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Originally published in Queue vol. 12, no. 10
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Stefan Houtzager | Tue, 22 Aug 2017 09:14:24 UTC

Nice article, agreed in great part. But it breathes an air of ADHD with developers "simply burn out by the time they reach their mid-30s". And those companies (google, apple, facebook) that are offered as models for other companies. Don't be intimidated. https://www.informationweek.com/it-leadership/rules-for-radical-cios/d/d-id/1110038

Agustin Gonzalez | Fri, 04 Dec 2015 14:53:56 UTC

It is intriguing that the article asks to even remove Scrum practices like daily standup, turndown charts, etc. The authors don't say it but they do this from their complete rejection of processes when applied to software development. Their view that managing developers is like managing a Bee Hive is thought provoking, even though I have not never tended I bee hive but I get the point: developers are the ones creating the code (honey) and they can seem disorganized but if tended properly then they will create very good honey. Continuing the metaphor though, one notices that it falls apart when we realize that bees in the wild need not tending ("context"). Interesting article, yes, software is eating the world, and as developers we are a key part in this. But how it ends up may be different than the scenario painted here.

Stephen Martinello | Sat, 14 Nov 2015 03:08:03 UTC

Software becomes more central to all value added by the enterprise. It is quite true that the hacker essence is poorly understood and yet harnessing the talent of developers is critical to creating the software that creates a competitive edge, opens up new markets, and redefines businesses.

While there may be shining examples of successful outcomes for the youth-centric, pizza-fueled, hard-driving, iterate-fast, constant-sprint culture that the companies celebrated as tech darlings often foster, let us not develop religious feelings for the one true way!

Sometimes software takes deliberation, and wisdom, and patience, and respect for lessons learned by established businesses. We are in our infancy with the computer revolution.

Rafael Anschau | Mon, 08 Dec 2014 04:23:15 UTC

Of course hierarchical companies are the most effective, the question is, do people like working for them ? Do people accept hierarchy well ? Unless you pay a lot of money for people to accept the hierarchy, people will feel unsatisfied and just leave. Some management teacher once said "All we need is management and people(that accept the management)". Where is the people ? Ignoring employee satisfaction is a sure way to have a very effective company nobody wants to work for. The real challenge is to satisfy the owners, clients, employees and the community around the company simultaneously, and few companies manage to do that.

matt j. sorenson | Fri, 05 Dec 2014 18:07:04 UTC

Lord Ellison must be peeved that his last name is spelt wrong in this article!

SM | Thu, 04 Dec 2014 20:10:31 UTC

>>Understanding and appreciating the hacker's mind is impossible if you are not a hacker yourself. The article does not define what a hacker is. Are the professors conflicted on what the term means ?

Matt Palmer | Thu, 04 Dec 2014 15:26:39 UTC

Developers burn out by their mid 30s? Does not match my experience of the many talented developers I have worked with who are well over that age. What does happen is that they settle down and have children around that age.

This doesn't have to be a problem at all, unless you work for the type of organisation that routinely expects long hours at a desk, and spare time used to up-skill.

I suspect the burn out problem you are identifying is with the organisation, rather than the developers. It doesn't have to be like that at all - what a waste of talent.

Richie | Thu, 04 Dec 2014 12:54:23 UTC

Since when are banks not software companies? Everything a bank does requires tons of software, yet Citibank is the bottom ten.

| Mon, 01 Dec 2014 14:46:01 UTC


thanks for this very interesting article: make it longer with more data and this can be a reference article. Or make it shorter and this can be a manifesto.

You may find interesting the idea of "Moneyball for companies":


That's basically what you are saying about metrics, but with a catchy name :)

Vikram Kapoor | Mon, 17 Nov 2014 09:49:56 UTC

Hi OD, I agree that quality is important. What we are proposing is using a different path to achieve it.


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