Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Nine years of pair programming? (Score 4, Interesting) 186

This is nothing new.

The effort of every individual in a group of people has been measured by Ringelmann in 1914, for army's purposes.
Here is the original article:

And the results are (number of people => measured effort)
1 => 100%
2 => 93%
3 => 85%
4 => 77%
5 => 70%
6 => 63%
7 => 56%
8 => 49%

This is called "Ringelmann effect" or more recently "social loafing".
As you can see, 8 people produce the same amount of effort than 4 individuals.

Comment Re:Can anyone keep up all these bullshits? (Score 1) 166

I maintain that this 2 weeks is completely arbitrary, and leads to unregular velocity during the session.
You'll get most work at the beginning, and the effort disappears at the end of the session.

The worst thing is that some of the nice features get cut in so many parts that we can only implement the least costly ones.
This leaves the whole features unfinished and creates a lack of satisfaction.
Perhaps it works well for new teams, but for experienced teams, this is a serious problem.

Also, an experienced manager will know when to negotiate (which is what agile encourages) and when to stop negotiating (which is what agile discourages).

Comment Re:Can anyone keep up all these bullshits? (Score 1) 166

What agile does for the developer is codifies "I have 2 weeks to code this specific thing, go away and let me do it".

I wanted to agree with you, but you are clearly too much obsessed by Scrum !
Frankly, this "2 weeks-sprint" is probably one of the least agile techniques.

It's like saying: we are in the Titanic, we need 10 miles to turn right. Hey, there is an iceberg in front. No, we need 10 miles, so we'll take 10 miles !

Agile is here to force managers focus on their work, and let the developers focus on their work.
Forget daily scrums, forget sprints, just do it in the agile way: as it comes.
How can I balance between planning/cutting tasks and coding/testing, when software changes during its development ?
I can assure you that 2 weeks sessions will not solve your problem !

Comment Re:Can anyone keep up all these bullshits? (Score 5, Insightful) 166

What is the correct balance between "planning" and "doing" ?

"Doing" works for people with plenty of experience, but they are rare.
"Planning" works when the project is very complex, but it is rare
The correct cursor is something between "a little planning, a little doing, and we see what we reached", which is basically agile's definition.

I'd like to share my experience: I wanted to become an agile coach (yes, shame on me !).
This was because I saw the opportunity to help people become better, but that's not really what agile became nowadays.

And I realized that Agile is not for developers, but for managers.
In other words, it's not designed to help developers, but to make money out of managers.
You have to agree that the vast majority of managers are completely clueless, so they doubt about their own skills.
Agile, or most exactly Scrum and Devops, are designed to tell them: you don't understand software development ? No problem, you'll only have to follow a basic algorithm and we promise you that all your problems will disappear.
I agree that this is quite dishonest, but hey, the goal is to squeeze money out of companies, and managers can use their budget for this !

What is funny is that most agile gurus are not decent developers.
They'll explain that such agile game will help people realize something, but they are quite clueless regarding programming.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 4, Interesting) 132

I'd like to share my own experience, since I'm self-taught programmer.

I started programming 35 years ago, on a pocket calculator (TI58-C), then moved onto some micro-computers.
At this time, I realized that that's what I wanted to do as my job.
So I spent a lot of time disassembling code, in order to understand how it was done.
Then I started to write my own games.
I finally got hired into a video game company, but I realized that working in a company could not provide me enough software education.
I bought the Art of Computer Programming, and I passionately read it.
Later, I entered programming contests, where I could explore combinatorial algorithms by practicing them.
Now, I'm equivalent to a software engineer, though I'm underemployed given my experience.

So yes, you can practice programming and acquire theoretical bases afterwards.
But most coders I met were satisfied with their level, never trying to challenge their knowledge.
I don't speak about learning new languages, but new ways to solve problems.
They are more dedicated to build their career.

Slashdot Top Deals

He who steps on others to reach the top has good balance.