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Comment Re:And this is how we die (Score 1) 1343

Only this morning I heard an author and professor on the radio about a new rewritten version of the Dutch classic Max Havelaar by Multatuli. Apparently present students can't and won't read the original due to the long sentences used and words whose meaning has changed since it was written 150 years ago.

That is really mind-blowing.

I remember reading Max Havelaar when I was fifteen. During my reading, I was thinking how incredibly fresh and new Multatulis writing was for a book of 150 years old.

And yes, it was an original version (no rewritten copy).

Comment Re:Brilliant! (Score 1) 1324

In Europe, the greater part of the yought and population is already watching English TV, reading English books and listening to English music without a learning curve, don't extrapolate or project your own monolinguism :)

That is a little bit over simplified. We are talking about Germany here. Movies, television series, cartoons, and so on are dubbed in German. The same counts for France were everything is dubbed in French, Spain, Italy, etc. The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg are the few european countries were people have to satisfy theirselves with subtitles in their own language.

It is true though that Europeans listen to a lot of english-sang music, but it is far from the only music we listen to. And I do not think that some german 9 year olds will learn a lot of (good) English from the latest Akon or Lady Ga-Ga song

Comment Re:IE8 alledgedly super-safe (Score 1) 320

Microsoft is the absolute king of the Belgian software market. Especially for government and administration.

In my few years in the Belgian software business I have heard the most mind-numbing arguments from managers to promote yet another stupid Microsoft product over a better or equal equivalent.
"Everybody uses it, so it is better!"
"It is a corporate standard!"
"Outlook has got all sorts of features that others don't!" (this was a remark on my use of Gmail and Google calendar)

Comment Re:The big flaw of Agile (Score 1) 193

What I learned from Agile, is that linking "hours" or even worse "man-hours" to tasks or estimates is really bad practice. This is because hours are only a one-sided measure for the workload of a task. A meaningless measure, like task points is often used to overcome these problems.

Comment Re:The big flaw of Agile (Score 1) 193

I do not really understand what you mean by "hours burned." In a stand-up we only talk about tasks you have been working on the previous day, or that you finished the previous day. And then we talk a little about the tasks we will be doing today.

If I understand you correctly, in our stand-up you would have said that you were working on the same task for three days in a row. There is nothing wrong with that. It is only an indication for a scrum master and scrum product owner that your task is a really complex one, or a long one, or that you ran into a problem that you cannot solve.

Comment Re:How to turn your skilled employees into cogs (Score 1) 193

The biggest problem that I find with agile is that it's too easy to implement incorrectly, and the overall sweatshop environment means that productivity won't dip right away, as everyone is being watched. Many managers read about it and think, "Great, we can get rid of their offices, put them all out in the open, and throw out any kind planning." I think in the long run it will fail in a slow, painful way, as people get fed up and leave. Then, when productivity finally drops, management will receive the feedback that maybe their implementation is wrong.

This is so true. And true on every level. I have seen very wrong implementations of (agile) methodologies on developer level, design and analysis level, project management level and so on.

I can get so depressed and frustrated by this. Because, most of the time, it has nothing to do with the chosen methodology per se, but more with applying simple well-known management solutions.

Comment Re:Oh and the second agile dogma is stupid (Score 1) 193

I think this has to do with how you read and interpret the agile manifesto. The second dogma says:"Working software over comprehensive documentation." And not vs. comprehensive documentation.

I have been in software projects where after 18 months (!) of development we had nothing to show except for tons of documentation and designs. I have also been in scrum driven projects were we had little but very useful documentation.

So, in my book, Agile != no documentation. Agile == make only the documentation that is useful and wanted by the customer.

Comment Re:Oh, THAT strawman (Score 1) 193

Agile is a crock. It's a fantastic trick developers have used to get away with never having to promise to deliver anything specific in any given timescale. 'We're not sure what we're going to develop yet, or when we'll deliver it, but I promise you when we do deliver it it's what you want'. That's no use to anyone.

If your developers are using agile as an excuse, then they are doing it wrong!

I have been a Scrum Product Owner many times, and for sure we had to deliver what we promised. The difference was that our promises were better and more realistic, because the team had the final word in what had to be delivered at the end of an iteration.

And who said you can't apply PMBOK and use an agile method at the same time? Both seem quite compatible to me.

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