@Kental2: This is why you need a dedicated project manager or account manager. Developers loathe them most of the time, but they are good at deflecting a lot of the vagueness. Developers brains are far too pragmatic and advanced to enjoy all the coffee and chit-chat that goes with the decision makers. I have come to accept that.
I have worked at a Russell Group University here in the UK reporting to a Professor and mentoring some PhD's to develop a forensic system, I have also worked at Agilent on some DNA, RNA and Protein software, the place was wall to wall with PhD's, coming to think of it I have also worked at another Life sciences Company but I digress, in each and every instance I have never had anything to complain about with regard to project management.
A scientist can spend 3 months on a project and discover that it just does not work, and have to start again. This leads to highly organised people and projects that manage themselves.
Alas, every company is now a software company, and you have a lot of people that could never get on an engineering course if they tried, getting involved. This really is where a lot of the problems are. I favour scientists because even on tough projects, they "factor in" failures, something the commercial world tends to treat as a disaster.
In the image below, the difficulty is in telling the customer that android was delivered in several iterations over many years. Customers find it nearly impossible to ever accept that a software product could be like the first version of android. A phone that just made calls. That's it.That's all it did. It was version 2-3 that they added a camera, and still then that didn't have a camcorder.
This is why developing software is hard for the most part, if you can manage your customers in a way that you have clearly set objectives, and Version 1, 2 then 3, then a lot of the headaches simply go away, as customers always want to launch with android kitkat or jellybean first.
@Bas: We offshore some work to India, and I am now very cautious as I never feel I get a full days work from them as they are juggling other clients all the time.
Most of your problems will boil down to how good your developers are. I always tend to go for experienced developers that don't need their hand holding, guys that come in and get the job done. Most .NET code has a shelf life of 5 years, unlike COBOL systems where your have the same code running for 30 years, so resist the urge to over-engineer, or being too fastidious about quality which 9 times out of 10 you get from using design patterns and best practices
I don't think there is an elegant solution to your problem, as most of the issues are requirements that are ill spec'ed out, and because you are agile, it allows the customer to change their mind every few iterations. Most of your problems will go away if you get comprehensive requirements from the outset, with good coders you can just about get on with it as they take most of the pressure away.
I am customer facing and to be honest, as nice as most customers are, they take a lot of time and effort to placate, keep happy and extract requirements. Getting someone good and dedicated to dealing with customers will free you all up to concentrate on engineering.
One of the things about living "in the ghetto", is the overcrowding, and the fact that you have no privacy. Look at this announcement from Microsoft;
As part of our ongoing commitment to respecting your privacy, we won't use your documents, photos or other personal files or what you say in email, chat, video calls or voice mail to target advertising to you.
Can you remind us all why Google and Facebook are good again?
The NSA is whatever the NSA wants to be, apparently. "Spying on foreign leaders" seems to fall under what the CIA does (or apparently did, Pre-drone), so that is where I feel the distinction lies.
Perhaps I could see your point if Germany was also busy appropriating Poland or France. But, sure, maybe in this case, they were doing what we created them to do. Oh, wait, 'we' never got any input in that process.
This is a complex issue. I agree with evildictaitor in that what he has done is beyond reprehensible, you don't sign up for a sensitive job and then be as indiscreet as he has been, what he has done is wrong and unacceptable.
There is a little of the common philosophical question in this, in that elementary philosophy question that asks whether a man that steals to feed his starving family is committing a crime?
I think he has made more than his point, and wish the US government could find a way to bring him back to America or to send him somewhere where he is not continually feeding people information that will destabilise the West, because everything that is coming out now is extremely damaging.
This has all the hall marks of a SpectateSwamp copy cat, or someone studying from someone like SpectateSwamp on how to be controversial in a forum, though SpectateSwamp was hilarious and ludicrous at the same time.
If you can have hundreds if not thousands of facebook answers to simple arithmetic like 6 - 1 * 0 + 2 / 2 = ?, it's easy to see why someone would like to spend time posting conspiracies and not using any scientific method.
May 16, 2014 at 12:31 AM