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Re: [xml-dev] Re: XML As Fall Guy

On Thu, Nov 28, 2013 at 3:19 AM, Thomas Passin <list1@tompassin.net> wrote:

The fact is that large complex systems are *really hard* to develop, and both the client and the vendor need to be on top of their game.  Few are.  But this never seems to get taken into account in the planning and execution.

Sorry. To all replies of this genre including the bolted on legal and contractual nuances, I say no.

As an industry (can't call it a profession) we don't train or require members to train,  we disparage education, we villify theory, your average dev who has never,  would never and is probably quite proud of never having read a paper is praised and self brands or is branded a pragmatist. Almost 20 years on people still complain that genuinely good Java developers are hard to find - our reaction to that is to cater to mediocre ones because they are plentiful.

Through a combination of a lack of ethics and a refusal to apply common sense we get into bed with vendors of snake oil and willingly tout their overpriced crap to our clients and customers as solutions. We are largely ignorant of our history, therefore don't learn lessons from the past and fall for and indulge the hype when it is rebranded and recycled. How many people in our industry actually understand for example that it was not SQL  that  powered the take off of relational technology. Said ignorance then becomes a platform for enshrined anti - collaborative hostile attitudes to technologies that though dated have served well. Hence wheels are  unnecessarily re-invented because merely NOT being something (e.g SQL, XML) gets cast as  a virtue. Consequently the advantage of existing bodies of knowledge and work are ignored and lost. I guess the mathematicians that trace their work back to Gauss, Newton, Liebnitz all the way back to Euclid are viewed as useless theoreticians. Meanwhile we indulge in faith based adherence to mantras and methodologies and advocate them irrespective of the context or important caveats like having the right mix of people types available and putting them in the right position at the right time.

Our decision making mechanisms are ingrained  with reactionary and anti-innovative instincts at all levels  - if some of these people ran the Entertainment industry it would be Police Academy 106 and Rocky 27  playing at the cinema, with back to back Status Quo and Elton John on the radio.

You don't get much more complex than an organising an Olympic games but every 4 years some city somewhere manages to put on the best Olympics ever. Ok they often overrun budget but they are never late and always deliver something fit for purpose. Technology. legal and contractual issues are but a subset of what they have to deal with.

We suck at complex projects because the people that are always tasked with executing them have the acceptance of  craptacularly bad unprofessional and unethical habits ingrained into their psyche.

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