Today is the day…

Today is the day that we must spend in sorrow about the future that did not happen. Back in 1989, when the “Back to the Future II” came out, we all knew that the future of 2015 will be just like what we see in the movie. Or at least similar. Automation, flying cars, holography, hover boards, self-drying and self-adjusting clothes – all of that was just a small step away.

Great Scott! It’s October 21, 2015! Welcome to the future.

None of the things that we were waiting for actually happened! What happened instead of them? The bloody Internet! The Internet that replaced all of those really cool things and plunged us all into the virtual world of virtual reality while decaying the world outside. Our dreams were deceived and destroyed.

The day of sorrow. Today. The future has come. No time left. We failed.… -->

continue reading →

The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom

I just watched the BBC Series The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom from 2007. The three one-hour series present a very interesting insight into one of the facets of our society. The basic idea of the movie is to describe the origins of two ideologies of freedom that dominate the world: the positive and negative freedom. The positive freedom is based on an ideology, on an all-encompassing idea that drives people forward, like in Soviet times, for example, while the negative freedom basically justifies “everyone for himself” attitude, promoted by the “free market” ideologists. The interesting part is that the authors conclude that both ideologies cause societies to end up in the same place eventually and then the positive freedom society at least has some ideology while in the negative freedom society people lose all purpose in life.

An absolutely hilarious piece of news from the movie:

… the game theory/free market model is now undergoing interrogation by economists who suspect a more irrational model of behaviour is appropriate and useful. In fact, in formal experiments the only people who behaved exactly according to the mathematical models created by game theory are economists themselves, and psychopaths.

And so it is a very interesting series. Highly recommended.

 … -->

continue reading →

Agile philosophy is flawed

I am convinced that agile software development methods the way they are used now do not work. They are actually a prescription for failure. The problem is that Agile philosophy fails even before starting.

Agile is described in many different ways but when you think about what it tries to achieve you must come to the unavoidable conclusion that it tries to provide a method to develop software with cheaper workforce. That’s the whole idea behind it. The business expects to get the software developed with not-so-brilliant programmers who can be paid a fraction of what the really good people would be paid. And then the good programmers can be also pressured into accepting lower pay for their work.

Well, it does not work. Oh, it does work to pressure the salaries of programmers, that it does. But the software becomes developed in a piecemeal fashion and it becomes really difficult to keep to a single encompassing coherent design. You must use really brilliant programmers to be able to keep the system well-designed, sleek and coherent. Unfortunately, this contradicts the original goal of not using brilliant programmers. And thus the system turns into a patchwork of vaguely connected functions and pieces.

To make a parallel, I think when I see a mechanical product labeled “Made in China” I hardly can expect some brilliant German engineering in it. The same goes here, when I see something coming out of Agile, I do not expect any brilliant engineering either. Agile is the source of cheap, faulty and disposable software.… -->

continue reading →