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Your Software Process Sucks : The Prelude

Filed Under Human Factors, Software Process

Picture this. You are sitting in a job interview with your next potential boss. Being a TDD/Agile/Scrum zealot you proudly declare:

“A strong skill of mine is software process, I really think I could be an asset to your team.”

Should the correct answer of the potential boss be:

  • A. That’s great! We could always use people willing to improve the process.
  • B. What do you have in mind?
  • C. Our waterfall process has worked for 5 years. We will not change it for anything.

Recently, I was blown back when I heard the answer C come out of the mouth of a Sr. Architect. The interviewer could tell that I was sincerely disappointed by this answer and asked if I wished to continue. I agreed out of curiosity of what other nonsense he might say.

Choking on my bottled water was probably not the best show of face, but seriously? You don’t want to improve your process? You don’t want to work faster, smarter, and more efficient? Do you not like money?

Unfortunately, this is a resistance to change seen in a lot of organizations. Why does this occur? How can we fix it? Stay tuned, as the next couple of posts I will be exploring these questions under the series title “Your Software Process Sucks”.

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2 Responses to “Your Software Process Sucks : The Prelude”

  1. Dave on June 13th, 2007 12:41 pm

    Resistance to change is human nature, I think, to some degree. We want to be comfortable, and change is usually uncomfortable, even if it’s for the better.

    So change in organizations is usually a reaction to severe pain, like not selling enough product, having catastrophic system failures, or being on the wrong end of a PR disaster.

    Maybe the best way to sell change is to not call it change. “Let’s improve upon our current process that works really well.” To do that, you have to measure the current process somehow, and get other people to buy into the idea that results could be improved. This is much easier if the results are crappy.

  2. Max Pool on June 14th, 2007 8:09 am

    Dave, I agree that resistance to change does come from the feeling of discomfort, but there are many factors of “why” that I am exploring in my next post.

    I slightly disagree with your second point for two reasons:
    1. Putting lipstick on a pig, still makes it a pig. People will notice the difference when it affects them directly.
    2. Most developers (I have met) do not have enough salesmanship to package and pitch a change.

    It is my belief that as a community [of developers] we need to get much better at the latter if we want to start selling our ideas.

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