Thursday, January 14, 2010

Don’t be a tool

Values lead to practices that determine tools.


So I’m sitting in the first pre-compiler session at CodeMash 2010.  I’m actually late to it (surprise) but the session is End-To-End Coaching Software Developer teams.  The first thing I see is the following phrase:


I couldn’t agree more.

The presenter talked about how it is so common in our industry for it to work in the exact opposite manner.  How often do we see a vendor SELL a tool, a dev shop buys the tool and then what happens.  A GUIDANCE team is formed on HOW BEST TO USE A TOOL.  So in this paradigm, the shop follows this pattern:

TOOLS DICTATE GUIDEANCE that management need to ENFORCE best practices.

What happens to VALUES in that model?  What happens is that VALUES are not even thought of.  There isn’t room for VALUES in that model.

So what if one of your VALUES is simplicity?  It doesn’t matter because the TOOL dictates whatever it wants, regardless of complexity.

The presenter talked about how this is a detriment in terms of money to the company.  I can see that.  VALUES can lead to practices to save money and achieve great quality.  All this without the letting a tool dictate the exact opposite.


  1. Sigh... "TOOLS DICTATE GUIDEANCE that management need to ENFORCE best practices." Welcome to my miserable life... -Ruth Perry

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