“Agile Development” – The Software Industry’s New Meme

AgileMeme

“Agile” as A Meme

Since the introduction of Agile Development in the early 2000s it has increasingly spread throughout the software industry in the same manner a popular cult is formed; based on supposition, mythology, and rumor for which little real statistical proof has ever been provided.

A more accurate description of the growing popularity of this development paradigm is that of a sociological “meme”. Wikipedia defines the word “meme” using basically the same definition as found in the online version of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a standard in English studies, as the following…

“A meme is “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture”. A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena with a mimicked theme. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate, and respond to selective pressures.”

The Wikipedia description goes on to elaborate on the transfer of memes in the same way that is found in biological evolution.

“Proponents theorize that memes are a viral phenomenon that may evolve by natural selection in a manner analogous to that of biological evolution. Memes do this through the processes of variation, mutation, competition, and inheritance, each of which influences a meme’s reproductive success. Memes spread through the behavior that they generate in their hosts. Memes that propagate less prolifically may become extinct, while others may survive, spread, and (for better or for worse) mutate. Memes that replicate most effectively enjoy more success, and some may replicate effectively even when they prove to be detrimental to the welfare of their hosts.

In other words, memes are transferred in a culture the same way that natural selection works in biology; except for the fact that with memes, which are transfers of information, they become successful not as a result of intelligent research and understanding by the Human transfer points but in somewhat the same manner that fads are often found to grow in popularity, through simple popularity of an accepted strain of thought.

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Common Sense Software Engineering – Part VI; Function Point Analysis

SoftwareEngineering

Overview

“Function Point Analysis” is probably as close to a pure engineering paradigm as one could get. It was designed to allow professional software developers to determine the size of a software development effort by attributing calculated metrics to each individual component that would make up the entire endeavor.

There are a number of variations of this process, including more recent developments, but this paper will explore the original paradigm so that developers can have an initial starting point for further research. The original methodology, though a bit complex, can provide just as accurate a forecasted set of metrics for any software development project as the more recent developments for this technique.

It should be noted that “Function Point analysis” is not very well suited for maintenance tasks since many such tasks would be considered quite compartmentalized and usually only involve only one or two individual developers. As such, these tasks often do not require the in-depth analysis for scheduling that major endeavors require.

However, for new endeavors or even complex modifications to existing systems, in-depth analysis of the effort requires some level of accurate forecasting for the time it would take to complete. This is what “Function Point Analysis” does, and it does it quite well. Despite the claims by many Agile promoters, software development can be measured effectively and subsequently provide accurate estimations of how much time it would take to complete a certain task within a development effort.

And despite the promotion of rapid delivery of finished products in today’s hyper-fast technical environments there is little to support such speed except for a lot of discussion for the best processes that will deliver such capabilities. Human beings can work only so fast and be effective.

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Release 1.0.3 of “SQL Server Source Control for Developers” Now Available

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Black Falcon Software has just released version 1.0.3 of its flagship product, “SQL Server Source Control for Developers”. 

This version has a new syntax editor for viewing your SQL scripts with properly formatted and highlighted code.  Several display corrections have been made to the software along with a few non-bug internal modifications.

This software has the same storage capability as its more higher priced competitors and requires no remote source control server as all data is stored in local workstation repositories.

This software is for individual, professional developers who either require or would like to be able to version their SQL Server object scripts during their development of databases where such source control is not available.

Download a 30-day trial version at Black Falcon Software’s website

If you like the product, have comments, suggestions, or criticisms, please let Black Falcon Software know by using the site’s “Contact” form…

 

 

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