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Comment: Re:Seriously? This is a post? (Score 1) 192

by bfwebster (#47929089) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

Yep.. Many years ago, I said in testimony before a Congressional committee (yeah, I went there):

"Humanity has been developing information technology for half a century. That experience has taught us this unpleasant truth: virtually every information technology project above a certain size or complexity is significantly late and over budget or fails altogether; those that don't fail are often riddled with defects and difficult to enhance. Fred Brooks explored many of the root causes over twenty years ago in The Mythical Man-Month, a classic book that could be regarded as the Bible of information technology because it is universally known, often quoted, occasionally read, and rarely heeded."

Software is hard, and it gets harder the larger the project. Stupid human behavior just compounds the problem. ..bruce..

Comment: Seriously? This is a post? (Score 4, Insightful) 192

by bfwebster (#47925807) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

Not to pile on here, but there is nothing new or recent about fear-driven projects of any kind, much less fear-driven IT projects. All you need to do is read some of the classic books on IT project management, including The Psychology of Computer Programming by Jerry Weinberg (1971), The Mythical Man-Month by Fred Brooks (1975), and Death March by Ed Yourdon (1997).

Back in the early 90s, I was chief software architect for a start-up developing a large, complex and novel commercial software product. After working long hours for years, we had missed our original release date and were struggling to come up with a new date that we could be sure of making. Top management (CEO, CFO) was considering carrot/stick "incentives" to "motivate" the engineering team to make a certain date; one of the senior developers stopped me in a hallway by the engineering offices and asked, "Don't they realize they're dealing with grown-ups back here?"

P.S. At the risk of sounding like an old fart, I remain appalled at the profound lack of familiarity among far too many IT industry practitioners of the essential books on software engineering and IT project management. As I have said ad infinitum and ad nauseum, not only do they keep re-inventing the wheel, they keep reinventing the flat tire.

Comment: Re:we're talking about controllers (Score 1) 203

by Xest (#47924925) Attached to: Sapphire Glass Didn't Pass iPhone Drop Test According to Reports

Microsoft aren't trying to produce a magic controller that is perfect for everyone, because given the manufacturing constraints of producing a million different shaped controllers that'd be impossible.

What they're doing is targetting something that pleases the largest amount of people in a representative sample, this is real design testing and it's a shame you don't understand that.

This is why when you buy t-shirts or similar you have a choice between small, medium, large, and maybe extra large and xxl, but what you don't get is a thousand different shapes with a few millimetres here or there.

You apparently don't understand the reality of producing a product and the use of samples to provide a solution that's pleasing to the largest amount of people in a sample as possible. Sure they could've made it bigger all around for people with large hands and their cramping problem, but they'd be satisfying 1% of their user base whilst making it too big for the other 99%. Likely they've landed up with something that was preferable to a decent majority (like 80%) even if 20% preferred other designs.

You cannot design something like a controller around a minority, the fact you think you should shows that contrary to your early comments about HCI it's most definitely you that absolutely does not have the slightest clue about the combined topics of HCI and the reality of providing a manufacturable and marketable solution.

Help! I'm trapped in a PDP 11/70!