Re: Owners vs Caretakers
Posted: Jan 22, 2010 9:34 AM
> It should be clear that this isn't quite optimal.
> Development practices are often superior in business /
> enterprise programming whereas blackbox testing practices
> are more exhaustive in the embedded sector. Polemics aside
> I do find uniformed rants against Twitter, just because
> Twitter is not life-saving, not very productive and we
> should avoid appeal to authority and bad common sense.
Who ranted against twitter? I think I'm the only one who mentioned it at all, and that was because it was in reference to the original post from Tim Bray that got this ball rolling. I would hardly call what I said a rant. Unless there's a post I missed that was a rant?
And what did I get wrong? The methods used to bring twitter to market would be bad if applied to aviation software? Twitter made a bunch of mistakes that could have been avoided with some planning, research and putting a little more thought into the system's architecture, but it certainly wasn't cost effective to do so at the time.
It is VERY cost effective to put that sort of effort, research and design into aviation software.
I'm sorry if I had a point to make and used some examples to back it up and explained my position. Not all of us feel as if we can get away with a couple of pithy sentences and consider it Q.E.D., I'm right, you're wrong, have a nice day.
If you consider anything I wrote a rant, God help you if you ever catch me on a bad day :-)
Oh, and if I said something wrong, inform me. Please. I'm here to learn. It's why I frequent these forums.
I don't know how many people build the orginal twitter software, but I know it wouldn't take many and I'm sure one person could put the original incarnation of the basic service together if they were sufficiently motivated. Google twitter scaling problems and you will find no end of information regarding the issues they had and the measures they took to improve performance several orders of magnitude.
That lives are at stake with aviation software is exactly the point to me. It wasn't meant to be disparaging in any way. I don't work on anything these days that would compare to something that would go into an airplane or car or be managing millions of dollars of other people's money. Those things have a value, to most people anyway, that something like twitter or facebook or Google just don't have. I don't see how you can dismiss them from the discussion.
And why should we avoid appeal to authority? I'm as cynical as the next guy (I've been told by some that I'm more cynical than most) but sometimes authority actually knows what they are talking about. To automatically dismiss authority would seem to be as short sighted and narrow minded as automatically following it. Maybe that's not what you meant, or what you feel, but that is certainly how it sounded to me.
I find that particular trait in software professionals interesting, because, generally speaking, they are very suspicious of authority, don't trust it and are very skeptical as a rule. Yet most software professionals I know are the first to get really fired up when somebody won't listen to them and take what they say at face value, no questions asked. How many times have you gotten out of a design meeting or off a call with a customer and spent a considerable amount of time commiserating with your co-workers about how stupid their decisions are? About how blind they are to how technology D or methodology X and it would save them so much time and so many headaches and WHY WOULDN'T THEY JUST LISTEN TO ME??? I KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!!!!
I know I have. I know most of my co-workers have at one time or another, too. I've seen it one time or another on almost every blog I've read, often with no substantiation. I'm right and everybody else is an idiot is what those posts come down to when you remove all the big words and fancy arguments.
I've tried very hard over the past decade to figure out where people are coming from when they make decisions and find out what they are really after. Having been on both sides of the "shove it down their throats because I'm the authority figure" exchange, I know it doesn't work, even when you ARE right. Sometimes especially when you are right, because instead of taking an opportunity to teach something to somebody, you've made them resent you and dismiss your position instead of gaining something from it.
So, please, inform us.