Beyond the monkey coders

Jullunder: monkey drinking coca-cola by Salim Virji

Jullunder: monkey drinking coca-cola by Salim Virji

In most of the engineering area, tons of work are based in metrics. Get more, spend less, be happy. But in the software area the metrics are always sub-estimated. Most of Project Leaders are concerning about time and cost but they're forgetting that the software is not a simple product. They're forgetting the quality and the right scope of the products. They're forgetting the process that creates the Software. I don't have so much experience as I want but in my firsts TI works the pattern was the same. Adjusted schedules, stressed people, chaotic code and a pizza because "The monkeys need the pizza to work and don't die". Latter the project fail. Everybody was upset and . . . (yeah the typical amateur team software history). I felt like a monkey, typing tons of code with a stupid logic (but was the "analyst logic") in a stupid tool that screams ERROR error every five minutes and <ironic> it's advanced set of features allowed it to develop a random behavior (yeah looks that the tool have life) </ironic>. I'm now administrating a few "organic-size" software projects. And I continue programming but also I'm concerning about the quality and the scope of the project. So I stopped my daily journey of study (the next week I attend to my University grade test) to reflex about: What's the real root of the IT lack of quality?. You can read a lot of books IT infraestructure, the process of constructing software, managing the projects, the technical aspects and the tools, CMMI . . . the list never ends but the teams are always failing in the same path. But they're forgetting the most important piece of the Software Construction projects. THE PEOPLE And yes I'm programming now but today I don't consider myself as a monkey coder. But why?. Because I'm getting fun solving problems (and be payed for that :D). The problem with the software quality not only resides in the non-definition of the process. The problem resides in the people. People working in the wrong project or working with tools that don't like simply are not motivated. If they are not motivated they work less or do buggy code. And . . . finally you get a piece of software that don't fill the requirements and a lack of characteristics. In the end:
  • It's people and human organisations who have problems to be tackled by computer software.
  • It's people who define the problems and specify the solutions.
  • It's people who implement designs and produce code.
  • It's (currently) people who test code.
  • It's people who use the final systems and who will make judgements about the overall quality of the solution.
So the difference between monkey coders and people who could create solutions is the motivation. And if you can proportionate the right motivation. You are not working whit monkeys anymore 🙂 .
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2 Responses to "Beyond the monkey coders"

  • Unknown Unknown on Unknown Unknown

    It’s interesting your point of view, because, as every sw developer, there’s always a job that makes you feel uncomfortable with your work, and in consequence, starts to killi all the motivation that you could ever had from the start. It happened to me on my last job. Thank’s God I realize that this was not what I wanted for my profession, I made my mind that I did not born, raise or learn (nor wanted) to do workarounds all my life. Therefore, the best thing when somebody begins to think and act like a monkey coder (and is feeling uncomfortable with that) is to look for another job. It’s possible, and, with today’s great demand of software developers, a good developer easily get another job.

    1 Erik Giron said this (March 13, 2010 at 9:48 am)

  • Unknown Unknown on Unknown Unknown

    you are so right!! and of course the fault is:
    It’s people who define the problems and specify the solutions

    2 demuxer said this (March 16, 2010 at 9:39 am)


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