The Trouble With Software (and what to do about it)

Debunking Popular Myths in Software Development

Posted in Uncategorized by Ernie Schell on November 27, 2014

Lee Semel,, has posted to Quora a very comprehensive list of myths about software development. There isn’t much he has left out….


Why Your Software Development Process Is Broken

Posted in Uncategorized by Ernie Schell on September 17, 2013

Joe Masters Emison oversees the award-winning BuildFax cloud architecture. He has written an excellent article for Information Week on how to strike the right balance between not enough control and too much control by the IT department in any large organization. The classic developer’s dilemma. See the article HERE.

Analytics and DevOps

Posted in Uncategorized by Ernie Schell on July 27, 2013
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Andrew Brust has a worthwhile article: “Analytics – The Next Wave in DevOps,” on ZDNet, explaining how Analytical tools can help to identify issues quicker and thereby shorten production cycles.

Why Agile Initiatives Fail

Posted in Uncategorized by Ernie Schell on July 25, 2013

Mike Kavis has written a great blog post, “Why Agile Initiatives Fail and Why DevOps Initiatives Should Worry,” which I highly recommend to anyone with even a remote interest in the subject.

Should software be patentable? That’s the wrong question to ask

Posted in Programming by Ernie Schell on June 6, 2013

Marty Goetz — the man granted the first software patent in 1968 — says a true invention implemented in hardware is equally patentable if implemented in software. He has a valid argument. I have argued against software patents in the past, but only overly broad patents that define an approach that has never been implemented.

Leandro Faria on Scrum of Scrums: Running Agile on Large Projects

Posted in Agile Development,Extreme Programming,Programming by Ernie Schell on June 6, 2013

Want to use Agile practices on large projects? Does Agile only apply to small projects, or only to the simplest of projects?

By no means! — says Leandro Faria post on ScrumAlliance

The IT Revolution Press

I highly recommend The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Grow by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford. This excellent business novel is a great read and realistic portrayal of the trials and tribulations of in-house software development and management in a large corporation. It is also “prescriptive,” suggesting a three-level approach to resolving issues that often cripple the IT process by isolating it from the rest of the business. Also see the related IT Revolution Website.

Amazon’s Kindle glitch and the “always-be-shipping-code” mentality

Posted in Development - General,General Overview by Ernie Schell on March 1, 2013

Richard Nieva has hit a nerve in PandoDaily on this very important subject. Take a look.

Why IT Projects Go Wrong

Posted in General Overview,Programming by Ernie Schell on December 9, 2012

Thorin McGee writes in Target Marketing magazine: “When it’s time to implement new technologies, the focus needs to be on execution [and] internal communication….” Using the Romney campaign as his focus, McGee notes that “Ars Technica reported that the multiple vendors hired to develop ORCA [the campaign’s get-out-the-vote system] weren’t in communication [with each other] and didn’t see each other’s code until Election Day. Romney Digital Director Zac Moffat told CNET there wasn’t time for adequate beta and load testing. At one point, ORCA had so much data coming and going that the ISP mistook it for a DNS attack and shut it down.”

In short, they made every mistake in the book! Most of all, as the sheriff said in Cool Hand Luke, “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate!”

5 Common Mistakes Writing User Stories in Agile Development

Posted in Agile Development,General Overview by Ernie Schell on December 9, 2012

Krystian Kaczor writes on the Scrum Alliance Website: “Most of the issues with gathering requirements in agile software development and agile testing derive from issues with User Stories. Somehow expressing requirements in such a simple form causes a lot of trouble to agile teams.”

He further asserts that mistakes in User Story scenarios lead to wrong Test Cases, a poor understanding of requirements, and inappropriate implementation, which can be a “direct cause of rejecting the deliverables of the iteration.”

His five most common mistakes people make writing User Stories:

1. Not clearly identifying who “The User” is

2. Not understanding the Business Role of The User

3. Defining the Business Role incorrectly

4. Providing no Business Value or Benefit for The User

5. Defining no Acceptance Criteria or Conditions of Satisfaction for The User

As a perfect analog to these Role & Development ambiguities, there is also what I will call “Function Ambiguity.” For instance, how do you define “Customer Relationship Management?” Everyone probably has their own way of conceiving what it is, so how in the world are developers supposed to meet a generic set of needs and requirements, since, in Venn Diagram style, there is probably a small area of overlap among these different definitions. For a good example of this, see “Defining CRM: Thoughts from three experts” on the Marketing Sherpa blog.

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