Like perpetual motion machines and anti-gravity…

After reading this article on Slashdot: Hiring Programmers and The High Cost of Low Quality, and simultaneously attending an internal meeting where they discussed an internal reorganization and the promise to “execute” on a new project using “agile development methodologies”, I just had an epiphany.

Software development methodologies, such as “Agile” and “XP” and “Scrum” and the like are all attempts to build a perpetual motion machines: they are all attempts to reverse the laws of physics discovered fourty years ago, especially the observation that the productivity difference between an excellent engineer and a poor engineer can be more than a factor of 25. Each of them promise management that they can overcome the barriers in finding good programming talent by imposing some sort of order. And each of them ultimately either fail–or at best manage to allow a company to limp along.

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