (Gerhard and Olin) at
> one time or another advocated (very forcefully at times) a certain
> way of programming, or a design practice.

I thought we were talking about higher level software development practises,
not details like putting constants in-line, at the top of a file, or in a
include file.

> "There are no hard and fast rules", but there are guidelines that say
> that certain practices are better than others. Today for example, I
> discovered that at Olin's place of work, they use whiteboards, and
> keep notes by taking digital pictures

On that day for that project.

> do you see *any* disadvantages to this design practice?

Sure.  First, it's not a design practice but a project management practice.
In this case everybody envolved got together to figure out what was left to
do, how much, and who needed to do it.  This was done interactively with
everyone, including the customer, present.  It was done not only to get a
idea of the work left, but also to give the customer a sense of where things
were at and buy-in from everyone present.  It was logical to write this down
on the whiteboard as the discussion progressed.  Various things were erased,
rewritten, added, deleted, etc as the discussion progressed.

As for disadvantages, some people may not want to speak up in a meeting as
apposed to when you ask them one on one, or they may be afraid to give the
honest answer instead of what they think you or the customer want to hear.
For some people its a distraction to be bothered with stuff that isn't their
problem and they don't care about.  To some customers, this would look Micky
Mouse.  A lot of collective time was also spent.  There are certainly other
ways to manage a project, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

I guess my main point is that project management style needs to be flexible
for the particulars at hand.  Gee, maybe it'll be more believable if it were
called Agile Management or something.  How about "Fleximent"?  Does that
sound new-fangled drink-the-grape-coolaid good enough?

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