Sunday, August 06, 2006

The complexity cult in "software engineering"

I've written before about the affliction of some programming "gurus" that leads them to believe that design complexity is a sign of "cleverness", when, in reality, it leads to maintainability problems.

There are certainly programmers 1 who develop brilliant frameworks that seriously reduce the burdens of application developers. But I get the feeling that they are far rarer than the wannabes who create complexity because it's part of their job descriptions, at the behest of clueless cargo-cultist buzzword-oriented managers, or because their inflated egos deny them the ability to realise their own limitations. A few years of experience and knowing some design patterns does not a "software architect" make.

Most developers that produce business systems would probably do better if they came to terms with their mediocrity, and focused all their efforts on adding value to their customers using ready-made tools and frameworks produced by others wherever possible 2.


1. You could call them "software architects", if you like pretentious and fairly inaccurate metaphorical titles
2. ie almost all of the time. This doesn't mean that design should be thrown out, merely that re-inventing the wheel for the sake of intellectual masturbation should be shunned.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Classical music

In recent months I obtained some classical music mp3 collections, and I have started appreciating the genre.

It's interesting how deeply embedded some of the tunes are in popular culture. From the absurd "bananana" advertising adaptation by now defunct the Banana Board in the late 1980s (I think - I was still quite young at the time), based on Beethoven's 5th Symphony, to the movies, these songs have always been in the background.

It's nice to be able to put names to the tunes.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Analyze this

Would you work for a company that relied on handwriting analysis to vet potential candidates? I wouldn't1.

1 unless I was desperate for a job