This is my favorite rant thus far. Everything this guy says is quote worthy and he nags about everything from the agile craze to lousy project management and even gets in a few blows at Ron Hubbard. He’s a software engineer with a way for words and his stories are so pure and devoid of butter that they’re just painfully funny. Stevey’s focus – good and bad agile development. His analogies and metaphors for agile software project management are off the wall, saying that pre-announcing a product launch is akin to popping out a baby on cue and that Google project management is more like oil than fuel – just let things run smoothly.
Stevey’s posting is wholly worthwhile yet I’ll still post my favorite quotes…
On marketing agile methodologies to programmers
“[agile marketing is geared at] the kinds of programmers who buy extended warranties and self-help books and believe their bosses genuinely care about them as people, the kinds of programmers who attend conferences to make friends and who don’t know how to avoid eye contact with leaflet-waving fanatics in airports and who believe writing shit on index cards will suddenly make software development easier.
You know. Chumps.”
Don’t get me wrong – he’s into doing good agile.
On Agile Methodologies
“The rest of us have all known that Agile Methodologies are stupid, by application of any of the following well-known laws of marketing:
– anything that calls itself a “Methodology” is stupid, on general principle.
– anything that requires “evangelists” and offers seminars, exists soley for the purpose of making money.
– anything that never mentions any competition or alternatives is dubiously self-serving.
– anything that does diagrams with hand-wavy math is stupid, on general principle.
And by “stupid”, I mean it’s “incredibly brilliant marketing targeted at stupid people.””
On what it’s like to work at Google
“When friends who aren’t at Google ask me how it is working at Google — and this applies to all my friends at all other companies equally, not just companies I’ve worked at — I feel just how you’d feel if you’d just gotten out of prison, and your prison buddies, all of whom were sentenced in their early teens, are writing to you and asking you what it’s like “on the outside”. I mean, what would you tell them?”
On launching projects at Google
“Anyway, I claimed that launching projects is the natural state that Google’s internal ecosystem tends towards, and it’s because they pump so much energy into pointing people in that direction.”
Awesome takeaway that I can’t help but be proud of as a non Googler:
“Google is an exceptionally disciplined company, from a software-engineering perspective. They take things like unit testing, design documents and code reviews more seriously than any other company I’ve even heard about. They work hard to keep their house in order at all times, and there are strict rules and guidelines in place that prevent engineers and teams from doing things their own way.”
Sure, I need to stay in business and my business is quality software. I hope to implement quality initiatives throughout the industry and am glad to see that the thought leaders are moving in that direction.