Posts Tagged ‘technical debt’

The Elephants In The Room

August 9, 2011 Leave a comment

One of the originators of RUP and the creator of the 4+1 view modeling approach, Phillippe Kruchten, has written a terrific article on the “twenty elephants in the room” that haunt the agile movement. Here’s a subset of his infamous list that resonates with me:

  1. Commercial interests censoring failures (tell me about the failures).
  2. Failure to dampen negative behaviours (no analysis of failures).
  3. Context and contextual applicability of practices (can you say “safety-critical systems“?)
  4. Anarchism (preventing a more systematic organization of the body of knowledge).
  5. Elitism (blame failure on the “unenlightened” others)
  6. Certification (effective tool to assess maturity for individuals and organization, or commercial ploy from trainers and consultants to rake in the dough?)
  7. Role of architecture and design (they are still often equated to BUFD, and rapidly brushed aside with claims of YAGNI, or “we’ll refactor it later”)
  8. Scaling naïveté (with a bit of imagination all agile practices scale up, and if this does not work it is because you have not tried hard enough).
  9. Technical debt (while agile practices could help control technical debt, they are also often at the root, the cause of massive technical debt).
  10. Effective ways of discovering information without writing source code (uh, can you say “modeling“?).

Of course, because of his involvement in the development of the perceived horrible, heavyweight, RUP process, extreme agilistas will not even listen to Phillippe’s ideas – let alone ponder the validity of any of them.

Software Debt

October 21, 2010 Leave a comment

If it hasn’t taken place already, be prepared for the latest buzz-concept in the software development world to go viral –  “Software Debt“. I think that Ward Cunningham (who I love because he invented the Wiki) is the originator of the term “technical debt“, from which “Software Debt” is, no doubt, derived.

Voila, here’s the first book that I’ve seen so far with “Software Debt” in it’s title. Expect all kinds of seminars and videos and professional “Software Bankers” (who will certainly help you keep your debt low and prevent foreclosure by your customers) to sprout up all over like fungi in a dark, stanky, and moist environment. After all, the well worn and tired “agile” buzzword needs to be replaced by something just as exciting, no?

In my twisted mind, “Software Debt” is no different, but sounds a lot kooler than the bland “Software Maintainability“. Designing, coding, and artifacting to manage “Software Debt” is no different than doing the same for “Software Maintenance“. What do you think?

Hi, I’m a software banker and I can help you consolidate and pay off all your software debt. Trust me, I will solve all your maintenance, oops, I mean debt, problems in no time flat. Plus, my fee is reasonable.” – Bulldozer00

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