Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Let the Craftsmen Craft Software

Ivy_House,_Runcorn.jpg

There are times when the software industry makes me despair. Making an analogy with someone building a house, you wouldn't:
  • Hire the cheapest cowboy builders you can to build your house. ("'We build you house very cheap. £500', 'OK, you're the cheapest. It's a deal!'")

  • Hire skilled builders but force them to compromise by refusing to supply them with the resources they need ("Oh we can't let you use electricity. Or petrol - it's a fire risk. Or let you move that fence that is in the way. Or..."), restricting their working environment ("You can plaster that room, but you have to do it through the letterbox") or by unreasonably restricting budget ("you can only buy the cheapest bricks").

  • Hire skilled builders but tell them how to do the job, despite not knowing anything about building ("Don't lay bricks like that. Stack them, don't overlap").
Also you wouldn't make the same mistake when building the house again and again when it collapsed, expecting that somehow things will be different this time around.

You absolutely would not build a house like this. So why expect to deliver software successfully like this?

Here's a dangerous idea for you - hire skilled people, provide them with what they need and let them do what they do best.

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