Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Model, model thou art my riddle!

Can you spot the difference:
In a Model View Controller application, you only ever want to see SQL code in the model.

The domain model should be independent of persistence implementation details.

Probably we should accept that models come in different flavors...

... or maybe the grand master was right:
Using C means that people [...] don't screw things up with any idiotic "object model" crap.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Watch out: The world is changing!

Lately I seem more susceptible to realize how fast the world is changing. Probably I am getting old...

At a recent lecture, Martin Herdina (CEO, Wikitude) showed how the mobile phone changes our lives (and he displayed slides you don't usually see in lectures…)

Once again I realized that the iPhone was only launched in 2007. I think it is amazing how our use of technology can change in only 4 years ...

Another striking example underlying the perception of technical change in relation to other areas of our lives:

What crosses your mind when you see the following picture?


Old-school, clumsy, clunky, retro least that are impressions that pop up in my head…


Now, what crosses your mind when you see the following picture:

Matrix wallpaper5
Cool, highlight, milestone in movie history, top-10-movies of all times, re-defining science fiction movies …

...again that are my personal associations.


But you remember that the Nokia 7110 phone in the above picture was actually designed after being inspired by the Matrix movie:

Matrix nokia1


I think it is remarkable how time is not having the same effect on movies as on technology. The Matrix definitely aged better than the Nokia phone.

In context: Great video about living in exponential times.



Monday, November 14, 2011

Dysfunction: Headhunters & Short Time Contracting

I blogged before about the desolate state of our industry.

Here is one clear symptom underlining once more that there is something wrong:

Regularly when a government IT project here in Switzerland has an open vacancy for some months, I am getting calls, emails and XING requests from headhunters from Germany and the UK that want to mediate me for this job.

Marten van Valckenborch Tower of babel-largeThere is so much wrong in this setup...

For a start, the whole setup represents the idea that constructing software is like putting bricks on top of each other to build a pyramid. You can hire some more hands and you will finish sooner, because once a brick is laid, somebody else can put the next brick on top of it. This analogy is completely wrong (and that is not an expression of the unprofessionalism of our industry)!

On the other hand what does anybody expect when he goes through headhunters like this (I even have seen cases where several hierarchies of headhunters were involved)?

Do develoers think they don't get jobs without them? Do employers think they do get better developers through those headhunters?
What added value does a headhunter provide in this case? He hardly even looks at my CV, which is online anyways, and...? The employer wants to do an interview with me anyways, and the headhunter does not provide any guarantees, does he?

The result is that another layer of indirection is introduced that legitimates just another bureaucratic overhead. Headhunters like this are neither interested in the project nor in the developers they mediate.
Also (probably as a consequence) developers recruited in this manner usually are not very committed to the project. Why should they? The next recruitement is already waiting around the corner...

I strongly believe we should stop this headhunter/short-time contracting in IT projects. Hire developers for goals not time-periods. Cut the middle-men and get developers committed and responsible.

Further reading:

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